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Ecuador

Beaches, Bug Spray, Boobies & Boats: Wrapping Up a Month in Central America

Posted by on Aug 24, 2012 | 0 comments

Beaches, Bug Spray, Boobies & Boats: Wrapping Up a Month in Central America

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Well, after a month of island-hopping around Central America & South America, I’m finally home! From huts to hotel suites, this one was a real adventure. There were lots of picture-perfect beaches, volcanoes and animals and more boats than I care to remember. In fact, in most places (Roatan, Guatemala, Corn Islands, San Blas & Galapagos) small boats were the primary form of transportation. In the course of the month, I went through several bottles of bug spray and sunscreen and one tiny bottle of Dramamine (and I’m happy to report they all performed admirably).

I slept in boats, bungalows, one very questionable hut (see above) and, thankfully, even a hotel suite or two. I trained dolphins, hiked volcanoes, visited a village shaman, did my first scuba dive and first sailing trip, reached my highest altitude ever, played photographer for an indigenous island family, stood on the Equator and swam with sea turtles, sea lions & sharks.

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Quito Ecuador: Top of the World, Middle of the Earth

Posted by on Aug 23, 2012 | 0 comments

Quito Ecuador: Top of the World, Middle of the Earth

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After a terrific 7 days in the Galapagos, we landed in Quito Friday night with a little over 24 hours to explore Ecuador’s historic capital. Surrounded by snow-capped Andean peaks creating a dazzling cityscape, Quito’s official elevation of 9,350ft makes it the world’s 2nd highest capital city.

For the last night of the trip, we were back in Sheraton-land at the beautiful Sheraton Quito Ecuador where they were kind enough to upgrade us to a roomy suite.

Exhausted and starving from a full travel day from San Cristobal (beginning with a 7am, 2-hour boat ride to Santa Cruz, taxi across Santa Cruz, boat across to Baltra, flight from Baltra to Guayaquil and then finally to Quito) we adjourned to the Club Lounge to eat, have a glass of wine and formulate a plan of attack for our full day in Quito.

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Land Based Galapagos: Island Hopping in the Land of Darwin

Posted by on Aug 21, 2012 | 0 comments

Land Based Galapagos: Island Hopping in the Land of Darwin

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Discovered by accident in 1535 by the Bishop of Panama when he veered off course on the way to Peru, the Galapagos Islands first appeared on a map some 35 years later as the “island of the tortoises.”

For almost 300 years after their discovery, the Galapagos mostly served as a safe harbor to a succession of pirates, whalers and sealers. The islands were a resource for fresh water and food for the sailors who caught thousands of giant tortoises and stored them in their cargo holds. Because the tortoises could survive for up to a year on the ships, they provided a long-lasting food source.

In 1832, Ecuador officially claimed the Galapagos and just three years later a British naval vessel brought Charles Darwin to the islands.

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First Up in Ecuador…Guayaquil!

Posted by on Aug 13, 2012 | 0 comments

First Up in Ecuador…Guayaquil!

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For the final 9 days of this year’s summer-trip-extravaganza, I’ll be exploring Ecuador with visits to Guayaquil, the Galapagos Islands and Quito. We arrived in Guayaquil a little before lunchtime after the short flight from Panama City.

Our reason for visiting was primarily because Guayaquil made the best launching point for the Galapagos with regular flight service. With the rest of the day wide open, we didn’t have an itinerary planned out. So, we decided to hop in a cab and head downtown to get our first look at Ecuador’s largest and most populated city.

We started our self-guided city tour at the magnificent riverfront promenade, the Malecón. Considered one of the most extensive urban renewal projects in all of South America (and the largest architectural project in Guayaquil in the past century), Malecón 2000 stretches 1 ½ miles along the banks of the Rio Guayas. Lining the waterfront are shops, playgrounds, restaurants, ponds and gardens and you could easily spend an entire day exploring it.

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Get Ready for the Summer of Central America!

Posted by on Jul 20, 2012 | 3 comments

Get Ready for the Summer of Central America!

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Well, if it’s summer time then obviously it’s time for some serious global slacking off. This summer I’ve decided to take my slacking off on the road to Central America. My summer work is done and now it’s time maximize the month remaining before another season of college football kicks off in late August.

As some of you may know, in addition to my annual January round-the-world trips, a few years ago I started a mid-year edition to combat the unappealing symptoms of passport-underuse and satisfy my summer longings for tropical islands, exotic foods and living out of a tiny suitcase for extended periods of time. Typically, for my summer trips, I choose a particular region of the world to explore more in-depth. My first summer trip took me through Central & Eastern Europe, the second around Australia, New Zealand & the South Pacific and the most recent was a fun-filled summer in the Balkans.

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