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Ecuador to Peru – Meeting My Second Home For The First Time

April 18, 2012

Peruvian Border Control

I wasn’t sad to leave Ecuador. Getting from Cuenca, Ecuador to Mancora, Peru seemed pretty straightforward. A company called Pullman Sucre offered the route directly, though you’d take them to the border, switch to another bus, and continue the journey. I opted to do the journey at night since it took 8 hours and I […]

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Cuenca, Ecuador – Ending Ecuador On A Great Note

April 17, 2012

Me Wearing A Panama Hat

I came to Cuenca so I could visit Ingapirca, but without question it was my favorite city in Ecuador. It’s relatively safe, it’s beautiful, well-organized, and historical. The climate is comfortable. With sun it’s a bit hot, but without it it’s a bit cold. At night it’s cool, but not too cold. But it seems […]

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Lost In Translation – I Can’t Spell, Apparently

April 16, 2012


In Latin America I have had to spell my name out many, many times. I can honestly report that not a single time have the ten letters been transcribed correctly by the person on the other side – and that is when they actually try. Often they hand the pen or keyboard over to me […]

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Ingapirca – An Inca’s Face And Two Civilizations Living Together In Harmony

April 14, 2012

Inca Face

Ingapirca is a 66km/2.5 hour bus ride away from Cuenca. It’s a popular day trip for visitors as it gives some insight into the former inhabitants of this land, though many of the descendants of the Ingapirca builders still live in the surrounding areas. The pre-Columbian site was built on top of a previous Cañari settlement by […]

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I Am Off Balance

April 11, 2012

Yin And Yang

As I leave Baños I realized that I am off balance. I’m not in as good a mood as usual and something is just generally off. It didn’t help that in Baños I got sick again, battling giardia for the second time on this trip. But despite my illness, and despite the snafu in Lago […]

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Baños, Ecuador – Small Town, Nature, And Bathrooms

April 10, 2012


I decided to stop in Baños because it was about halfway between Lago Agrio and Cuenca. People had told me it was nice, and I found an opportunity to write a review for a hostel in exchange for accommodation. But I really didn’t care much for the town. When I arrived via the night bus […]

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Lago Agrio – The Amazing Amazon Experience That Didn’t Happen

April 9, 2012

Flinestones Park

The only thing I wanted to do in Ecuador was go to the Amazon and see the damage oil companies have inflicted on the indigenous people there. It’s a long-running court case dating back decades and, in my opinion, serves as a perfect microcosm of how our lack of balance in life and in nature […]

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The Green Ecuadoran Coast – Fun, Semi-Volunteering, And Awesome People

April 7, 2012

Atacames - Seashells On The Beach

Sua is a city with only three letters and I’ll always associate it with a word that has three letters: fun. I went to Sua to spend time with Jennifer, the awesome Peace Corps Volunteer who went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure I had a good time in what she calls […]

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Ayahuasca – My First (And Probably Only) Experience With A Hallucinogenic Plant

April 4, 2012

Waiting For Ayahuasca To Start Working

As I mentioned in the post about rappelling down a waterfall, I didn’t really know what was going on or what to expect that day. I’d say that summarizes relatively well my ayahuasca experience. Melissa, the Peace Corps volunteer who helped me get in with the Tsachilas, told me they do ayahuasca ceremonies. ayahuasca is […]

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How “Let’s Visit A Waterfall” Turned Into Me Rappelling Down A Waterfall

April 3, 2012

Rappelling Down The Waterfall

On my second day with the Tsachilas, they said we’d visit a waterfall. Well, they told me lots of other things as well, but I didn’t fully understand what they said. I just knew that we’d be meeting two other Americans and we’d be going to a waterfall. Upon leaving, they told me it would […]

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A Weekend With The Tsachilas – Indigenous, Spiritual, And Fellow Nomads

April 2, 2012

Tsachila Body Painting

The Tsachilas are a nomadic group of about 4000 indigenous people from Colombia. They are famous for the men dying their hair red to protect against yellow fever, the white and black skirt men wear, the colorful skirt women wear, and their body tattoos. The word Tsachila means “real people” and that’s a very appropriate […]

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Another Attempted Robbery – This Time In Ecuador

March 31, 2012

The Purse Cut Open

Yesterday I went out to see a few places with the lady I’m staying with here in Quito. We went to a couple monuments and used the Metro three times. At some point on the Metro, even though we were by each other and talking, someone cut open her purse to steal her wallet. You […]

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The Middle Of The World – The Equator

March 28, 2012

Me At The Equator

While in Quito I had the pleasure of visiting Mitad del Mundo/Middle of the World. It’s a mini-city constructed along the equator near Quito. By the way, Ecuador = Equator in Spanish. Getting there was relatively easy. I caught a bus from where I was staying to a bus station, and then I caught another […]

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Quito – Capital, Carnival, Cold, And Running Into Gandhi By Accident

March 27, 2012

Old Quito

Despite being on the equator, Quito is cold since it is 2800m/9240ft high. I really don’t like being cold and Quito was a reminder of this. Otherwise, Quito is a huge city and not a ton of touristy things to see or do. I think many people come to Quito since it’s where the main […]

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Colombia To Ecuador – A Famous Church, Counterfeit Money, And Drugs

March 21, 2012

Counterfeit $10 Bill

I left Pasto at 8am with a belly full of breakfast-in-bed awesomeness courtesy of my amazing couchsurfing host Ana. I caught a bus to Ipialas, a city ten minutes from the Ecuadorian border. But if you are in the area, you have to go to Las Lajas to see the church. This part of the […]

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Photo Friday – Make Coffee Not War – Cuenca, Ecuador

March 16, 2012

Make Coffee Not War - Taken 11-March-2012 - Cuenca, Ecuador

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