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Galapagos Islands- To cruise or not to cruise

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There are two ways to see the Galapagos islands, by organized cruise or independent travel island by island (or I guess a combo of both is possible). Almost everyone who goes does organized cruises, and trying to find information on…

Ecuador- A brief visit to the coast

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Having spent almost a year traveling Mexico and Central America, we have had our fill of beach time and since we left Colombia, our desire to be on the coast is minimal. So we debated if we would even visit…

Riding into Peru

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We get to the border late in the day and I check my watch while we work on paperwork and see its 4pm. Yikes. We were hoping to ride all the way to San Ignacio tonight just to get away…

Ecuador- The volcano adventures

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There is something very primal about volcanoes. They are massive, dangerous, unpredictable, beautiful and very exotic (to this California girl at least). We saw many volcanoes throughout Central America, but the ones in Ecuador took the whole volcano thing to…

The long last day in Ecuador

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Vilcabamba is the last place we stay in Ecuador, and it has been gorgeous. We’ve heard from friends who have gone on ahead of us that the road ahead, which is largely dirt to the Peruvian border, is a nightmare…

Northern Ecuador

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Leaving Colombia we both felt really sad, the same way we felt when we left Mexico. It was a country that was easy to fall in love with and we did not want to leave it, but we need to…

Vilcabamba, Ecuador

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We rode south from Cuenca on a weekday on one of the main highways, but not the PanAm. There’s virtually no traffic which is nice, and we spend most of a day getting from Cuenca to Loja and then on…

Cuenca, Ecuador

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My tourbook, as I think I may have already shared, lists 6 things as the absolute “must see” things of Ecuador…and among them is Cuenca, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was colonized by the Spanish in the 1550s and…

From Macas to Cuenca, Ecuador

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The ride from Macas to Cuenca that we choose takes us through a beautiful river valley and west on Route 45. It’s raining in the morning as we go for breakfast and then pack up, and we are told that’s…

Baños, Ecuador

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In my tourist guide book for South America there are highlights listed for each country. And while I try to visit some of them, it’s not always possible to get to see them all. There six places listed for Ecuador,…

A home away from home in Ecuador

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There’s an old Newfoundlander proverb (actually a few different places take credit for this one…) that says “There are no strangers in life, only friends you haven’t met yet.” And in my opinion, meeting people is the best part of…

Vulcan Chimborazo – Central Ecuador

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South of Quito there are two parallel chains of mountains that run north to south in Ecuador. When the German explorer Alexander von Humboldt visited this part of the world in 1802 he called this area the “Avenue of the…

The Road to Quilotoa

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Brian and I ride out of Quito bound for Lago Quilotoa. I’ve been hearing a lot about the hike and the great guys at Ecuador Freedom Bike in Quito highly recommended the ride from Quito to the small villages and…

Quito, Ecuador

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Quito is many things – the highest official capital city in the world as Ecuador’s capital, one of two cities (along with Krakow) whose historic central districts were named as the first UNESCO World Heritage sites back in 1978, home…

Northeastern Ecuador and Crossing the Equator

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On the first day in Ecuador we ride south on Highway 35 toward Cayambe. It’s a gorgeous day and the blue skies over Ecuador provide a beautiful contrast to the enormous valleys and mountains, great plains, and volcanoes.Late in…

Riding into Ecuador

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We leave our hotel in Ipiales early enough to run back out to Las Lajas and walk down to the church in the canyon….it’s just one of those places you can go back to again and again. And if I…

Zuleta, El Limonal en Otavalo (Gkes)

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Zuleta ten oosten van Otavalo doet ons denken aan het rustige, landelijke Polen van vijftien jaar geleden. We hebben deze omweg gekozen voor het prachtige borduurwerk dat hier gemaakt wordt. Lena is in haar nopjes met een mooi kleedje. Maar…

Dangerous Quito (Gkes)

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We rijden Quito in om Piet Wostyn, een Catapa oudgediende, te ontmoeten die sinds enkele maanden voor de UN werkt rond vrouwenrechten. We beslissen er een nachtje te blijven en op Piets aanraden –zeer terecht- bezoeken we de Kapel van…

Haciendas (Gkes)

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Haciendas hebben in Ecuador een bittere nasmaak. Eva van Inti Sisa vertelde ons dat de meeste van deze monumentale herenboerderijen in verval zijn. Pas in de jaren 1960 was er een grote landhervorming waarbij het feodaal systeem met traditionele grootgrondbezitters…