Weekly Photo Challenge: Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place


I’m caught between a rock and a hard place with this weekly photo challenge.

Maybe he’s having a difficult time reading between the lines?
IMG_4648 You don’t have to read between the lines. More pictures follow.

Off the Island: Tasting Flight


“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”― Leonardo da Vinci

 

How true! I love flying. When I was a teenager, I took flying lessons. I regret that I didn’t finish my lessons because we had to make an emergency landing near a corn field. Scared me to death! I’ll leave the piloting in the hands of a fearless and competent person.

But, now that our new La Paloma airport is open, I am thrilled to share photos of my inaugural flight Off the Island: Tasting Flight.

I could have walked to our new airport, but it was a very hot day, so Ron delivered me to the custom’s house on our moto.
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Want to see more? Keep reading.

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Little Something Extra


This morning I had to make a quick trip to the mainland to get our new puppy his serum vaccines. Boarding the Estrella ferry, I always notice a little something extra on the deck in addition to passengers. Usually there are bags of live chickens, buckets of cooking oil, heavily tied feed sacks containing mysterious things that bump and wiggle inside the sacks, and tattered boxes containing who knows what.

Today, I encountered a little something extra…coffins! Twenty of them surrounding the deck of the Estrella. Now, I don’t know whether there was an epidemic at the Rivas hospital and the coffins contained contents I’d rather not think about, or the coffins were empty and sailing to Ometepe because of an epidemic on our island. Either way, it kind of freaked me! There’s always a little something extra, usually odd and bizarre, when traveling the sweet sea.

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The Workers of Ecuador


“No society has any right to forget its workers, because they are the real heroes of the society!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

 

Toil…labor…exertion…effort…industry…service. We all work. We burn the candle at both ends…go the extra mile…pull our own weight…buckle down to the task at hand. The workers in Ecuador are no exception.

In the beautiful parks throughout Ecuador they sweep…cook…paint…guide…sell delicious fruit juices…and entertain.

More workers ahead. Keep reading.

The Last Straw!


IMG_2980Who knew? Panama hats, woven from the straw of the toquilla plant, are from Ecuador! In Ecuador they don’t call them Panamas. They call them sombreros de paja toquilla. The origin of this misnomer comes from the hat’s widespread use by the workers who built the Panama Canal  from 1904-1914.

Watch the whole hat making process.Read on.

House Sitter Haven


IMG_3589We were very fortunate to find Max and Alize to housesit for us when we traveled for a month through Ecuador. Max is from Canada and Alize is from Belgium. They were housesitting in Leon, Nicaragua and posted on a Facebook page for expats in Nicaragua that they were looking for a housesitting gig for a month. They’ve been on the road four years, working online to provide income for their travels.

Keep reading.More tips on choosing housesitters.

The Grand Opening of our La Paloma Airport


“All journeys eventually end in the same place, home.” ― Chris Geiger

I’ve taken pictures of our La Paloma airport strip on Ometepe Island for over ten years (See the links below). It came as no surprise when we were traveling through Ecuador, that I received a notice that our new airport opened. It was finished in 2012. We waited so long, we actually forgot about it, even though it is located two properties away from our house. That’s Nicaragua!

Can someone please post pictures of the grand opening for me? I posted on Facebook. Sadly, no one except for important dignitaries from Managua and Ometepe Island were invited. Our house sitters heard the party, but they thought it was a religious parade. That’s Nicaragua!

Not to be left behind, I’m flying out of our new airport to Managua next Sunday. From Managua, I’m flying to the states for my mother’s birthday. When I return, I’ll fly from Managua back to Ometepe Island and walk home with my backpack. Convenience at its best.

photo by La Prensa

photo by La Prensa

Keep reading. Want to fly with me?

Travel Theme: Unexpected


The Weekly Travel Theme from Where’s My Backpack? is Unexpected. Let’s face it! Seasoned travelers have learned… sometimes the hard way… to expect the unexpected.  Our month-long trip through Ecuador was no exception.

We had just arrived in Quito,Ecuador via Costa Rica, when I received an email from a friend: You need to check the law for returning to Costa Rica from Ecuador. They won’t let you board the plane without proof of a yellow fever vaccination and it has to be dated at least ten days before you board the plane.

Oh, no! We weren’t expecting to be in a high risk area, but what if this was true? I really didn’t want to get the yellow fever vaccination because I was afraid of getting sick, having a bad reaction, or ruining our trip. Our last day in Quito, we decided to go to the hospital and suck-it-up! After waiting in the vaccination line, the nurse asked, “How old are you?” This was one case…probably the only one… where we were rewarded for our age. “You are too old for the shots, and the risk is too great,” the lovely nurse said. Instead, she filled out the information and handed us the certificates all for free!!!

our vaccination certificate copy

Don’t stop, yet! More unexpected surprises are on the next page.

Weekly Photo Challenge: There’s Always Room for More!


The Weekly Photo Challenge is Room. In Ecuador, there is always room for one more.

Don’t be a pig! There’s room for one more in the food court market in Octavalo, Ecuador.
IMG_2545 Don’t leave yet! There’s room for more!

Let’s Get Physical in Ecuador


“A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Many things impressed us about Ecuador, but the exercise initiative was probably the most inspiring. Ecuador encourages fitness for fun…exercise without exhaustion…plenty of play…and cardiovascular conditioning.

 Let’s get physical in Ecuador!

Ron’s professional career revolved around physical fitness and swimming.  Our travels throughout the world, always took us to a swimming pool, where Ron could inspect their facilities and talk with a swim coach.  It’s one of his favorite hobbies.  Quito, Ecuador was no exception. We visited the public pool and, of course, Ron had to find the director of the facility to discuss their swimming programs.
IMG_2424 More Let’s get physical in Ecuador! Keep reading.