Weekly Photo Challenge: Zig Zag


The Weekly Photo Challenge is Zig Zag.

Unexpected turns zig zagging through the city of Quito, Ecuador led us to a unique and surprising basilica. Also known as “La Basilica,” “Catedral Consagración de Jesús” or “The Basílica de San Juan,” it is the largest of the neo-gothic basilicas in the Americas.

Still unfinished, the residents of Quito believe that the day the basilica is completed, the world will end. The urban apocalyptic legend exemplifies the intrigue of this church, which comes from its neo-gothic architectural style and art display.

Zig zagging and meandering around every crevice and corner, armadillos, turtles, dragons, birds, iguanas, monkeys, and caymans, illustrate in a not so humble way, this apocalyptic legend.

Do these stone monkeys’ irregular stances seem to invite welcome in the passerby or ward off evil?

IMG_2437 Lots more unusual photos of the strange creatures zig zagging around the basilica.

Show Me Them Boobies!


Did I get your attention? I love Blue-Footed Boobies! A bumpy hour boat ride off the coast of Puerto López, Ecuador ushered us to the isolated Isla de Plata, known as the poor man’s Galápagos or Silver Island because of the large deposits of guano that stain its dark cliffs. Some say that the uninhabited island derived its name from the centuries-old buried treasure of Sir Francis Drake.

Indeed, there is treasure to be discovered here, but not in the way you would presume.  Take a walk with me . Let’s see if we can spot some Blue-Footed Boobies…my favorite comical birds.

A sea turtle greets us. I think he’s saying, “Welcome to Isla de la Plata.”
IMG_3156 Wait! Don’t leave yet. Boobies ahead.

Travel Theme: Let it Shine…Let it Shine


“Oh, please let the sun shine! Just for one hour! ” I repeatedly chanted the entire month in Ecuador. This week’s travel theme is shine. Substituting other memorable shining moments, I present…..Shine!

“It’s hard to be a bright light in a dim world.” ― Gary Starta

A cathedral in Quito, Ecuador.
IMG_2456
“I stood alone beneath the stars and shouted to the heavens at the top of my lungs and what was so beautiful was the way the stars shined when the sky swallowed your name.”― Testy McTesterson
Shine on. Read more.

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.

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.

In Perpetual Motion


When you’re on the road a lot, you’re in perpetual search of a good night’s sleep. ~Artie Lange

Traveling is exhausting! Lugging heavy backpacks… running for buses gearing up to leave the station…checking and rechecking passports (Are you sure you put our passports in your waist pocket?)…haggling for a cheaper taxi…always searching for a bathroom, then when you find the bathroom, you realize that you forgot to put toilet paper and hand sanitizer in your pocket…it’s like being in perpetual motion physically and mentally.

A never-ending succession of planes, buses, boats, taxis, and trains…always searching for a hostel that has wi-fi so you can check schedules or use google translate to say “My backpack fell off the bus. How do I find it?” (Yes! That really happened!)

In Quito, Ecuador there was a freak hailstorm. Hail the size of marbles blanketed the steep streets with a slippery layer of ice. We were waiting for a taxi with only umbrellas for protection.
IMG_2720 Always on the move.Read more.