Category

Ecuador

Category

Well, if you read the Galapagos Islands Part I  then you know where we went, what we did, who we did it with, and what we did it to, so now I it’s time to go through some of the highlights, lowlights and dim but memorable lights, like the beam of a flashlight with old batteries, or the fading twinkle in an elderly actress’s eye.   *Updated*   Best Viewpoint   This was undoubtedly from the top of the hill on Bartolomé Island. Surrounded by a rocky, almost lunar, landscape of volcanic ash looking out over brilliant blue sea in all directions except the one scenically interrupted by the narrow spit of sand and trees leading to another peak, and off in the distance the larger island of Santiago and its endless moonscape of alternating flatness and stubby volcanoes.     It was even more exciting because of the way…

The Galapagos Islands! Part of Ecuador despite being located around a thousand kilometres off the coast, this isolated chain of volcanic islands are famous the world over for their vast variety of wildlife, much of it found nowhere else in the world. Facts that weren’t as well-known, at least within the two person travel planning battleground that is our marriage, were just how incredibly diverse and scenic the islands are, or how quickly and powerfully one’s rectum clenches when facing an underwater sea lion charge. All in good fun, its impish expression seemed to suggest, although its grace, speed and ominous whiskers at least allowed for the possibility of something more violent and unfortunate. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The time will come for stories of playful mammals, bumbling bird life and lusty tortoises. *Updated* For now I will start at the beginning: The Edén We had signed on…

Our last stop in Ecuador was the historic and famous highland city of Quito. Besides being surely one of the nicest cities in the world starting with the letter Q it is also interesting in that it sits at around 2,700 metres above sea level, making the temperatures cooler and the air thinner, and it sprawls for a huge distance from one end of a picturesque valley to the other – long, narrow and messy like a bag of trash that flies out of the back of a truck on the highway and bursts open in a small ditch. Not exactly how their tourist brochures describe it, yet apt all the same. We didn’t have much in the way of plans and had yet to work out the best Quito itinerary – check out the old town, get caught up on some fast food eats, maybe take a day trip…

Guayaquil Before we made it to wonderful Cuenca, we face the large crowds of casually outfitted weekenders in Guayaquil strolling leisurely down the malecón, soaking in the atmosphere and the faintly salty smell of the river. The fast flowing water is littered with branches and foliage, messy evidence of watery violence further inland. The modern cleanliness of the malecón contrasts sharply with the wild dirtiness of the water below but is nicely set off by the mixture of palm trees and occasional tepid pools. Restless families amble along, energetic children barely restrained by threats of retribution and withheld sweets, every man-made oddity along the way drawing their attention like moths to a flame, their grubby faces emblazoned with the remains of earlier ice cream and miniscule attention spans. McDonald’s flaunts its prime waterfront position proudly, showing no self-consciousness regarding its prime waterfront position or the stunning consistency of its over-salted…

Pin It