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Month: November, 2018

Cotopaxi

Our final hike of the trip is up to the Cotopaxi Refuge, which more serious trekkers use as their kicking off point to climb Cotopaxi, one of the world’s highest volcanoes at over 19,000 feet.  Superficially, we aren’t too worried about the hike as it’s about 2 kilometers long and about 1000 feet up; however, […]

Ponchos and chaps

Atop our horses, them wearing saddles, us wearing ponchos and chaps, we set off towards Cotopaxi Volcano.  The fog has fully settled and visibility isn’t much more than 50 feet.  Just when leaving the stable, we spot an owl resting on a post swiveling its head to follow us as we pass.  The scene is […]

Swing at the end of the world

Mora, mint, gooseberries, and babaco

We are generally strong hikers, or so we like to think, but on this trek we held a consistent spot in the back of the pack. The destination was the journey, and we were in no rush to leave the trail behind us. We were on a two-day hike through the Llanganates National Park, dressed […]

Chasing waterfalls

The city of Banos, Ecuador is known for its thrills, including some that just seem silly and nauseating like putting yourself in a ball that rocks like a pendulum while spinning.  From the menu of activities, Lindsey and I choose canyoning not fully knowing what to expect yet still having confidence we’d love it.  And […]

Inspirational species diversity

Coming to Ecuador inspired me to read Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.  And at the end of his argument that evolution takes place through a process called natural selection, he writes: “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms […]

Jorge de la selva y el Rio Napo

The views from the Napo River are of the same jungle we trekked through yesterday, but this new perspective makes them seem even wilder.  The species of trees and plants easily number in the tens of thousands, and the texture that such diversity paints along the banks of the river is other worldly.  At times […]

Shimmying with vipers and bats

To set the scene, our first full day in Ecuador is in the Napo Province on the edge of the Amazon jungle. Pushing away Jurassic leaves, we walk over rooted rocky paths through a humid rain forest where we hear the sounds of water overhead but because of a dense canopy, none is really felt.  […]