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Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador
We are from Connecticut originally and have most recently lived in North Carolina, USA. We are starting a new life in South America so our retirement $'s will go farther toward a new way of life and a new adventure.Prior to June of 2010 we never thought a move such as this would be possible or advantageous for us. And, that is why we call this blog "Retirement: Plan B" We intend to see and do as much as possible in our retirement. Spend quality time with family, friends and each other.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

By popular demand

  Ok the popular demand is really just my daughter, Lisa, telling me it's been too long since I updated the blog. So Lisa, here are the pictures from our trip.
This first picture is from the bus window while on our way to Quito. The bus trip from Cuenca is about  9 hrs. The scenery is terrific and we got to see what it is like to ride the bus but it is a long ride.We saved a lot of money by taking the bus. It is only $14 per person vs. something like $70 per person to fly. In the future I think the bus ride will be at night for us so we can sleep a good bit of the way. We didn't feel as though the driving was unsafe and as a matter of fact the bus coming back was frustratingly slow. We didn't have to worry about going hungry on the day bus because vendors got on every once in a while to sell fruit, baked goods and even ice cream. 
This is Garth and Orilla, our travelling companions. We enjoyed their company and had a lot of laughs together. In this picture they are standing on the "equator" at the tourist attraction "Mitad Del Mundo".
It was an enjoyable couple of hours just outside of Quito. Although, this is a tourist attraction it wasn't a total ripoff as so many places are. The prices of souvenirs and food were reasonable and there are several exhibits worth seeing.

  We signed up for a tour to an overlook of a volcano and the crater where people are living in the shadow of the volcano. Our guide Fernando, has been going to this place for 20 years but it was very apparent that time has not dulled his enthusiasm for this spot. In the picture I am standing on a ledge overlooking the crater 400 meters below ( about 1200 feet) the land is being farmed and is very fertile because of the volcano and the accumulation of clouds keeping the land moist. The people living below have water but not electricity and have to walk a switch back trail 2000 meters to come up from the crater floor to take their goods to market. Fernando says there are people 70, 80 and 90 years old walking the trail. Fernando is attempting to buy land in the crater inspite of the fact the gov't has found signs of activity in the volcano. Good luck Fernando.
This is the trail out of the crater. The picture really doesn't show how difficult the climb out would be.
This is Joan as we rode in a gondola to an overlook of Quito the capital city of Ecuador. 
A small portion of that little city of Quito. The camera doesn't have a wide enough angle to capture it all.
From Quito we went by bus to Mindo about a 2hr. ride  (about $2 each) We stayed at the Bio Hostal. The outside is not indicative of the inside. It wasn't a bad place at all 
We hiked to waterfalls. Why do they always have to be a long hike down and a hard climb up?

We visited a butterfly farm. Mindo is known for the birds, butterflies and flowers in the area. The lady above is pointing out the stages of butterfly growth.

This is the area of the farm where we got to walk around among the butterflies and the garden.
How do you tell a male butterfly from a female? I guess we need to ask Joan

Then it was on to the Otavalo outdoor market one of the largest craft markets in Ecuador. This is where we got to practice our bargaining skills. It is not, of course a simple matter of asking how much and then either buying or moving on. There is a process that is expected and appreciated. Below is just a few pictures of some of the things sold at the market.

It was a good trip all traveling done by bus. Quite a bit different from the trips we have taken in the past. I am adding one final picture of our traveling companion, Garth.
Oh, you Canadians are such fashion experts.
Garth and Orilla thanks for being such good travelling companions.


  1. Nice to see pics. of Garth and Orilla from Canada.
    I am from Canada and communicated with them a couple times about moving to Ecuador. I am moving from Alberta to Ec next month

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