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Reflections: An Ecuadorian Journal
Galapagos Islands: Watercolor by Kathleen Franklin
Kathleen and Jacqueline’s Excellent Adventure...All Things Ecuador...El Medio del Mundo...How do I title a 3 in 1 trip that was so much more than either of us expected?
How do I describe three weeks of breathtaking biodiversity, sumptuous soups, mouthwatering tropical fruit, adventures in transportation, engaging conversations with informative and inquisitive local Ecuadorian guides, rich history and abundant wildlife, lots of laughter with my travel friend and fellow artist Kathleen, myriad amazing paintable …
The Andes Highlands
It is amazing to me how much we packed into a 3 day tour of the Otavalo Valley area a couple of hours north of Quito. I loved that we had Luis, our guide, and Carlitos, our driver, completely to ourselves in the Adventure Life van. The flexibility we had to be spontaneous was amazing. ''Please stop, I want a picture!'' And with a visit to the …
Our days were characterized by 9 am pick-ups (how civilized!) and drives through the countryside to towns and sites of interest. We hit all the suggested shopping and tourist locations in the guide books: wood carvings, weavings, leather work, marzipan, the Otavalo Market, volcano views and lakes. . . I liked simply sightseeing from the van. I …
Rosita's Ice Cream parlor in Ibarra!
When Luis was a child his father would load the family up for a Sunday drive to the Otavalo Valley from their Quito home, and take the family to Rosita's. Luis's father said Rosita made the best ice cream and WOW. It's sorbet-like and the flavors are tropical fruits I'd never heard of. Three of us went in and ordered two scoops each of …
I really wanted to see the Otavalo Market, and I was concerned that we were going to see it on Wednesday instead of Saturday, the ''big'' market day. We missed the animal market by not going on Saturday, but there were so few tourists on Wednesday I am now super glad we did not go on Saturday. We actually had time to really look at the wares. I …
El Medio del Mundo
A stop at the Equator Monument outside of Quito was not in Luis's plans, but I was nuts about standing on the equator so he and Carlitos made it happen. We arrived at 4 p.m. in time to get a monument guide to take us through the outdoor exhibits on the equator and the sun, and to be delighted by equatorial science experiments. I successfully …
Kapawi Lodge was the first ecotourism lodge in Ecuador. When we told Ecuadorians we were going to Kapawi Lodge they gave us a second-and approving-- look. It is famous in their country because it is a partnership between the indigenous Achuar people and ''modern'' Ecuadorians and foreigners. 37 years ago when Achuar people first had contact …
Kayaking into a lagoon off the Napo River
Yeah. . . I could have hung out in the hammock on our wonderful lanai all day painting and bird watching. . .but I roused myself to
-Go out at night in the motorized canoe to spotlight for caiman, the local alligators. We saw one HUGE caiman lounging on a sandbar. WOW
-Go on nature hikes through the rain forest in my lodge-provided rubber …
The Galapagos Islands
I have wanted to visit the Galapagos Islands since I was a little girl. I knew I wanted to spend the maximum amount of time in the islands that my budget would allow on a small boat with few passengers. It did not take long as I researched my trip to figure out I wanted a boat that accepted 12 to 16 passengers max, went out for 8 days without …
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