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First Taste of South America - Ecuador Adventures \ Photos

Up, up, and away! The view from my flight out of Atlanta to Quito
Feeling grounded half-way between my million flights
A beautiful array of desserts awaited me at the Wyndham Quito Airport hotel
Street wandering in old city Quito
Roses - one of Ecuador's main exports
Pulalahua Volcano - visit on a full day city tour
Pulalahua - a dormant volcano turned agricultural area
At the very center of the world
The Virgin of Panecillo Hill
The Virgin and volcanos
A view of Quito city
Hotel room at Casa Gangotena
View from room at Casa Gangotena
Pre-departure packet
Street art in Coca
Guide Valeria pointing out our route to the lodge
Loading up on the motorized canoe
Valeria orienting us for the ride down the Napo
Arriving at the Sacha Lodge "turn-off"
Boardwalk to our next canoe ride
Canoe ride number two
Paddling up the canal to our final destination
Sacha across the lake
The main lodge
Boardwalks to keep your feet dry
Boardwalk to my cabin
Hotel room at Sacha Lodge
Hotel room at Sacha Lodge, view 2
Best indoor/outdoor shower ever!
The Chosa, where we planned our excursions with guides Valeria and Jerry
On our first exploration with Native Guide, Jerry, and Naturalist Guide, Valeria
Spotting birds from the Kapok Tree stand
Quite a view from the Kapok Tree
Monkey species 1 of 5 spotted in the jungle.
Practicing blow guns at the cultural center
Sharing some jungle delicacies
About to try some grubs
Yum! Grubs!
Another great place to spot wildlife from the Canopy Walk
Saying goodbye to our great guides, Jerry and Valeria
Jurassic Park? No - Welcome to Mashpi Lodge
In the main entrance, find out what activities are offered and where they’re located on the topographic map
The excursion orientation room at Mashpi Lodge
Incredible views from the Mashpi dining room
My hotel room at Mashpi Lodge
This is why they call it the cloudforest
Boots and waterfall
Take a ride on the Dragonfly!
Exploring the Mashpi Reserve
Learning from our guide, Nixon
Checking out just one of many view spots around Mashpi
There are always clouds rising from the mountains around Mashpi
Mashpi Lodge nestled in the forest
VIP Welcome center in Baltra
Saying hi to the neighbors one tent over
Galapagos Safari Camp tent
Coffee station inside Safari Camp tent
Perfect place to have morning coffee
Infinity pool to cool off after exploring the Galapagos
Not too many places you’ll find this sign
Traffic jam
First stop at a reserve, with some unexpected treasures
About to enter the lava tunnel
In the middle of the tunne, we found some tea and cookies
On the other side of the tunnel, we found a dinosaur - first giant tortoise spotted!
Majestic blue footed booby
Blue footed boobies in real life!
Only about 200 flamingos in the Galapagos, and I saw 2 of them! Along with an iguana
Spot the iguana!
Most colorful crabs ever, popping against the lava rocks
Stoke level high on the zodiac to our next excursion
Sea lion, keeping boats in line
Our first album cover photo, enjoying the day’s exploration
Exploring on North Seymour
Booby mid-fancy dance vying for some affection
I saw some boobies!
Welcome to Hacienda Zuleta!
Colorful colonnade
A view out on Zuleta’s stables
One of the many cozy corners around Zuleta
Checking out the array of historical books and objects around the hacienda
Fresh roses everywhere!
The gathering spot for our group each evening
Decor is an incredible mix of family heirlooms and modern works of art
Zuleta’s owner, Fernando, telling the history of some choice items around the hacienda
Prepping the horses for an excursion!
Me and my pony
Making friends with one of the horses
Riding on the way to the condor rescue center
Horses get a rest while we visit with the condors
Getting a picnic lunch set up, complete with Zuleta cheese
Ibarra region views
Debriefing our day’s adventures around the Zuleta-made cheese plate
A beautiful array of cheese made right here at Zuleta! (And found all over Ecuador)
Embroidery is an significant part of local life in Ibarra
Llamas grazing in the courtyard
“Como se llama, llama?”
Embroidery lessons on are just one of the many cultural experieces at Zuleta
Fine-tuning our technique
Is there a better way to spend the rainy last day of vacation than with a good book by the fire?
Muchas gracias, Ecuador!

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