Ecuador & Galapagos Welcomes Ed and Earlene
Looking for some fun, excitement, history and adventure? You’ll find all four…’n more…in Ecuador! Our three-week exploratory/study tour to Ecuador (December 29, 2009 to January 19, 2010) was truly interesting and informational. We met and talked with fascinating people… sponsor group included participants from USA, England, Australia and Canada at four 3-hour Improved Living Course sessions.
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We visited and photographed many locations from the northern border with Colombia, south along the Andes Mountains via Ibarra, Cotacachi, Otavalo, Mindo Village Cloud Forest, Quito, Ambato, active volcano near Banos, Riobamba, Alausi, Devil’s Nose train excursion, Ingapirca (Inca ruins), Cuenca, Chardeleg, to near the southern border with Peru.
Our itinerary included a regular Saturday “livestock exchange” (similar to a Navajo Indian Pow Wow), vegetable market and colorful handicraft vendors… the talented leather craftsmen, gold and silver artisans and remarkable world-renowned “PANAMA HAT” weaving, shaping and design operations… small mountain farms tilled with plows pulled by oxen… little rural villages with “ready-to-eat” hogs, chickens and guinea pigs displayed along the roadside.
We made a stopover in Guayaquil en route to the Galapagos Islands, 600 miles off the Pacific coast. An eight-day yacht cruise of Galapagos included giant tortoises, mating sea turtles, colorful, curious iguanas, acres of seals and sea lions, miniature penguins, sharks, whales, flamingos, albatrosses, and 1,633 varieties of other birds… towering cactus trees, mescal, volcano tubes, caves and craters… an enjoyable study tour of the Charles Darwin Center, plant and animal research and indigenous evolutionary development review.
Flight travel then to Coca, at the edge of Ecuadoran Amazon region, commonly known as “El Oriente,” followed by antique bus travel to the banks of lower Napo River, a major tributary to the Amazon River, then we navigated 3 hours down river in a large outboard canoe-type boat into the Amazon jungle. From there a humid, adventurous two-mile hike through the jungle to a picturesque swamp-lagoon where we then got into small canoes and paddled our way across an isolated, mirror-smooth lake to the picture-perfect SACHA LODGE with 26 thatched-roof cabins on stilts with hammocks and modern conveniences, flushing toilets, hot showers and ceiling fans… among wild fauna, butterflies, toucans, agoutis and monkeys.
In addition to our interactive educational sessions, international cultural and political exchanges, we recorded over 500 photographs, a few of which are shown here. People all around the world are similar in so many ways… once you get to know them… they are friendly and hospitable… working to make a decent life for themselves and their families… and open to learning “How to Make Every Day A Terrific Day!”
LIFE is GOOOD! The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play. SUCCESS is loving life… and DARING to live it!