Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
All is well.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Monday, December 20, 2010
Patricia and Andy
Monday, November 22, 2010
All is well.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Turns out the epicenter of the 6.9 quake was about 170 miles northeast of Cuenca. It was about 115 miles underground and occured in the amazon jungle region of the country - are area that is not heavily populated.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
A major specialty in Ecuador is Cuy, which is guinea pig. (Sorry to our friends’ children who have them as pets.) They get the name from the sound they make when they are alive. With much nerve and help from our friend Chris we endeavored to have the experience of eating one. When they are on the rotisserie they are much bigger than you would imagine and have a much pointier nose than you would expect. It wasn’t bad (says PF), the skin was nice and crispy and the meat, while not a lot of it, was dark and moist. No, it did not taste like chicken, much too gamey to be compared with our little hen friends. I would eat it again but Andy would not.
My (PF) very favorite food so far is also a very popular dish. On the lines of street food, it is called Chancho al Horno - roasted pig. The meat is delicate and succulent with a wonderful roasted flavor. It is sooooo good. It is usually served with what are called llapingachos, which are potato cakes. No, not the kind that are served with sour cream and applesauce on Chanukah but these are thick and fluffy and absolutely out of this world.
I (PF) am beginning to think that the Andean people invented carbo-loading. Every meal, except breakfast is served with at least a double starch. Rice and potatoes mostly, sometimes with corn as well. I was told that this dates back to the time, when to get anywhere the Andean people had to walk so they loaded up on carbs before they made the trek. Sometimes we will even get rice with our pasta, too.
Here are a couple pictures of cuy on the rotisserie and chanco al horno.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Also in Mindo, we went to a place that breeds butterflies. They were beautiful (link below). I fed them with a little mashed banana. One stayed on my hand for approximately fifteen minutes. The guide said the normal time people spend there is twenty minutes. We were there for over an hour and only left so we could catch our bus.
We stayed in a lovely hostel with good food and accommodation. Also, we discovered some yummy chocolate that is made only in Mindo. We didn’t buy enough.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
When I read there is a “greenish” beach on Floreana I was skeptical and thought the guide book was exaggerating the real appearance. But when we landed on the island that morning I could clearly see large sections of green sand. Patricia sifted through the grains and found crystals of the mineral olivine that give it a green hue. (She has a few in her hand in the last picture (link below)).
(Copy and paste the link.)
Thursday, July 8, 2010
The iguanas on Española were amazing. It was our first encounter with the blue-footed boobies. Now I know what all the fuss is about. We were there when they were nesting. It was spectacular to be able to witness the mating rituals and the nesting. (You many need to copy and paste the link.)
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
We returned from the Galápagos at the beginning of July. There are 12 major and 12 minor islands in the archipelago. It is more than 600 miles off the coast of
Thursday, June 24, 2010
In addition to the $1.00 coins there are nickels, dimes, quarters and $.50 pieces that are made by the Banco Central de Ecuador and differ from those minted in the US. Although they are the same value as in the US they don’t look the same. The language on the coins is Spanish, the people depicted are famous people in Ecuadorian history and the coins are lighter. Even though they only coins we’re continually surprised by what they can buy. For example:
Trolley ride (a double bus with a dedicated lane for about 20 stops) - $0.25
Shoe/boot shine $0.50
Water (1.3/gal) - $0.90
Call to the US $0.05/min
Internet - $0.80/hour
Breakfast at the local bread store (scrambled eggs with ham, croissant with cheese, juice and tea or coffee - $1.50
Various fresh juices <$1.00
Cappucino - $1.71
Haircut, beard trim, and hair wash - $3.00
Laundry 4.5/kilo - $5.40
Homestay with 3 meals/day, room and laundry 1 time / week - $18/person
In general, Quito has been inexpensive for the past month. Next we’ll travel to the Galapagos (5/28/10) then to Cuenca for another homestay and more Spanish classes.
Friday, June 18, 2010
The smaller field is OK because we play in a park that is full of games, mostly soccer. I imagine the players are inspired by the World Cup games. My Spanish teacher, Luis, and I enjoy taking a break from class to turn on the TV in our classroom to check the score. I have never enjoyed the World Cup as much as I am this year.
Cheers, may the best team win.
Andy and Patricia
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Most of the pictures are from the market in Otavalo about 2 hours north of Quito (by car). It´s famous for its textiles, which are as varied as the nearby villages and towns. The food was fascinating as well.
There are photos from lake Cuicocha, a crater lake. We rode a boat about 15 minutes to see bubbles rising to the top from hot volcanic activity more than 600 feet below the surface.
Copy and paste the link:
Friday, June 11, 2010
Patricia managed to stand a (raw) egg on top of the head of a nail directly over the equator. The neutral gravitational forces pulled it down evenly on all sides.
The museum was fun. But the $0.40 1-hour bus ride also deserves a couple lines. On the way there one guy who entered, gave a sales pitch and tried to sell key chains to the passengers. He didn´t have many takers. A little later a couple kids got on. One stood in the front and the other in the back and they sang. Sometimes together, sometimes only the one in front and other times only the one in the back. We gave them some coins. Then on the way back we had a couple comedians ride part way with us. With one if the front of the bus and the other in the back they got most everyone to smile at one of their jokes. We also gave them coins.
It was a fun day.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Tomorrow we'll move from our very comfortable hotel to live with the Herrera family
Sunday we'll climb part of volcano Cotopaxi. It's about 1.5 hours south of Quito. Tungurahua volcano, the one that erupted on Fri (5/28) morning, is yet another 1.5 hours south of Cotopaxi.
All is well
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Andy and Patricia
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Friday, May 14, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
One of the hardest things about preparing for this trip is saying goodbye to Mio, our cat and packing our house.
Mio We're looking for a foster family or for someone to adopt him. He's an 11-year old short- haired neutered male. He's a very lovable, affectionate indoor-outdoor cat. Email (email@example.com) or call (916-541-4188) if you want to meet him or know of someone who might.
Our home is for rent: It's on craigslist at the link below http://sacramento.craigslist.org/apa/1729950279.html.