Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Ecuador Photos and Videos Posted!

As Karla and I wile away our days here in Baños de Agua Santa, we've been able to take advantage of the persistent wireless connection at our hostel to upload the backlog of photos and videos (more or less).  In chronological order, here they are...

Complete Galapagos Highlights

Santa Cruz - Puerto Ayora - Lava Lizard #2These photos and videos consist of what we consider to be the pictorial and video highlights from our nine days in the Galapagos Islands, chronicling the 5 days we spent aboard the Galaven II tourist class yacht visiting various islands, the 2 days on land in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, and our last 2 days on land in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristóbal Island.

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Guayaquil Reprise

DSC06388We flew back from the Galapagos to Guayaquil and spent a couple of days recovering and planning out next move.  During this time, we visited Urdessa Norte, where Karla's family lived before she was born, and where her brother purportedly swam in the creek we've pictured (we can only assume it was just as polluted back in the mid-70s...).

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To the Beach: Bahía de Caráquez and Canoa

DSC06396From Guayaquil, we headed up the coast to Manabí province, spending a couple of days in the seeming ghost town of Bahía de Caráquez before crossing the river and catching a bus to Canoa, a laid back beach party surfer town on the edge of the transition between tropical dry and tropical rain forest.

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To the Farm: Río Muchacho Organic Farm

DSC06421In Canoa, we arranged a five day tour of  the Río Muchacho Organic Farm, located several miles inland and northeast, still in that transition zone between the climates.  The farm is a working model of sustainable organic agriculture and permaculture in the Ecuadorian tropics, hoping to educate locals in the benefits of farming sustainable, local crops without the use of pesticides.  The farm also functions as an experiment for ideas in permaculture, featuring dry composting toilets that turn human waste into compost, a bio-digester that transforms pig manure into methane gas and liquid and dry fertilizers, and many other interesting ideas.  While at the farm, we also delved into the local community and culture, making traditional food, roasting chocolate beans, riding horses, seeing howler monkeys...

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Back to Quito

Artwork at an Exhibition at Ichimbia in QuitoAfter our visit to the farm, we decided to head back to Quito, spurred on because we couldn't find a room for the weekend in Canoa due to everything being booked up for the school holidays.  Back in Quito, we spent several days relaxing and getting to the know the city again, and spent a day hanging out back at Itchimbia park, where we were lucky enough to catch an exposition of Ecuadorian artists.

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Baños de Agua Santa

DSC06583Finally, we decided to head south/southeast to Baños de Agua Santa, a three-and-a-half hour bus ride from Quito, and a town nestled in a valley carved out by volcanoes and the Pastaza river.  Thermal baths, massage therapy, hiking, decent food, and a small town... We decided to stick around for a while and have a vacation from our adventure, relaxing and spending time exploring and writing.  We've hiked several trails and glimpses the still-active Tungurahua volcano through cloud cover, went the hot thermal baths, and even had relaxing deep-tissue massages (thanks Anna).  We've also spent time just hanging out and writing.

View Baños de Agua Santa Photos and Vidoes »

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