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Alan – ah Ecuador!

It’s the easiest country to stay healthy – even easier than here in the UK. Because of the mountains, they grow potatoes etc at altitude and rice and pineapples in the valleys – and everything in between. So there is always an array of wonderful fruits an vegetables. Plus, at altitude, you only have to walk down the street for your heart to work that little bit harder, so no need to think about exercise.

Bearing that in mind: the upper Amazon, while not easy to get to, is inspiring – I saw endangered Amazon otters last time, playing in the water alongside the canoe. And I’m going into the cloud forest on this trip, for the bird life.

The mountains are spectacular – I’m not sure how high I can go these days. And one always has to be a bit careful on volcanoes.

There’s a stunningly beautiful drive down the spine of the mountains – though, with the number of earthquakes, the road can be a bit interesting in places.

Cuenca is a lovely old colonial city – and, not far away, some amazing Inca ruins. Ecuador had a complex history before the Spanish came, and the collision of indigenous and Spanish culture is fascinating. Guayaquil is edgy – it has a history of piracy but has turned itself around and has a lovely riverfront now. Banos has thermal springs and waterfall.

I shall stay in a fishing village, with the Pacific Ocean rolling in and frigate birds wheeling overhead.

The market at Otavalo is awash with South American colour – I’m not a shopper but I have no doubt I’ll buy stuff there.

And Quito is interesting – plenty of old colonial buildings.

Having said all that – I am watching the news. There are riots at the moment, as the government has withdrawn fuel subsidies. Quito has been brought to a standstill and a lot of roads are blocked. I don’t go till January, so I’m crossing my fingers it will be sorted long before then.

@JoCarroll

Jo, I have never been to that part of the world and probably getting too old to get there now but what do you find so appealing about it compared with the many other destinations you have travelled to.
Alan

London

Gill – I’ll take any excuse to go back to Ecuador!

JoCarroll wrote:

JoCarroll
20:23 09-Oct-19
20

Gill – I don’t think daughter would let me take him yet – though how I wish she would. But I’m going back in the winter anyway – just to do a rece (as if I need an excuse to go the Ecuador).

Shame @JoCarroll but at least you’ll double your pleasure by first the planning and then the actuality!

Albox, Costa Almeria, Spain

Gill – I don’t think daughter would let me take him yet – though how I wish she would. But I’m going back in the winter anyway – just to do a rece (as if I need an excuse to go the Ecuador).

JoCarroll wrote:

oCarroll
11:31 11-Sep-19
17

Gill – Her eldest son was born in Venezuela – his father is Venezuelan – he’s now 12 – it’s clearly unsafe for him to return to Venezuela at the moment, but I’ve offered to help him explore his South American roots (can’t see him turning it down – he asked me for a globe for his birthday!). Though if he waits till he’s left university he might need a hoist to get me in and out of the canoes on the Amazon

I must have missed this response, @JoCarroll – what a wonderful adventure that would be for both
of you – go as soon as possible, tomorrow is not promised!

Albox, Costa Almeria, Spain

Gill – Her eldest son was born in Venezuela – his father is Venezuelan – he’s now 12 – it’s clearly unsafe for him to return to Venezuela at the moment, but I’ve offered to help him explore his South American roots (can’t see him turning it down – he asked me for a globe for his birthday!). Though if he waits till he’s left university he might need a hoist to get me in and out of the canoes on the Amazon!

JoCarroll wrote:

JoCarroll
17:53 10-Sep-19
15

Cruzeroqueen1 wrote:

it seems your daughter has also inherited your adventurous spirit, which is wonderful!

Indeed she has – though she’s now in the UK with 3 children, but I have no doubt she’ll pick up her rucksack again as soon as they are fledged!

And hopefully she’ll pass on the ‘wanderlust’ to them all, which will do more for their education than simple book learning (not that I’m disparaging that, of course!).

Albox, Costa Almeria, Spain

Cruzeroqueen1 wrote:

it seems your daughter has also inherited your adventurous spirit,
which is wonderful!

Indeed she has – though she’s now in the UK with 3 children, but I have no doubt she’ll pick up her rucksack again as soon as they are fledged!

JoCarroll wrote:

JoCarroll
11:17 10-Sep-19
13

It was certainly an interesting night, Gill – I was meant to be heading down the Orinoco later the next day, a trip organised by my daughter (she was teaching in Caracas at the time) and so I had to ring her to tell her where I was in the hope a guide could find me – it is, now, one of the family funny stories but even then Venezuela wasn’t hugely safe and she was horrified!

But you lived to tell the tale, @JoCarroll – and it seems your daughter has also inherited your adventurous spirit,
which is wonderful!

Albox, Costa Almeria, Spain
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