Browsed by
Month: February 2012

Visit to the Equator, where strange things happen.

Visit to the Equator, where strange things happen.

Today, our guide Paul took us to the famed monument on the Equator, a place where locals call it “Middle of the Earth”. We first visited a small museum dedicated to the Equator where we experienced few “mysterious” effects of being at the latitude 0 deg 00′ 00″. We first learned about a group of French scientists who arrived here in 1700’s and conducted calculations as to where exactly is the equatorial line. They came quite close, but some 30…

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Farewell to Galapagos

Farewell to Galapagos

On our last day in Galapagos we got a quick tour of some attractions in the highlands, accompanied by Maria Elena, a local guide. We visited a farm in the highlands where giant tortoises come and go to feed and hang out. Here they co-exist with humans and domestic animals. They are not in captivity but rather able to roam freely as they have for thousands of years before the humans arrived. They can live over hundred years and weigh…

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Visiting with iguanas and a high-five from a blue footed booby.

Visiting with iguanas and a high-five from a blue footed booby.

On our third day in Puerto Ayora we took another boat trip this time to Isla Isabela. We departed at 7 am in a perfect weather for navigation. The sea was calm and no clouds in the sky. As we glided across the waters of the archipelago I sat on the front of the boat, mesmerized by the ocean and the flying fish jumping out of the water. After two and a half hours and passing some smaller islands we…

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Isla Santa Cruz and Floreana

Isla Santa Cruz and Floreana

We landed in Galapagos yesterday at about 10 am local time after 1hr and 40 min flight from Guayaquil. The islands are about 600 miles west of the mainland Ecuador and one hour ahead. It’s hot and humid, big difference from Quito where we stayed at the elevation of 2800 m above sea level. We are staying on Isla Santa Cruz in Puerto Ayora for the three nights and taking day trips. The first afternoon we took a short trip…

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Llamas, volcanoes and Papallacta hot springs.

Llamas, volcanoes and Papallacta hot springs.

We finally arrived late in Quito last night at about 11 pm. Our guide Paul was waiting for us and took us to hacienda Rumi Loma on the outskirts of Quito where we spent the night. After a very comfortable night and much needed sleep we got picked up in the morning by Paul and headed out for a full first day in Ecuador. We crossed this hilly city with some delays due to congestion but finally reached green mountains…

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We are off to South America again!

We are off to South America again!

Analia and I are excited to be traveling again to South America. This time our itinerary will take us to Ecuador, Galapagos Islands and later Analia will travel solo to Peru for a convention. Getting up this morning at an ungodly hour of 2 am, the share ride van picked us up at 3 and we headed for LAX. It was a very pleasant ride at that time of the night. Now we are waiting in Miami international airport for…

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Flags of South America part 8 – Ecuador.

Flags of South America part 8 – Ecuador.

This is one of the most exciting countries on the South American continent with rich biodiversity, culture and exotic landscapes. With its origins as the northern reaches of Inca Empire, through Spanish conquest, it finally gained independence between 1819-1822. Country’s name at that time was Quito, which formally changed the name to the Republic of the Equator and finally shortened to Ecuador. The country which is roughly the size of state of Nevada can be divided into 4 regions: Amazon…

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Bariloche day 2: hiking to perfect views and cordero al asador.

Bariloche day 2: hiking to perfect views and cordero al asador.

Cecile reporting from her last full day spent with the group. The weather was gorgeous and the views spectacular. The volcano and the wind cooperated and remained quiet so that the air was free of ashes. “Our last day with the group in Bariloche was really wonderful!! We had a little hike to Cerro Llao Llao through native forest and at the top, we arrived to very nice view over the Nahuel Huapi Lake, Moreno Lake and Hidden Lake. After…

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Back in Bariloche.

Back in Bariloche.

Cecile reporting from San Carlos de Bariloche, obviously happy to be back home:) “Welcome to my Hometown!! Almost at the end of this wonderful trip, we all arrived in Bariloche, my Hometown!! WELCOME everybody!!! We had a first day with some ashes in the air, but today we had a very clear day!! thanks to Mother Nature again!!! We made this nice boat navigation trip all through Brazo Tristez (Sadness branch of Nahuel Huapi Lake) and we hiked at the…

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