Monday, November 10, 2008

Welcome back from the Jungle

We are back in Quito after three nights in the Kapawi Lodge in the jungle near the Peruvian border. Sorry I didn't get to blog before we left on Friday but there was mucho competition for the internets. The jungle was amazing. We took many hikes and canoe trips, watched the sun set, saw crazy creepy bugs, monkeys, river dolphins, turtles and one prehistoric looking catfish, visited a local family and rode in an unbelievably small plane.
Tonight we are taking it easy in Quito - probably getting dinner in one of the great restaurants we found in the neighborhood last week. We fly out around 11am and arrive in Portland close to Midnight. I just heard my cat has been expressing her displeasure at my absence in ways I won't mention. I am going to have some major groveling to do tomorrow night.




Thursday, November 06, 2008

Ecuadorian Food!


I haven't made a food post in a while and yesterday we had a lunch well worthy of the honor. We walked outside the confines of the resort to a cluster of rustic looking restaurants. It was lucky I had my Spanish/English phrasebook on me with the little section of food translations or we might have ordered the Hoof Soup. Instead, we each got the pan-fried trout which came with the most amazing sauce that was still bubbly from being mixed fresh in the kitchen. The entire place was run by one small woman probably in her mid to late 60s who ran back and forth from taking orders to cooking to serving to taking money, sometimes getting (her husband?) up from his hoof soup to help her deliver plates that were stacked up the length of both of her arms.

The trout was incredible!


We are going back there today before our ride back to Quito.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Soaking, Hiking and Politics

Yesterday after our nap we had a good soak in the pool as the sun went down





Then we gained access to the giant flat screen remotes and watched the election results come in.




Later we got hungry and when Dag ventured out to see if we could get some food by our TV he discovered that they were also watching the election in the bar! We didn't even have to interrupt any Futbol games to tune in - it seemed that everyone was interested. We were the only Americans present but not the only ones rooting for Obama.

Today after breakfast we took a short hike behind the resort



After an afternoon soak, we plan to take a quick walk to some restaurants we saw on the way up for some more authentic cuisine. Nothing against the restaurant here, but it's tailored for the tourist taste.
My sunburn has calmed down enough that I may even get a massage later.
I love vacation!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Papallacta Hot Springs

We have landed at Termas de Papallacta, eaten lunch and are about to hop in the hot springs right outside the window of our cabin



After being in the Galapagos Islands (at sea level), we traveled back to Quito at 9000ft and staggered around breathless on our sea legs. Now we are at 11000ft and walking even a short distance has us both panting for air. I don't really know how much hiking we'll be doing except outside to the pools and back. That's OK. We've had a busy few days and a rest is much appreciated. The resort is gorgeous with lots of glasswork, high ceilings, slate tile flooring and plenty of nooks with fireplaces . The cabins are made to look like straw huts all lined up along wooden slatted pathways. We appear to be two of the only guests here. Peaceful!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Galapagos

We are back from the Galapagos and just as you may have heard, it is amazing. Adjectives really don't do it justice. Here are some photos instead.




Later: I have uploaded my first video to YouTube and it is of this Iguana!





As you can see, animals in Galapagos don't know that humans are sucky and have absolutely no fear of us. In fact, many of them are curious and will walk, shuffle or swim right up to you for a closer look. It's like one big communal zoo where we are being looked at just as much as looking.

Now we are both trying to lose our sea legs.

In a couple of hours we are being picked up by Alfredo to go to Papallacta Hot Springs. Hopefully my half-healed sunburn will allow me to enjoy the pools.