Tales from the Road: Ecuador
At the Thursday market in Saquisili, Ecuador you could get everything from pasta to potatoes to energetic little pigs.  Locals from all over the valley came into town for this one, but there weren't many tourists.  We did, however, run into Raoul and Christina, two of our shipmates from our tour of the Galapagos Islands earlier this month.  It continues to be a small world.
Blue-footed boobies on Isla Espanola in the Galapagos Islands April10 -- Cruising down the main highway south from Quito, Ecuador this morning, we found ourselves following behind a cement truck with mud flaps that displayed (no kidding!) R.Crumb's legendary Keep on truckin' graphic.  It was both comforting and surreal.

We were on our way to the Thursday market at Saquisili, about 100 kilometers from Quito in an area known as the Avenue of the Volcanoes.  Alas, it was fairly overcast and the volcanoes, including Cotopaxi (the big one) were all in seclusion.

The market itself was quite fascinating.  As in Peru, they grow lots of different kinds of potatoes here, but there were also several types of fruit that were new to us.  They also sold pigs and lambs and chickens, whole and still kicking, or in parts.  The Saquisili market was clearly a major social and commercial gathering.

We've been keeping our excursions fairly low-key since we returned from the Galápagos Islands last Sunday.  Eight days at sea can be pretty relaxing, but we were fairly tired too.  After seven and a half months on the road it's hard to maintain the same pace of travel.  Hard to believe we'll be home in a few more weeks.

The Galápagos cruise, aboard the good ship Guantanamera, was a trip into a whole new world, definitely one of the highlights of this little adventure, with little surprises every day.  The birds and sea lions on the Galápagos were as curious about us as we were about them.  Best of all, we didn't get seasick and the food was great too.

They tell us it's winter here in Quito now and it's going to be a wet one.  For the most past the weather has been fine, sunny and +25, but the leaves are falling off the trees on the street in front of our guesthouse.  Interestingly, they're maple leaves (we're staying at the Posada del Maple), so maybe this is a sign that it's time to come home.

But the adventure's not over yet.  We're off next on the overnight bus to Cuenca, an old colonial town in the south of Ecuador.  It's a World Heritage Site as well, and ought to be an interesting little spot.



 
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We found colonies of blue-footed boobies on several of the Galapagos Islands, along with red-footed boobies, masked boobies and many other new and exotic kinds of birds.  The sea lions were fun too.
A soggy Saturday afternoon at Machu Picchu
The ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu were often shrouded in mist, sometimes in drizzle.  When John and I came down the Inca Trail from Inti Punku, the Sun Gate, we pretty much had the site to ourselves.
At the market in Saquisili, Ecuador
As always, the dedicated shopper, Carol tries out a few musical instruments at the market in Saquisili, Ecuador.

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