Cuenca: To Guayaquil by bus

Getting around Ecuador is quite affordable with several options available. Flights between major cities are short and ticket prices reflect that. Buses are cheap, can be very comfortable. you don't have to endure airport security or arrive two hours ahead, and you get to see a lot more of the countryside. From Cuenca to Guayaquil,... Continue Reading →

Cuenca: Our last words

Today was our last day in Cuenca. We said goodbye to a very comfortable AirBnB suite, grabbed a cab (caught one of the taxi drivers as he finished eating breakfast from the red pick-up truck that parks across the street every day and serves up breakfast), and headed for the Terminal Terrestre (bus terminal). Cab ride:... Continue Reading →

Cuanca: Baños

We walked a couple of blocks to the bus stop to catch either the #12 or #100 for the roughly 9km, 30-minute ride to Baños, a village southwest of Cuenca known for its hot springs. We caught the #12 (25 cents each), which we knew followed a much less direct route, but it was fun... Continue Reading →

Cuenca: Laundry, hats, and a walk in the park

We're spending a lot of time walking around the city of Cuenca. Yesterday was a pretty typical day, and an especially enjoyable one. Our first stop was to drop off laundry at the laundry service recommended by our AirBnB host, Travis (Lavanderia Los Angeles, yellow building at the corner of Gaspar Sangurima and Estéves de Toral). The... Continue Reading →

Quito: Our last words

As we pack up from our first month of Life: Phase Next, a month spent in a condo in Quito, Ecuador, we look back fondly--or, in some cases, not so fondly--on some aspects of this city. Geography Quito is a long, narrow city in a valley. We could walk a fair distance on relatively flat ground, but... Continue Reading →

Quito: Every city should have a park like this

Parque la Carolina is a large green space in the center of Quito, roughly 1.5km long and 500m wide. It is a landmark, often used to describe locations (e.g., three blocks west of Carolina). Surrounded by tall buildings, and major roadways that are frequently congested with diesel-smoke-spewing buses, it provides a relatively fresh and peaceful respite from the... Continue Reading →

Quito: Una buena vista

Quito is a long and narrow city, flowing like a river down the valley and splashing up the mountains that surround it. The TelefériQo, a tourist attraction built in 2005, is a wonderful way to get up high and view the city and surroundings. Quito's altitude is 9,350 feet (the highest official capital city in the world). The... Continue Reading →

Quito: Day trip to Mindo

Last weekend we took a bus tour to Mindo, a village in the rainforest northwest of Quito. We met for breakfast at a cafe a short walk from where we are staying. The bus was there on time, but the restaurant wasn't open and we got on our way an hour later than planned. The scenery... Continue Reading →

Quito: El Centro Histórico

We are staying in El Centro Norte, Quito's modern downtown. South of us is a completely different version of Quito--it's historical downtown called El Centro Histórico. A UNESCO world heritage site, Quito's old town is narrow hilly streets lined with pastel coloured buildings, and plazas bordered with churches, palaces, museums and theatres. A few days... Continue Reading →

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