Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Coca

 From Quito, we returned to the airport (an hour from the heart of Quito) and flew to Coca, which is a relatively nondescript, small town on the Napo River in the Amazon basin.  We joined our guide from the Napo Cultural Center there and got in motorized canoes for our journey down the river.  Quito is at about 10,000' and had been dry and cool... no more!  Now it was humid and hot.

The Napo River at Coca
Headed downstream.  


The beautiful rainforest from about two hours downstream from Coca, in Yasuni National Park (Parque National Yasuni) where we stayed in the Anangu Kichwa Community


Monday, May 30, 2022

Quito Walking Tour

 A free walking tour through the hostel!  We saw so much - the beautiful basilica, the center of government (presidential palace, archbishop's quarters, city hall, etc.), a contemporary art museum, chocolate factory, two convents (Carmelite and Franciscan), and more.  The tour included history and even a salsa lesson!  And ice cream.  Quito seems to have inexpensive ice cream everywhere and the heladerias pump out the soft serve and hand it to taxi drivers paused in traffic en masse!  People everywhere were super nice - our taxi driver from the night before called out to us by name and random passers-by smiled and greeted our group.  A great start to a trip... and despite other stops in Quito later in the trip, our initial positive impressions never waned in the least.  History, beauty, culture, ice cream, and nice people.  What more can you ask?

Rooftop views of old town by daylight

The beautiful basilica, which is decorated with images from Ecuadorian wildlife - anteaters, jaguars, and even a cooked cuy!

With a shrunked head (fake)

Looking across the presidential palace at the main square.

Love the streets, architecture, and basilica in rear

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Quito!

 Arriving in Quito, view from the top of the hostel.  We flew through Panama City, which has a very hot airport, then to Quito.  We were met at the airport by a taxi driver arranged through the hostel, which was nice.  Actually, HE was nice and gave us a chance to practice our Spanish.  The hostel is fun and funky, basic rooms, lots of plants and lights, a party atmosphere, and a rooftop restaurant with great views.  Lots of young people from all over the world...



Saturday, May 7, 2022

Giants Games!

Got an ad for $5 tickets, so we booked three games.  Easy to book train tickets online, walk to the train station, and not have to think about traffic or parking.  Love this stadium and its views; love fun at games; super loved watching a Mike Yastrzemski splash hit fly right over our heads!  Someday, we decided, we are going to kayak around the stadium during a game.  :-)

OK, so our $5 tickets were WAY at the top... but who can complain with this view?!