A Year of Wonder

 Tales from a recovering dromomaniac who fell off the wagon Dromomania (the compulsive urge to travel) is an incurable disease.  It’s always there in the background, gnawing away at my resolve and encouraging me to visit dubious websites.  Websites that titillate me with promises of adventure and freedom.  My throat becomes dry, I sweat, my heart races.  Trembling fingers click between exotic … [Read more...]

San Francisco (USA) to Quito (Ecuador) Day 1

Mt. Cotopaxi and Quito airport, Ecuador, South America

We chose Ecuador as the starting point for our Year of Wonder because it is the gateway to the Galapagos Islands and that destination was high on our list of places to visit.  Ecuador also uses the $US so we thought it would be an easier transition from our cozy lives in San Francisco to the rough and tumble of life on the road, which does take a bit of getting used to – even for a … [Read more...]

Centro Historico Quito Day 2

Centro Historico, Quito, Ecuador

We plan to spend most of the day in the Centro Historico – one of the largest, least-altered, and best-preserved historic centers in the Americas.  Before this, however, we need to visit the Happy Gringo travel agency in La Mariscal (the main entertainment area in Quito) to retrieve the tickets for our upcoming cruise around the Galapagos Islands.  The guide books warn tourists that La Mariscal … [Read more...]

Oswaldo Guayasamin and the equator, Day 3

Bloody Tears by Oswaldo Guayasamin, Quito, Ecuador

One of the delights of travel is to be surprised, to be continually surprised, in fact, at the richness the world has to offer.  Christi and I experience that today during a visit to the Campilla del Hombre, the palatial museum in Quito housing the art of Latin America’s most famous artist, Oswaldo Guayasamin.  His style is cubism.  His oeuvre is suffering (so if you weren't happy going in, you … [Read more...]

Otavalo market and Cayambe, Day 4

Indigenous Quechua woman, Otavalo market, Ecuador

Quito and most of Ecuador is situated in the southern hemisphere, yet 60 miles north of the capital  in the northern hemisphere lies the highland town of Otavalo which is famous for its eclectic market.  And it’s an agreeable assault on the senses: loud, brash, brightly colored, and overflowing with stuff to buy and taste (textiles, tagua nut jewelry, musical instruments, dream catchers, leather … [Read more...]