Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

Mate de Coca

November 27th, 2013 | Posted by Brianna in Ecuador | Food | Peru | The Places We've Been - (3 Comments)
Coca Tea in Cusco Centro

Mate de Coca (pronounced: mah-tay day coh-cah, translated: Coca Tea) is a very regular part of life in the Andes. For thousands of years the indigenous peoples of the region have chewed the leaves, which continue to play physical, economic, social, and spiritual roles in the local communities as they have since ancient times. Today … Read more

Border Crossing: Ecuador / Peru

November 18th, 2013 | Posted by Brianna in Border Crossings | Dogs | Ecuador | Peru - (5 Comments)
Ecuadorian Side

We cross borders by land in a CR-V with US passports and our two dogs. We do not carry drugs or weapons or disallowed fruit (usually). These articles are not a definitive guide to crossing borders nor should they be used as a sole source of information. They are our experiences. When, Where, and Which … Read more

Dirt Road

Our four day drive from Cuenca, Ecuador to Cusco, Peru was both long and eventful, so we’re going to break it up into pieces and give the rundown one segment at a time. This post covers the first half of our first day of driving, from Cuenca, Ecuador to the mountain border crossing at Macará. … Read more

Turi Selfie

We didn’t plan much heading into our time in Ecuador. Our lodging was arranged just days before our arrival, and while we were interested in Cuenca from the get go, in the end it was available apartments that really made the decision for us regarding where in the country we would spend October and the … Read more

Red Mud Ian

We first visited a hot springs pool just over a year ago during our week-long stay in Paradise Valley, Montana. It was wonderful and relaxing, and when I learned that Cuenca had some similar, hot, mineral-y water nearby, I quickly added it to the list of things I wanted to do. According to this article … Read more

El Cajas National Park

November 13th, 2013 | Posted by Ian in Ecuador | Parks | The Places We've Been - (2 Comments)
El Cajas National Park in Ecuador

About 20 miles west of Cuenca on the highway to Guayaquil lies El Cajas National Park. Originally established as a National Recreation Area in 1977, it was promoted to a National Park in 1996. The origin of the name El Cajas for this jagged highland area is not entirely clear; alternate explanations link it to … Read more

Cuenca Apartment(s)

November 12th, 2013 | Posted by Brianna in Ecuador | Lodging | The Places We've Been - (7 Comments)
Second Apartment Living Room and Kitchen

In poor blogger form, we took a grand total of zero photos from our first apartment in Cuenca. We were there for a week and enjoyed the space, location, and amenities, but alas, no pictures to share. It was a bright, third floor studio in the center of town with an entire wall comprised of … Read more


Celebrations ring through the air for days at the beginning of November in Cuenca in honor of the city’s Independence Day, officially the 3rd of the month. Like other large population centers in the region, Cuenca won its independence (1820) before the country as a whole did in May of 1822, and both dates are cause … Read more

Beautiful Tomebamba River

This is a series detailing some of what appear at first to be more mundane details of a place, but will hopefully be illuminating as insights into the grind behind the “glamour.”  Groceries Our meals are largely comprised of whole foods like produce, grains, and beans, so we’re thrilled when we land in a city … Read more

Cuenca Veggie Soup (or Sopa Wawa Namnam)

November 5th, 2013 | Posted by Brianna in Ecuador | Food - (5 Comments)
Chopped Veggies

When we settle in a new place for a while, we usually take stock of what foods are readily and cheaply available, and then base our meals on those items. This month, the produce stalls at the many markets set us up for a delicious and simple veggie soup that we’ve stuck with week after … Read more