Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

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

Wawa Grande – The Ecuadorian Bigfoot

November 4th, 2013 | Posted by Ian in Ecuador | Oh - (1 Comments)
Wawa Grande, the Ecuadorian bigfoot

We are planning on visiting El Cajas National Park this week. About 20 miles east of Cuenca, El Cajas is a rugged landscape of peaks, valley, lakes, and alpine tundra set between 10,000 and 14,600 feet. Our research for the visit has brought to our attention the supposed existence of Ecuador’s own version of bigfoot. … Read more

A Bus Tour of Cuenca

October 23rd, 2013 | Posted by Ian in Ecuador | The Places We've Been - (7 Comments)
Girl with Tour Bus

I know, I know, it sounds like a cheesy, touristy thing to do, but at only five bucks a head an open-air double decker bus tour of Cuenca will let you cross a slew of historic sites off your list of things to see. There are at least two different routes that depart at slightly … Read more

A Market in Cuenca with the New Cathedral in the Background

Ecuador, though a small country by South American standards, is packed full of numerous and varied attractions for visitors. From the Andes to the beaches, Cotopaxi to the Galapagos, big cities to quaint villages, there seems to be something for everyone. Had we armed ourselves with all of the options when we began our search … Read more

Las Lajas

October 15th, 2013 | Posted by Ian in Colombia | The Places We've Been - (0 Comments)
Las Lajas, Colombia

In brief, Las Lajas Sanctuary is a Gothic revival basilica located in the Colombian town of Ipiales, just a few miles from the border with Ecuador. Built between 1916 and 1949, the church lies at the bottom of a canyon spanning the Rio Guáitara. There are some purported miracles/sightings of the Virgin Mary that inspired … Read more

Salcedo, Ecuador ice cream

We haven’t had a long-haul like this one for quite some time. Actually maybe never. We’ve driven longer distances in one go, but time-wise this one takes the cake (at least until next month). Moving through Mexico and Central America, we’d gotten quite used to single-day trips or a single night in a hotel before … Read more