Mindo Update

This WAS a fairly detailed post about the amazing experiences Kelly and I have had the last few days in the cloud forests of Mindo, but the internet connection and computer in this Internet cafe were flaky enough that this update is now gone, and this very short update will have to suffice. We´re about to get on a bus back to Quito (two and a half hours on winding dirt roads in the mountains - wish us luck!) and then tomorrow we´re off to the Galapagos. I´ll try to recreate the longer post later tonight if time allows.

We´re having a great time. More soon.

Arrived in Quito

After a very long day of travel, we're in our cute little hotel in Quito. Flights all went fine, despite being an hour late arriving in Atlanta.  Giving every passenger their own personal entertainment center on the seat back in front of you certainly calms the masses and makes long hours in a seat more bearable - hey, I finally got to see Avatar.  The most harrowing part of the day was the 10 minute cab ride from the airport here - yikes.

We're thankful for safe travel, a nice bed, and the adventures ahead!  Thanks for reading.

Reading Material

Even on a trip to a place we've never been before, where there's sure to be plenty to capture our attention, there are still bound to be those moments during travel and downtime when some recreational reading material will come in handy.

We of course have the trusty Lonely Planet Guide to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands.

I'm bringing a book of Daily Meditations that I'm hoping will provide at least a few moments for grounding/centering each day.  It's a little bulky, though, so it will have to prove its worth quickly. 🙂

I'm also bringing The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World, after a glowing recommendation by a friend.  The subject matter - relationship between human and nonhuman life - seems appropriate for visiting a country that has made the rights of non-human life a part of its constitution.

Kelly is bringing a few copies of The Economist magazine, which is always sure to provide some insight and perspective into news and politics of the day.

She'll also probably be bringing some reading material related to her NEXT trip to the Middle-East later this summer.

Anything else that we should have along to read?


Chris and Kelly have slightly different approaches to packing for international travel.

Kelly is an experienced international traveler, which means that she will probably casually throw a few things in a bag as we walk out the door to go to the airport.  Somehow everything will just fit fine in her luggage and everything she needs will be there or will be magically brought to her by travel fairies along the way.

I, on the other hand, haven't traveled much outside the country in a while, and that in combination with my general engineering approach to life's challenges means that I've been planning my packing for a while in advance of this trip.  Like, weeks and months. Like, I have a room in my house dedicated to the arrangement and assembly of my trip stuff.

Continue reading "Packing"

Our Itinerary

As with any good trip, our itinerary for our time in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is partly set and partly open-ended.

We've secured the services of a private trip planner in the form of the Lonely Planet book about Ecuador, and it's already proved to be indispensable for looking at our options.  (Kelly cringes here because OF COURSE you use the Lonely Planet guide, there's no other way to plan a trip...)  Our hope is to get a good mix of time in sunshine out on the ocean by the equator, time hiking through the mountains and the cloud forests, and time interacting with locals in cities and towns.

So, here's what we know right now:

Continue reading "Our Itinerary"