Mar 6, 2010

Carnival 2010: Otavalo

Our last destination was to Otavalo, one of Ecuador's largest market towns. Check it out:
Otavalo: picture taken from our Hostal roof top

Checking out the food market
A little rainy day love
This next section is a personal favorite. Certainly, one of the most interesting things I've seen in Ecuador. On our last day in Otavalo, Jon, K and I left for the animal market at 6:30 am. This is what we found:
As we got closer to the market, we started mixing more with the locals and their animals for sale. It just kept getting bigger and bigger as we approached the designated market area.

As we were leaving, we noticed a big commotion and went to check it out. These guys were all standing around with their prized "Cocks", looking for a fight. As some were for sale, they would arrange some short fights to show off the birds. No, I'm not condoning Cock fighting, but when the they go at it and the dirt is flying, it's exciting! This is certainly a cultural tradition amongst those in the Andes and I'm glad we were able to witness it.

For those of you wondering, K rocked the trip! She made many friends with taxi drivers, waiters and vendors. She can now say she has many Latino lovers all over Ecuador. Thanks Jr. Richerts, for making the trip down to Ecuador and joining us on these adventures.

Carnival 2010: Mindo

Next stop, Mindo. A small city a couple hours outside of Quito. Check it out:
The view from our balcony of this 4 bock city deep in the cloud forest
K living he good life
K and uncle Dave having a little fun while her parents where on the Zip Line

One of our many afternoon adventures was this cable car which led to these trails and waterfalls:
Yes, the bridge was as sketchy as it looks

Carnival 2010: Quito

Well, look who just showed up in Quito... the Jr. Richerts. After Vilcabamba, we flew to Quito and met up with them for 3 days in Quito. This was the week we were most looking forward to. Let the fun begin. Check it out:
Leaving our Hostal, ready for a day of exploring
How much longer before K figures out she can get whatever she wants from us?
A photo looking down on a Futbol game from one of the Basilica towers
The Richerts doing Futbol, Ecua style (but in the safe seats)

The Richert squad at the Teleferico, high above Quito.

Family LOVE photo

Living the good life

Carnival 2010: Vilcabamba

Yes, it's been another long stretch since the last SPORK post but I have a good excuse. Since mid December, we've been out of Guayaquil traveling for more than 7 weeks at various times. In February we had 2 weeks off for Carnival. As our time in Ecuador is quickly coming to an end, we treated this time as our last hurrah. The result was one of our best vacations as we toured the Andes Mountains and met up with the Jr. Richerts. I'll post the photos in 4 segments. Stop #1, Vilcabamba for 1 week of a little hammock living. Check it out:
This is where we spent 90% of our time. Simply sitting on our front patio, lounging in the hammocks, reading, playing cards and visiting with our neighbors. D finished 6 books! Seriously, there is nothing more I can write about. That is all we did for a week! Perfect.
The view from the hammock.

The other 10% of our time? After feeling a little guilty of just lounging for so long, we explored the local trail system in the National Reserve which started 4 blocks away from our Hostal.


Dec 5, 2009

Banos, Ecuador 2009

Banos, Ecuador: Round 5. Thanksgiving 2009. Check it out:

A bridge, rope, small ledge.................. bungee jump!
There are no pictures to show of me in action due to the photographers looking to see if I was alive instead of actually taking pictures. Seriously, I jumped!
The bike posse rides again

Wind, high elevation with drop off, parachute with many little strings attached to a seat, bright colored flight suites............. paragliding. Here we are, psyched to fly
Jeremy in action
Danielle practicing her take off
Danielle taking the big plunge
Danielle was able to fly over the valley for 20 minutes with the volcano in the background
This is me taking the last flight of the evening. The winds had died down so we had to land in a freshly plowed field down in the valley. Power lines, cattle and little kids trying to catch us were only a few of the hazards
Next up...... canyoning
Here I am repelling down the last waterfall of the day. We navigated 4 water falls which included cliff jumping, a zip line, natural slides and repelling
Ray working the zip line
Living the good life, pre-flight.