Jul 31, 2008

Bahia de Caraquez

We spent our 8 year Anniversary in Bahia de Caraquez along the central coast of Ecuador.  It was a great little eco-city with a beautiful hotel, great restuarants and a very laid back atmosphere.
Our view while reading books poolside
An Ecua lighthouse
Besides being one of the only cities in Ecuador that has a recycling program, they also have city bike taxis instead of taxi cars.  The city is so small it only takes about 10 minutes to get from one side of town to the other, with lugage.
8 wonderful years with D........and they just keep getting better! (Yes, I've gone sexy Ecua with one less button on my shirt)

Jul 30, 2008

Panama Hat

How to make a Panama Hat:
Pick out a color and quality.  It takes anywere between 3 days and 4 months to weave a single hat depending on quality.
Shape the hat in a steamer
Choose your brim size and have a sweet Senorita sew it in place
Trim the brim
Sew in the sweat band
Choose a band for the outside, glue it on
Prep the steamer for one last shaping
Cook it
Have someone else pull the hat out of the steamer so you don't burn your hands
1 hour and $15 later, you can be stylin in your new custom Panama Hat

Jul 28, 2008


If you haven't already seen D's blog, Living the Good Life, about her new lighter, you've got to check it out.  It's awesome!  Now, I do have one small problem with her post.  Being that I also bought a lighter, she had this to say about it: "Dave picked out a standard black Zippo lighter, boring."  Oh really?  Check this out:

My lighter can burn up your lighter!

A Silvers Tour

For the last couple weeks of June, we were able to tour around Ecuador with Papa Ron and Mama Jan.  We had many adventures that included crowded bus rides, fast taxi's with loud music, a hotel room door flying open in the middle of the night, near decapitation on a city bus, spur of the moment change in travel plans and of course, lots and lots of laughter.  We enjoyed every moment of this memorable trip.  Check it out:  
Don't let Ron tell you he didn't have a good time.  (This could be my very favorite Ecua photo of year 1)
Here we are at the center of the world...........actually, truth be told, the French got it wrong and it's a short distance away from this monument.  Oh well, close enough by Ecuador standards!

You have no idea how bad I wanted to jump in whith these guys!
Here we are at the Otavalo Saturday Market.  Obviously, Jan is in retirement mode and doesn't follow the directions, "smile for the camera".  
Kids playing a game of cards while their parents are working.
Typical dress of the indigenous men of Otavalo
Cuenca, city center
Flower market in Cuenca.

Another favorite of rule-less Ecuador: while riding on top of the Cuenca tour bus, it's your own responsability to not get decapitated.  Here we have low hanging electrical wires and school kids on a field trip.  No signed release forms necessary!

Still alive in Ecuador after week 1
Ingapirca: Inca ruins a couple hours outside of Cuenca

Jul 16, 2008

Casa Nuevo

We upgraded to a new Ecua-pad.  Here's a tour:
Year round blooming flowers and palm trees are a requirement for living the good life......and a bike in the corner.
These palm trees in the entry way give off good "Welcome home" vibes.

Yes, this is where we spend most of our time.  D in the hammock reading while I practice holding my breath under water.  I can swim 3 laps without coming up for air. I'm also working on access up the walls for swan dives into the pool.
Of course, a home isn't a home unless it is full of love.  Check!

Jul 12, 2008

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu.......incredible.  Hiking the Inca Trail was just as spectacular as the actual ruins.  It was amazing to see the Inca's way of life, history and beautiful stone structures.  More so than any of our other adventures, this experience left me with a strong desire to explore the world and be open to all ways of life.  Check it out:
All packed up, it's go time.
Porters getting ready to carry our food, tents and many other luxeries.

Some of the first ruins we saw on day 1
D relaxing after her very first day of backpacking.........in her life!  She carried nearly all her own stuff every day except on the one major hill climb.  All said and done, she rocked the Inca Trail and I was so proud of her. 
D found a couple Jackass' on the trail

A family photo at the top of the tallest mountain climb, day 2.

Day 3 started with rain but did not keep us from enjoying the experience
No guard rails needed.  Just stay away from the edge!
Agricultural terraces that were used for Machu Picchu.  At this point, we were nearing the end of our 10 hour day of hiking.
Day 4 started with a 4 AM wake up and on the trail by 5 AM.  We raced up the trail to be at Machu Picchu for sunrise only to find it covered in the morning clouds.  We sat on a hillside and waited for the clouds to clear.  It was awesome to see little patches of this mountain top city as it cleared up.  We were rewarded with a sunny afternoon and a tour through the ancienct city.