Saturday, April 24, 2010


A week ago we entered Ecuador and the mountains rose all around us. Our first night we camped out on a cow pasture with a view of a snowy volcano peak, the first snow we saw in almost a year!In the morning, as we were packing up, a local indigenous farmer Luis came up to us and invited us to drink tea at his house. The day being Sunday, all four generations of his family were home, running a few errands and generally lounging in the sun. They fed us a dietary breakfast of boiled potatoes, corn on the cob and ¨agua de cafe¨, which is hot water with a hint of coffee. We talked for a good three hours, and if it wasn´t for our determination to get back on the road, they would have held us captive all day!We arrived in Quito an hour later, connected with our CS host Alec and happyly fell asleep on her floor.
The next day, we felt sick. General malaise, stomach ache, headache, no energy, diarrhea. At first we thought it was Hepatitis A, except that we did not have yellow eyes. All the symptoms came and went as they pleased, leaving us completely exhausted. The next three days we made regular trips to the local Red Cross, doing blood and urine tests. The doctor saw us pretty much right away (and free of charge, too, thumbs up for the Red Cross!), dispelled our fears about Hep A and prescribed antibiotics and vitamins to take. We feel better now and the symptoms are less violent.
We are now waiting for a letter to arrive from Canada, and as soon as we have it, we will move on, hopefully in perfect health.
In the meantime, Anastasia made a lot of bead bracelets, and even sold her first one for three bucks, and George got himself a cheap recorder and is now terrorizing the inhabitants of the appartment with the lamely-played tunes of ¨Hey Jude¨ and ¨When I´m Sixty Four¨.
We are eternally grateful to Alec for hosting us at such a time, for it would have been terrible to live in a hostel (or even worse, to travel!) in the state that we were in.
A view from the balcony is quite spectacular, too. On clear mornings we can see the snow-covered peak of 5753 m Cotopaxi (if it wasn´t for the clouds, the volcano would have been visible on the photo to the left of the tall wire fence), on wednesday night the beer-bellied taxi drivers play volleyball, and every evening we witness high-class neighbourhood soccer matches right from our balcony. We drink herbal tea and smoothies and cheer for the teams.


  1. Guys, be careful, I really want to share my californian experience with you.

  2. what kind of letter are you waiting for? i can send you a letter no problem, anything you like :)

  3. Kate: We are back to normal, drinking beer, rum and itching to go on!
    Alex: Gees, man, we ARE careful, thank you for reminding!
    Rodgar: The letter contains a map of South America, an item that is impossible to find south of the US border.

  4. Glad to hear you guys are better, keep it up!

  5. Only thing I can think of that impossible to find south of the US border is 13nm microchip. Why do you need one? :)

  6. Well, you are not exactly right.
    We do not need a microchip, but sometimes it is nice to know where you are going...
    We also crave once in a while a good breakfast (they serve weird food for breakfast in Ecuador), hot showers, laundry machines and nutritional yeast!