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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Day 451 Saturday July 18, 2014

Since my last post I spent three weeks in Salinas, Ecuador. Salinas is called "Little Miami" by many of the expats there. There are about 300 americans living there and it is a diverse community. I made many friends in Salinas and had a very good time. It is a resort city for Ecuadorians from Guayaquil (the second largest city in Ecuador) which is about a two hour drive.

Photos from in and around Salinas.











I am now in Banos, Ecuador. I am staying at the Huillacuna (Hostal, Cafe, Casa, Arte). Some photos of the lobby at the Huillacuna.















Banos is famous for it's thermal baths. Photos from around Banos.







Tomorrow morning I will go to Puyo in the Amazon basin. I will leave the bike and most of my gear here at the Huillacuna and take a backpack. I met a couple from New York that have invited me to stay with them in Puyo and I plan to do an ayahuasca retreat while in the Amazon. More will be revealed...

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Day 423 Saturday June 21, 2014

I have been in Ecuador for nearly three weeks. I left Colombia after 87 days there on June 1st and entered Ecuador. The border crossing was quick, simple and no Spanish no problem. My first night in Ecuador I stayed in Ibarra. When I awoke the next morning I decided that it was time for the beach. I rode to San Lorenzo on the northwest coast. From San Lorenzo I continued to Esmeraldas, but the city did not suit me so I rode on to Playa del Sua and stayed for two nights there. When I left Sua I rode to Ayampe where I have been since. My friends Susan and Scott Nelson, from Oregon, had been here for a month and we hooked up again. I met Susan and Scott in Panama, they were among the six motorcyclist that sailed on the Stahlrette from Panama to Cartagena. They came to San Juan del Cesar, Colombia and checked on me when I had injured my leg. I plan to leave Ayampe in a few days and ride to Salinas where there is a sizable US expat community. I have read in several expat publications that Ecuador is the most popular destination for US expats. It is not difficult for US citizens to get a resident visa here.

These photos are from Playa del Sua. I pulled into Sua made a loop through town and said this will do fine.











Alberto invited me down to chat while he repaired his nets.


 My first night in Sua...David, with the hollywoods on, approached me after I had left Albert. I believe that I was the only traveler in town and there was never a dull moment for the next few hours. They teaching me Spanish and me teaching them Ingles or something like that.

These are photos taken in Ayampe where I have been for over two weeks.










Ayampe is a surfing town, there are no fishing boats working out of here. The tide is very high...almost no beach.

This past Monday Susan, Scott and I went whale watching out of  Puerto Lopez. On the way out of the harbor we were taken past these cliffs where blue-footed boobys were hanging out before heading to the Galapagos Islands where they nest.






After leaving the blue-footed boobys the boat left the harbor and we went looking for whales. We were always in sight of land and the captain told us that we would not go more than 20 nautical miles out to sea. Within 30 minutes we had spotted our first whale. In total we saw about 10 whales in the next 2 hours. The whales were not staying at the surface for more than a few minutes and by the time we arrived arrived at their location they would submerge. After almost 2 hours we had some nice photos of whales but nothing spectacular. Around 5:00pm the boat took us to this feeding frenzy where hundreds of birds and many dolphins were feeding on a school of fish or maybe squid. I have witnessed these feeding frenzies many times from the beach in Ayampe, but never up close.  








After leaving the frenzy we spotted this whale. For the next 15 minutes the whale put on a display for us. The crew of the boat were as excited as we were to find the whale.

















At 5:30 the whale bid us goodbye and everyone was pleased that our whale watching trip was a total success. It was a very good afternoon.

Susan and Scott left Ayampe the next morning. I feel sure that our paths will cross again soon.

More will be revealed...