This morning Robyn adjusted her breakfast plate only to reveal a huge cockroach. She screamed as I used a fork to flick it onto another patron. It was the least I could do.

After leaving Quito two weeks ago, we headed north to a well known market town called Otovalo. The town has a big indigenous market, with lots of colorful indigenous folk around - they wear very colorful clothes and both the men and women wear bowler hats. Strangely enough, there was a great shesha (water pipe) cafe in town. The owner had improved upon the traditionally unwieldy sheesha by making pipes out of large hand carved parrots with a wide, stable base.

From Otovalo we headed to the town of Tena in the jungle, where we wanted to go white water rafting. The jungle there is part of the Amazon Basin and the white water is supposed to be some of the best. We rafted all day through a very remote stretch of jungle that was absolutely beautiful - tall cliffs, sand beaches, huges trees, no people, etc... Before leaving Tena, we also spent a night with an indigenous family learning about all the local customs, plants etc... Robyn and I even got the wedding ceremony we never found at Seoul City Hall; albeit aboriginal style.

After Tena we headed back up into the mountains to the town of Banos, which is one of those backpacker meccas that each country seems to have one of (i.e. Pokhra;Nepal Antigua;Guatemala HoiAnn;Vietnam)- an idealized mix of the best of the local country and everyone's home country. Anyways, it's in a great setting and we enjoyed it through hiking, biking, dining and bathing. Robyn also scored a massage. The town sported two incredible french resteraunts and Chilean wine was a nice break from the local beer. The mountain biking was just my style - all down hill. We rode down through a spectacular valley past waterfalls and small towns and then took a bus back to town.

Since Banos we've been travelling due south through the "Corridor of the Volcanoes" but I think it should be called "Corridor of the Clouds" since that's all we've been able to see even though its supposed to be dry season. The small Equadorian towns/cities along the way are mostly similar to each other and generally in a colonial style. Currently we're in Cuenca, a very trendy University town. Anyways, we're making for the border - we're eager to get into Peru. We should be there in a couple days.

Thanks to those of you who have sent us emails, sorry we haven't replied to everyone yet, but please let us know what you're up to. Take care!

Banos Party Cell (love keir and robyn)

Market at Otovalo.
Rafting on the headwaters of the Amazon.
Robyn sharpening her blowgun technique during our stay in the jungle.


Created: September 06, 2000
Last modified: September 06, 2000
Maintainer: Keir Paesel