Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mancora, Peru

24 de Mayo is a holiday in Ecuador.  What better way to celebrate than by taking a road trip, with friends, to Mancora, Peru, starting Friday morning at 5:00am!

We stopped in Giron for a restroom break just as the sun was beginning to rise. Giron is a town and parish in Azuay Province.  Population 3,500.

This quaint town is located near Machala, Ecuador and is known for it's fresh seafood.  We stopped at 9:00am for breakfast.

I enjoyed a breakfast of shrimp and rice with plantains.

Machala, "the banana capital of the world," capital of the El Oro Province, and located near the Gulf of Guayaquil.  It is the fourth biggest city, in Ecuador, and the second most important port.

After spending some time exploring Machala we drove toward the Ecuador-Peru border. Once at the border we had to go through the migration process of leaving Ecuador and then entering Peru. Being a holiday weekend, it took just over an hour to complete.

On the road again and headed to our destination of Mancora, Peru where we arrived just before 6:00pm. The beach was a short walk from our bungalows. Friday was a very long day with a few surprises along the way.  However, it was worth every minute of it.  Lots of laughs and memories were made on this day.

Mancora is a town and beach resort in the Piura Region in northwestern Peru.  It is located in the Talara Province and is the capital of the Mancora District.  Population is around 9,000. 

Saturday was beach and exploration day.

We enjoyed several hours at this beautiful beach. Honestly, one of the best beaches I have ever visited.  Next, time to join our tour group and swim with the turtles!

This was definitely the highlight of the trip. Enjoy the photos!

Needless to say, after so much fun, sun, and swimming with the turtles it was time to take a siesta. Four hours later, Wilmer and I head to the beach to enjoy the nightlife that Mancora had to offer.  Lots of people, music, and dancing!

Sunday morning and time to return to Cuenca.  But, not before souvenir shopping and lunch along the way.

Final stop, the Peru-Ecuador border to stock up on cheap liquor!

Thanks to Rosario and Maria Belen for inviting Wilmer and I to join you on this very special trip.  And an extra special shout-out to Rosario for doing all of the driving!!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Quito, Ecuador April 2017

Wilmer and I joined eight of his friends for a three day weekend in Quito.  We left Cuenca Friday morning and flew to Quito with Rosaria and Belen.  Rosario, in the white jacket, is Wilmer's boss.

Our first trip together.

The Cotopaxi Volcano near Quito.

We stayed at Casa Agua Canela.  A very old building with spacious rooms.  The location was perfect.

Soon after we arrived we headed to Quito's Old Town. Here we are in front of the Presidential Palace.

Here is the entire group enjoying our first afternoon together getting to know each other.

Wilmer looking very dapper.

On Saturday, several of us decided to take a tour of La Mitad del Mundo. The Middle of The World.  Also known as The Equator.

At the end of the day we went to a local mall to enjoy these delicious treats and coffee.

Then, on Saturday night, Wilmer and I enjoyed a quiet dinner at "Q" which is my favorite restaurant in the Plaza Foch party district in Quito.

The next morning, Sunday, we got up early, enjoyed breakfast, and then went to TeleferiQo, a gondola lift, in Quito, running from the edge of the city center up the east side of Pichincha Volcano to lookout Cruz Loma.  It is one of the highest aerial lifts in the world, rising from 10,226 feet to 12,943 feet.  The ascent took about twenty minutes.

After a couple of hours of hiking and enjoying the scenery we descended and headed over to the Basilica. The highlight for me is to climb the stairs up one of the spires for a spectacular view of Quito. It really is a birds eye view.

Our final adventure of the day was a visit to Parque Itchimbia and its glass house atop the hill which serves as an exhibition, conference room, and museum. 

The glass house featured an abundance of bean bag chairs which were used to relax on.  Wilmer and I took advantage of the time here to rest before our flight back to Cuenca.

I always enjoy visiting Quito.  I look forward to my next visit in December when my sister and nephew come to visit me in Ecuador, for two weeks, during the Christmas holiday.