Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Finding My Way in Ecuador | Guayaquil, Cuenca, & Montañita


I just returned from an incredible 2 week journey through Ecuador, piggybacking on my friend/long time local (the best way, in my opinion, to see a country) as we hopped from one remarkably unique terrain to another.

Splitting my time between Guayaquil (urban coast), Cuenca (quaint mountains), and Montañita (hippi beach), culinary samplings, cultural encounters, and shopping sprees were numerous to say the least.

And this trip was so good on so many levels. So so so :) 

Three ladies (my gal pal's enchanting baby girl was our 3rd musketeer) city hopping through South America... fun was bound to be had.

Photographically: I gave myself a challenge. Rarely one to travel with a camera (there's some kind of magic to leaving it behind every once in a while), I resolved that leaving my 3rd eye at home was out of the question. But my consolation: I would bring just one lens. So which one did I choose? My cheapest & lightest, the 50mm 1.4. Least amount of worry. Least amount of weight. And yet behold the wonders one can still capture... They don't call it the "nifty fifty" for nothin'.

Guayaquil

Beginning our journey in the illustrious Porto Azul.



Plumeria trees - one of the most delicious fragrances there is.


Mangoes fresh off the tree. In our backyard. On the sidewalk. Anytime anywhere!

























Cuenca



Left: Cleansing away bad spirits is a common and extensive ritual.





Left: Handmade empanadas. Right: Traditional Chola Cuencana skirt.


The flowers markets: The women. The blossoms. The fragrance. Beyond beautiful.


View from Mirador de Turi. Cuenca, in all its glory.




Left: View from the studio of ceramic artist Eduardo Vega. Can you say "Creative Inspiration"?















What I woke up to each morning: bedroom view at my friend's house in Tarqui.

Breakfasts at Gran Hotel.






Wild llamas in the El Cajas National Park of the Andes Mountains. 


Every adventure is more fun when you're wearing a blonde wig!









The neighbor's cows... aka my new bff: Bessy.



Picnics in the meadow.






Rich palettes with the fog creeping down into the valley = Stunning Sunsets. 

Morning mist.


Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Right: Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.










The most beautiful braids.

Miles upon miles of color and pattern.




























Montañita








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