Cuenca (pronounced "kwenka") was the only location in Ecuador that we parked the truck and loaded our suitcases and toiletry belongings into a hostel room.  We kept busy for about a week soaking up the sights, of which there were many.  It was a bit of a shock to be back in a modern city with cinemas and malls, and we definitely wandered around wide-eyed at all there was to offer. We enjoyed the parks

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We actually first drove by Volcano Chimborazo while making our way from the Ecuadorian coast to Banos and just couldn’t believe the sheer size of it. I mean, this thing was MASSIVE. We were a bit concerned about our ability to handle the altitude after spending five days or so on the coast and then a few days at about 6,000 feet in the Banos area. We were concerned, because even our camp spot at the base of

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You may recall from our last post that Volcano Cotopaxi was threatening to blow, the Pan American Highway was closed due to protests, and we had to decide between the coast or the jungle as our next destination. Humpback whale season was the deciding factor, and we blasted Little Red towards the Pacific Ocean. 12 hours later (and after swapping long johns and down jackets for shorts and t-shirts) we pulled up to Jardin Suizo


One thing we love about Ecuador are the FREE National Parks! All we had to do was roll up to the registration booth, provide our names and passport numbers, and drive into the majestic beauty of the park. They even had a free campground with relatively good facilities (i.e. flush toilets, showers, and a cooking area). Back in Canada we pay $30 minimum for a campsite with a pit toilet, plus a national park fee,

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After leaving Otavalo our next stop was The Equator.  We camped in Valentin's garden for a night before heading to the Mitad Del Mundo the following morning.  Valentin showed us his lovely organic garden full of vegetables, and even gave us a little bit of spinach and some herbs for the road.  He also had a big pile of potatoes and some squash that were freshly picked and washed, and laid out to dry in the

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After 10 days, we reluctantly left Finca Sommerwind and headed for our next destination: the market town of Otavalo. We would miss our daily visits to the hardware store and coconut soft serve ice cream booth in the gringo mall nearby, the company of our fellow overlanders and travelers, and freshly baked German bread at the Finca. Our first stop was the massive Saturday market in Otavalo (actually, our first stop was the coconut ice

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Our first South American border crossing experience was incredibly un-stressful. In fact, we weren’t 100% sure if we had completed all of the paper work after we obtained our Vehicle Import Permit and drove off into Ecuador. It felt like the Ikea television commercial where the woman has a cart full of cheap furniture and shouts, “Start the car!!! Start the car!!” The difference from the seemingly totally disorganized Central American border crossings was drastic. After only

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Two days of driving took us from the coast of Ecuador to a green cloud forest filled with evidence of former mudslides, eye-catching waterfalls, and serpentine roads. While climbing one of the hills (at 13,000ft of elevation I guess we can call them mountains) we passed by a guy in a bright yellow shirt pushing a baby stroller. “Jamie!” we yelled out the window. Jamie is running (with an appropriate Instagram and Facebook handle of

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