28 April 2010

Oh Ecuador

Ecuador is leading the slow race when it comes to internet access: slow down- and up-load speeds, spotty connections, frequent downtime, and the fewest wifi spots. We have gone to hostels specifically because they have wifi, only to find that the workers don't know their own passwords, haven't a clue as to what to do if the connection is lost, and don't seem to care if the wifi goes down. They don't offer an apology, let alone a discount, even though backpackers like us choose their hostel because it has wifi. So goes the modern backpacker.

I can't post many pictures because I have not been able to upload them to Picasa yet. It may be another week before that happens. So far, we have been to Quito, Machachi/Papaguyo to hike Iliniza Norte, Cotopaxi area, Quilatoa, Banos,  and Cuenca. We are in Vilcabamba now and will soon make a run for the border. We hope to be in Huaraz, Peru by the first of May.

We have also been surprised at the uniformity of the Andes in Ecuador. Besides a few awe-inspiring volcanoes, the terrain here is rugged hills, very green and almost completely farmed. We have traveled far and wide along this mountain range, and we have yet to come across a hillside that is not cultivated. Even the national parks have evidence of cattle grazing. The hills/mountains have looked the same for the last two weeks of traveling. I thought there would be more variance, and I thought that I would be able to find more wilderness. Wrong on both counts.

During our exciting hike around Lake Quilotoa.

Enjoying the fresh mountain air near Cotopaxi. 

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