On our second weekend in Chicaque Natural Park in Colombia, we really aimed high. First 105 feet, then 328 feet (or, to the locals, 32 meters and 100 meters respectively). We partook of a pair of airborne adventures offered by the park, at a substantial discount for volunteers. And they were definitely among the highlights, … Continue reading Hanging from Trees
Volunteering at UBHA in Chicaque Natural Park - week 2 During our second week of volunteering at UBHA, we really found our groove, and bonded with the kids quite nicely despite the language barrier. As anticipated, fellow volunteer Joel took his leave earlier than planned, leaving just us to cover the full day's schedule. One … Continue reading Dramatic Play, Wild Mushrooms and Glass-winged Butterflies
photobombed by Alain who we met on the trail to Pico March 12 With our first week of volunteering concluded at UBHA school, we were free to spend a 3-day weekend hiking through the stupendous Chicaque Natural Park. On Saturday morning, we set out on a hike to visit one of its landmarks: Pico (the … Continue reading Exploring the Trails in Chicaque Natural Park
Although it's only half an hour from the buzzing metropolis of Bogota, Chicaque Natural Park is like a lost world, and parts of it seem far removed from any signs of civilization. It's 300 hectares (741 acres) of mountains, streams, thick vegetation, with a few but not too many tourist amenities like campgrounds, lodges, restaurants … Continue reading UBHA the One-Room Schoolhouse in a Colombian Cloud Forest
Puyo, Ecuador turned out to be a bit of a disappointment -- at least as far as the city itself. We didn't see why anyone would recommend going there except for nearby attractions. Like the Amazon -- Puyo is the closest jumping off place to tour the jungle; even the tours leaving from Baños go through … Continue reading Monkeying Around in Puyo
After our session of Performing and Poetry in the park, we jumped in an Uber and headed over to the bus terminal on the east side of Ambato. Destination: Return to Baños de Agua Santa Sunrise in Ambato, Volcan Tungurahua in the distance Our return trip to Baños involved two little lessons about the importance … Continue reading Baños to Puyo
In Spanish, the word baño means literally bath, though it's often used to mean bathroom as well. So you really have to wonder what the intent was in naming that unfortunate town in California Los Baños. There was clearly no malice, however, in naming the resort town in Ecuador. Even though everyone just calls it … Continue reading Baños de Agua Santa, Ecuador – First Impressions
With a week to spend at an Airbnb in Santa Cruz la Laguna on Guatemala's Lake Atitlan, we had a chance to absorb the local color, which is a vibrant blend of trendy establishments catering to tourists and ex-pats, as well as a traditional native lifestyle, with a strong Mayan presence. And of course incredible … Continue reading A Weeklong Introduction to Lake Atitlan
And then it happened. Something splashing in the water, seen out of the corner of her eye. Was it a fish jumping? No, there was no concentric circle that occurs after a fish splash. A diving bird? No, they were everywhere but none surfaced nearby.
We have been meeting sea-anemones, condors, crabs, sea lions and seals. It brings back fond memories of some of our other coastal excursions and adventures, all over the U.S. and elsewhere.