Butterflies, breakfast, beauty and booze

I couldn’t resist taking a picture of my little buddy. He landed on my arm, and didn’t want to get off. So what’s a girl to do? Why, set the camera’s timer and take its picture, of course.


You can buy just about anything at the market in Otovalo,so I figured it would’ve the perfect place to pick up a few prizes for the contest. This was not one of them.

On our way back from the Amazon, we stopped at Papallacta, where we enjoyed the pools, which are heated by volcanic activity. Unfortunately I did not plan ahead, so was unable to get a massage, but the time spent in the pools had a similar impact. Very relaxing!

And now time for more contest questions. We visited a sugar cane farm, where we saw how the cane is harvested, and boiled down to produce sugar products.

This particular farm had its very own still for making moonshine.

So, here are the questions.
1. Do you think they were giving out samples?
2. And if they were, who do you think gave it a try? Augusta, Mike, me?
3. And what are the odds that a half a bottle of this “demon rum” might make it back to the USA? Shelley

And the answers are…

Although it would not be uncommon for me to lose multiple objects on one trip, this time I only lost my iPhone. My own fault, for leaving it in my checked luggage instead of carrying it on. Lesson learned! This time, it was Augusta who ended up making a bathing suit donation.

The correct answers to the next four questions — all true. Good job, gang.

And now on to the rest of the questions.

Augusta and I both threw caution to the wind, and floated down the Napo River, which drains into the Amazon. Unfortunately there are no photos, because I didn’t want to have to replace my iPhone AND my camera! By the way, tubing replaced the balsa raft activity. (thank God. I was a little leery of my water craft building skills!)

As for the blow gun contest, Mike was the star, demonstrating style and grace.

thank you for believing that my Spanish could actually be understood. I may not know many palabras, but the ones I DO know are key–like where is the bathroom, where can I buy vino tinto, how much does it cost? Too bad I don’t like meatballs. That’s one sentence I learned that I never use!

This next question was tricky. You all knew I wouldn’t be in the sun without hat, sun block etc, but it was Augusta, not Mike, that fell asleep in the sun and ended up with an interesting pattern on her neck.

In the Amazon basin, the snails are huge. Not only are they a source of food, but their shell is used as a horn. Take a look at this fine specimen who appeared on our deck and wanted to make friends with me. His shell wasn’t the one that I tried to play-but I DID try with one of his relatives! We did NOT make beautiful music together.

So here are the scores for just this contest:
Lindy – 8 points. You were the only one that got the first question (iPhone) right. Fanny – 8 points. You got all of the people questions right.
Lis – 7 points. You got an extra point for knowing that Augusta and I were BOTH floaters Sue -6 points. Hmmm, you don’t have faith in my Spanish abilities? Marion -4 points for getting all the true/false questions.

The Internet connections continue to be a challenge…but not for much longer.


The Amazon Basin

Did I mention that the Amazon basin can get muddy?

You probably knew that the Amazon is a source for all kinds of pharmacological products, but did you know that the plants, rocks and berries are good for many, many other things?

I wonder if the tattoo our guide painted on my arm will be permanent?

Lindy asked for a photo of me. Mike’s photo card isn’t compatible with my iPad, so I can’t get at his pictures till we get home,but Augusta took this shot of the butterfly whisperer.

Okay, so now the questions:
1. So far, I have lost
A. My iPhone
B. a bathing suit
C. Both
These next few are all true or false questions:
2. Although we are in Ecuador, I was able to buy an authentic Panama hat 3. A banana plant is actually an herb
4. The word “orchid” means testicle, because that is what the plant is supposed to look like.
5. The most famous resident at the Darwin Research Station is Lonesome George, who is no relation to Lonesome Freddy.

See if you can guess who did the following activities. The choices are Shelley, Mike, Augusta
1. Floated down the Napo River in an inner tube, with butt dangling in the water 2. Hit the target in a blow gun contest
3. Using flawless Spanish, located wine in a variety store in the Galapagos, and made a purchase or two. 4. Fell asleep in the sun and ended up with a lovely stripe pattern on neck
5. Used a giant snail shell as a horn, but was not as successful as our guide in making that horn hum.

I DO have prizes!!!!

Finally! Day 2

We started with a tour at hacienda la compania, which was built about a hundred years ago on property that had been owned by the Jesuits.

We were fortunate enough to have breakfast in the hacienda dining room, and later we were given a tour by the señora, whose grandfather built the hacienda. Her grandmother’s furniture has all been preserved.

The very gracious and regal señora Maria Elena

This structure dates back to the Jesuit days, and was one of the original buildings.

we head off to the Amazon basin today, so the may not be any updates for a while.


Yes, we are still on day one!

Lunch time. Is our dessert on fire???

I never had smoking ice cream before…and normally I am able to identify the server. Should I eat this? Have I EVER passed up ice cream??

Independence Plaza, formerly known as Plaza Mayor during Spanish time, with the memorial statue.

I’ve been having Internet challenges…maybe fewer photos will make it go more smoothly. Shelley