Teleferico

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One of the best places to get a view of Quito's mountainous landscape is at the top of the Teleferico.  It's a sky tram up the side of Pinchincha.  The 2.5km ride takes 10 minutes before you arrive at the top of Cruz Loma.  The total height is 4100m, almost 13,500ft.  From the top you can hike to the summit of Rucu Pinchincha (4680m) which is a 4km (5hr) round trip.

Dad and I had a little lunch at one of the restaurants after walking around.  The morning we went it was little cloudy so you couldn't see all the mountain tops, but it was breathtaking nevertheless.

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Mindo, Ecuador

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Mindo is located about 80km from Quito, Ecuador.  It's well known for its flora and fauna. It is located in a valley in what is called the Mindo Nambillo Protected Forest , an ecosystem inhabited by some 500 varieties of birds and 90 species of butterflies.   

On the way there, Dad and I had to detour onto a mountain trail due to a mudslide that had closed down the highway.  After we arrived in Mindo, we learned from one of the touring companies what we could see nearby.  The first stop was a little residence that offered a private view of their backyard, which provided a sanctuary for hummingbirds.

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Further up into the mountain, we found a tram that took us across a valley and to the waterfalls.


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This trail took us down to Cascada Nambillo.

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Dad the Traveler!


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As you can see, the rain made the trek a little muddy.  While driving back home we discovered the landslide on the highway was still forcing cars to detour into the small mountain trail.  All the traffic throughout the day took a toll on the muddy trail, making it difficult for some front wheel drive vehicles to make it through.  After an hour wait on the highway, we eventually made it through the muddy detour with no problem and arrived back in Quito.

 


Mitad del Mundo

My Father visited for a couple weeks recently. Our first trip out of Quito was to Mitad del Mundo.

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Mitad del Mundo means "The Equator". Even though the equator runs through many cities around the world, Quito has become famous for it. Mitad de Mundo consists of one dominant monument, smaller monuments that lead up to it, a small village that has been constructed around the equator site.  There are several little museums and cafes as well.

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  Mitad del Mundo 2

 


Thinking about pet adoption?

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I can't recommend enough how rewarding adopting a pet from an animal rescue or shelter can be.    HomeoAnimal.com has an excellent guide for anyone looking to adopt.  They gathered their information from hundreds of rescue groups and shelters.  I strongly advise you take a look at their guide before you adopt. 

The Ultimate Guide to Pet Adoption

I'm not a fan of puppy mills, mall pet stores, etc.  I understand the desire for many is to have a purebred, but I also know some breeders do so primarily as income revenue.  One common myth is rescues and shelters don't have purebreds.  That's not true.  Purebreds have just as much chance as mixed breeds to be offered for adoption.  They don't end up at a swanky hotel for pedigree pets and while away free time perusing a list of potential human companions.  They end up at the same shelters and rescues as lovable mixed breeds. So there's no real excuse for not at least taking a look at the guide above from HomeoAnimal.com.

 


Guayaquil, Ecuador

 

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During my trip to our U.S. Consulate in Guayaquil, Ecuador, I took some time after work to stroll the city's boardwalk, called the Malecon, and see the sights.  

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Is the dog real or a painting?

Guayaquil is actually larger in population than Ecuador's capital city Quito.  It's rest near sea level and provides all the amenities that comes with being a coastal city.  Great seafood, beautiful waterfront views, and fascinating urban architecture, I look forward to coming back and seeing more of the city.

While I was away for a few days, Lucia had her own adventure.  I told her she was going to summer camp, but she knew that translated to a dog kennel.  Fortunately, we were put in contact with a great vet who also runs a very nice kennel just outside of Quito.  It's run by Dr. Ellen and her husband, who both run a veterinarian clinic called Ecuavet.  Over the labor day weekend, I took Lucia to check it out and get use to the surroundings.  Upon arrival, she was welcomed warmly by all the current canine residents.  So I knew she'd do well while I took my first trip for work.