Colors and Flavors of Arica

Northern Chile is a desert – more specifically, part of the Atacama Desert: the driest hot desert in the world. And yet, it is dotted with oases in which are grown a variety of fruits and vegetables of exceptional quality and size. The fruit and vegetable market Mercado Central Municipal was among the best I’ve ever seen, anywhere. It made me want to rent an apartment for a few weeks and do some serious cooking.

Arica's fruit and veggie market

You could eat two different kinds of avocado every day for a week and still not try them all. Continue reading

Have I been to Peru?

The husband and I often debate what it means to visit a country – in other words, what it takes to add Country X to your list of places you’ve been. We generally agree that eating a meal and spending the night definitely count and a transition through the airport doesn’t, but there’s a lot of grey area in between. Driving through without stopping? Buying gas? Asking for directions? Wandering unknowingly over the unmarked border from the beach in a neighboring country? It’s not always clear. Continue reading

Guayaquil, Ecuador

Stepping off the cruise ship in Guayaquil marked my first visit to Ecuador, to South America, and to the southern hemisphere. Ecuador was also my 4th new country on this trip.

Our chosen excursion was a bus / walking tour of the city, which was modern and clean – and very colorful. There’s a long, very wide promenade along the river. I would have loved to be on my own in order to sit at a cafĂ© and people watch for a bit.


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