New country #5 on this trip: Chile. First stop: Arica. The city is lovely, with plenty of color and interesting architecture.
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
One of the most interesting spots in Guayaquil is Seminario Park, aka Bolivar Park and Iguana Park. It hosts dozens of its namesake critters as well as a turtle pond:
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 café and people watch for a bit.
After leaving Panama and continuing south toward Ecuador, I crossed the equator for the first time ever. I knew this moment was coming, of course, but I didn’t think to pay attention to when it would happen, so I was pleased when the cruise director announced that there would be an “equator crossing ceremony” for first timers like me at 3pm. Continue reading
After crossing the canal, we took a bus to Gamboa to visit the rainforest and Soberania National Park, which included an orchid garden (sadly out of season), a sloth sanctuary, a butterfly enclosure (too fast to get good pictures of), a frog house, and an aerial tram over the canopy.