Ibarra, Ecuador to Pasto, Colombia(!)

Written by Neon

We stayed in Ibarra for a week. Our route in, through, and out of the city was along roads so we were able to chip away at those kilometers while having a home-base to work from. During our time in Ibarra, we got a ton of work done including (but not limited to) catching up on writing, updating and adding to our different social networks, walking over 60 kilometers, planning routes through Colombia, and I had the opportunity to cook and bake – a happy place of mine. Continue reading

Venezuela Part 2: Surviving the Crisis

Written by Fidgit

This is the largest human displacement in Latin America’s history. Teenage boys sit perched atop the cargo loads of semi trucks passing us in Colombia. Mothers carrying babies, walking toddlers, lying in the grass alongside the highway. The areas surrounding the city bus stations are tent cities. A young father bounces his infant daughter on his knees, cooing as she stares wide eyed at him.
This is the life into which she was born.
There is love within the wreckage.

Networks and selflessness like what I described in the previous blog are how the people in Venezuela are surviving the current crisis. Some of the first people to offer and actually provide on the ground support for our walk across South America were Venezuelans. Now, as we walk past groups pulling wheeled airport luggage down the side of the highway, displaced and forced into a desperate position, our hearts ache. Continue reading

Venezuela Part 1: Our Friends

Written by Fidgit

The Venezuelans we have met while walking across South America have consistently been supportive, generous, and kind. Part of it may be because those we have met are also travelers and we all know how a little help can go a long way but this group in particular were among the first to offer and actually provide on the ground support for our undertaking and set off a domino chain  of support.

In fact, our exposure to Venezuelan generosity began before we even started walking. On the first night we arrived to Santiago, Chile, there was an earthquake and also, we met Henry. After a morning breakfast of sharing folklore and stories, he volunteered to translate our blog posts into Spanish! He does this purely out of generosity and because he supports what we are walking to do. He has stuck with us over the years and from across his own travels around the globe. I have family members who are less invested in this undertaking than this man who we met for one day.
Continue reading

Riobamba to Ibarra

Written by Neon

Riobamba is situated in a valley surrounded by volcanoes. The cloud cover prevented us from seeing the tops of the peaks most of the time but we definitely felt their presence.

Leaving the city, the day began cloudy and spritzed rain on us as we ascended out of the valley to a pass between mountains. We climbed along older or abandoned dirt roads to a tiny town two-thirds of the way to the pass where we stopped for lunch. Men in the corner of the shop had a rousing discussion Continue reading

Ingapirca to Achupallas: Emiterio & Tia Ines

Written by Fidgit

In which Tia Ines and Emiterio explain (sometimes simultaneously): 
How Achupallas was built of of Pre-Inca and Incan stonework and some surprising tidbits about the invasion of the Spaniards

[Primarily in Spanish, interesting tidbits translated on the fly]

We had pushed into the evening, dropping from the high, bare, blustery, wet places on the Ingañan (what they call the Qhapaq Nan in Ecuador), chasing the yawning sun rays which stayed always just ahead of us. Continue reading

English Champions & Adolescent Guides: The Boys of Ecuador

Written by Fidgit

Ecuador is a spiderweb of roads. Crossing it has been a matter of connecting back and sometimes principal roads, periodically bisecting the PanAmerican highway, grateful not to be walking along it, but wondering where the other long travelers are headed at such great speeds. Still, it is life in the villages and countryside which most fascinate me. People who seem unable to understand hurry. They are one of my constant reminders to remain present. Continue reading

Loja to Cuenca

Haz clic aquí para leer en español

Written by Neon

Coming back up to Loja was akin to coming home – we were back ‘on track’ after a river respite. Time to move forward and work our way across Ecuador, continuing our walk north to Colombia and the Caribbean Sea. As we planned ahead, Fidgit and I decided to walk separately to the next city. This gave us space to decompress from a month around other people as well as process through swirling thoughts. Continue reading

Evening on the Marañón

Written by Fidgit

We pulled the boats onto the beach below Tupen Grande mid day. Most of the crew headed into the village for a dinner and a screening of Confluir. I had had more people time than I was used to and opted to stay behind and watch our gear, despite assurances they were safe under the guard of a couple local men who had come down to the water edge.
Continue reading