Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-03-2010, 01:46 PM   #21
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,710
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy View Post
...Again, I know it sounds abominable to most people, but for the thousands of dollars for the week or 10 day trip we would have taken just so we could say we were there, we chose not to go, and decided to spend that money to fund our entire trip through Ecuador instead. We were both very ok with our decision...
Actually I have several friends who came to the same conclusion after going there especially to see the Galapagos. They said it was too restrictive to be worth it. And, of course, you have seen so many wonderful things in your world travels anyway.

Thanks for the answer!
__________________

__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-03-2010, 06:50 PM   #22
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Onward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,664
Greetings all from Puerto Lopez, Ecuador. Iīve been here a couple of days now and I l like what Iīve found. The town is on the Pacific coast, south of Canoa. The beach here is more picturesque than Canoaīs, and the sand here is nicer. But Canoa gets the nod for better waves.

Puerto Lopez is better known and slightly more developed than Canoa. Roads here are paved, and tuk-tuks (or whatever theyīre called down here) will take you anywhere in town quickly. If you saw Anthony Bourdainīs show on Ecuador, you saw Puerto Lopez. It was where he got so chilled out that he threatened to quit the show and spend the rest of his life just kicking back here.

And thatīs the kind of place this is.... Very laid back, very beautiful. Lots of restaurants in town, and little places along the beach to get your drink of choice and pass the day watching the locals play volleyball, or the fishing boats bob on the bay. There are a few tourists here, but itīs nowhere near overrun. Nice. There is at least one ATM here in town, and plenty of tour companies that want to take you to look at boobies. The birds! What were you thinking?

On the down side, there are scraggly, homeless dogs wandering all the streets here. So far none have bothered me, but if you really dislike dogs, and you like to walk, you probably wonīt be comfortable here. Also, the farther you get from the beach, the more the town gets run down. No safety issues that Iīve detected, however. I feel safe here.

Iīve read that thereīs a good expat population here. Havenīt met any, but itīs easy to see why theyīre here. Theyīre drawn by the sea, sand, tranquility, and low prices of this place. Iīm getting hooked myself, and I definitely donīt have any plans to leave soon.

Ok, on to a couple of pix:



__________________

__________________
And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know.
Onward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2010, 11:49 PM   #23
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,292
Looks really cool, Onward. Any mosquitoes?
__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010, 11:04 AM   #24
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Onward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,664
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy View Post
Looks really cool, Onward. Any mosquitoes?
Good question. In Canoa (north of here) mosquitoes were a problem. I got bit several times (at least) every night, despite covering up, using repellent, and sleeping under a net.

Here in Puerto Lopez, I think Iīve been bitten only once in a couple of days. Precautions are the same. So the critters seem to be much less of a problem here than in Canoa.
__________________
And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know.
Onward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010, 12:33 PM   #25
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
kcowan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Pacific latitude 20/49
Posts: 5,710
Send a message via Skype™ to kcowan
Nicely done Onward! There is nothing like a report from the "front".
__________________
For the fun of it...Keith
kcowan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010, 12:43 PM   #26
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cleveland
Posts: 343
They don't believe in animal control (dog pounds) in South America? Whether they have them or not, I wouldn't put up with stray or vicious looking dogs for very long. They would come up missing.
__________________
skyvue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010, 02:57 PM   #27
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
travelover's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,874
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyvue View Post
They don't believe in animal control (dog pounds) in South America? Whether they have them or not, I wouldn't put up with stray or vicious looking dogs for very long. They would come up missing.
I'm surprised to hear of mean dogs there. My expereince with 3rd world dogs is that they are at the bottom of the pecking order and usually will give strangers a wide berth, especially if they think you have a rock in your hand. The only truly mean dogs I've seen were owned by the upper classes who used them as guard dogs to keep the peasants at bay.
__________________
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
travelover is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010, 06:27 PM   #28
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Onward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,664
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
My expereince with 3rd world dogs is that they are at the bottom of the pecking order and usually will give strangers a wide berth.
99% of the dogs here have done exactly that. I happened to meet up with one of the other 1% in Quito. Just my bad luck. In the US I've been attacked by stray dogs too (more than once).

Quote:
Originally Posted by skyvue View Post
Whether they have them or not, I wouldn't put up with stray or vicious looking dogs for very long. They would come up missing.
I have been asking myself the same thing since I got here. I like dogs, and would never recommend anything inhumane, but I just don't understand why the locals allow these sad animals to continue to wander around and do things like lift their legs on low-hanging produce at the markets (which I've seen). There's a piece of the puzzle that I'm missing, I guess.
__________________
And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know.
Onward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2010, 10:03 PM   #29
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,380
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onward View Post
99% of the dogs here have done exactly that. I happened to meet up with one of the other 1% in Quito. Just my bad luck. In the US I've been attacked by stray dogs too (more than once).



I have been asking myself the same thing since I got here. I like dogs, and would never recommend anything inhumane, but I just don't understand why the locals allow these sad animals to continue to wander around and do things like lift their legs on low-hanging produce at the markets (which I've seen). There's a piece of the puzzle that I'm missing, I guess.
When I was there a several decades ago-not Ecuador, but other Andean countries- I almost never saw a dog. I think the people were too hungry to let any meat run around, and certainly too hungry to feed them.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2010, 12:41 AM   #30
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,152
Stray dogs are not an issue at all in Medellin, Colombia, where I am living. And I walk everywhere here.

They were occasionally a minor issue in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the other place I have lived recently. My friend related the story that on his first year there, he was on a motorbike in an alley after dark and a stray dog was there growling at him and he had to woosh buy him on the moto with the dog trying to knaw him. A few seconds later he realized that it was a dead end, and so he had to run the gauntlet again on the way back out.

Anyway, stray dogs are dangerous because if you get bitten by one, you probably have to get rabies shots (there is also about a 5% chance of infection from any healthy dog bite). The actual pain of the bite or threat of physical pain from the dog is not that great, it is the rabies issue. I had to get out of the habit of petting strange dogs, as I would do in the States.

I have heard that in some places in Mexico the cats tend to live on the roofs because the dogs will get them at ground level.

I don't think stray dogs seemed to be a problem during my visit to Vietnam, either, but for (ahem) different reasons.

Kramer
__________________
kramer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2010, 10:15 AM   #31
Recycles dryer sheets
In-control's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 319
Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer View Post
Stray dogs are not an issue at all in Medellin, Colombia, where I am living. And I walk everywhere here.

They were occasionally a minor issue in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the other place I have lived recently. My friend related the story that on his first year there, he was on a motorbike in an alley after dark and a stray dog was there growling at him and he had to woosh buy him on the moto with the dog trying to knaw him. A few seconds later he realized that it was a dead end, and so he had to run the gauntlet again on the way back out.

Anyway, stray dogs are dangerous because if you get bitten by one, you probably have to get rabies shots (there is also about a 5% chance of infection from any healthy dog bite). The actual pain of the bite or threat of physical pain from the dog is not that great, it is the rabies issue. I had to get out of the habit of petting strange dogs, as I would do in the States.

I have heard that in some places in Mexico the cats tend to live on the roofs because the dogs will get them at ground level.

I don't think stray dogs seemed to be a problem during my visit to Vietnam, either, but for (ahem) different reasons.

Kramer


Very keen observation about the dogs and cats. I have not had any problems with the dogs unless there in a pack. When I see that I change directions. I always wondered why the cats hang out on roof tops, now I know.
__________________
Just Trekking thru!
In-control is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2010, 12:18 PM   #32
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,898
The dogs in Ecuador are starving. That's why they are mean. While traveling there I was shocked by the disregard that Ecuadorans had for the welfare of the street animals. They just ignored them completely. I saw a scrawny dog standing patiently next to a woman cooking food at a road side stand who just totally ignored the animal. It was clearly, to me, her dog.

At least in Peru, where even street dogs look well fed, if the dog problem gets out of hand, the officials reduce the population. The attitude toward the dogs in Peru was interesting to me. They treat the family dog as a free agent, do not neuter, and after breakfast turn him out to go and do things dogs do. There's a certain amount of respect for the animal which I appreciated. But then again, there's the problem of overpopulation.

As for Ecuador, Cuenca is a splendid city. Quito has a lot of air polution. There are no smog devices on the many cars.

The Galapagos are well worth the money, if you can afford it and you are an animal lover. The snorkeling there was absolutely the best I've ever experienced! I snorkeled with penguins and sea lions as well as big schools of fish. It was divine! But the water is cold; you need a wet suit.

Peru, I thought, was a much more beautiful country with a fascinating history and a culture that still maintains its Inca heritage, despite the Spanish influence. Ecuador is very Catholic, which may appeal to some and not others.
__________________
Zoocat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2010, 04:46 PM   #33
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Onward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,664
My last stop on the Ecuadorian coast is the lengendary Montaņita. I say "legendary" because I've been hearing about the place from almost everyone I've met in in this country. Montaņita is apparently the Ecuadorian capital of sea, surf, sun, and sex. And that about sums it up. It's an almost Disney-like little village built on the edge of the country's best surfing beach.

If you're a 22-yr-old surfer, you'd probably love Montaņita. In fact, you'd probably never want to leave. It's a very young and hip crowd here, and unfortunately I'm neither. I feel out of place, about 25 yrs older than the implicit cut-off. The parties start around midnight and routinely overflow into streets. After sleeping it off, everyone gets up and surfs. What a life.

But it's not for me, so this place doesn't get my recommendation as a potential expat haven. Here are a couple of pix of Montaņita:



__________________
And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know.
Onward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2010, 05:06 PM   #34
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,380
Could we see some of the sex objects?
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2010, 11:33 AM   #35
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Worldwide
Posts: 913
Kcowan
Quote:
Actually I have several friends who came to the same conclusion after going there especially to see the Galapagos. They said it was too restrictive to be worth it. And, of course, you have seen so many wonderful things in your world travels anyway.

Thanks for the answer!
 
You are welcome, Kcowan. And Kevin, thanks for your kind words.

GREAT photos, Onward. Makes me want to return. Thanks for your continuing update on your Ecuador trip.

Akaisha
__________________
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. They have lived over 2 decades of this financially independent lifestyle, traveling the globe.
Billy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2010, 07:05 PM   #36
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Onward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,664
Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
Could we see some of the sex objects?
I'll try to dig up a photo of me in my speedo.
__________________
And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know.
Onward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2010, 08:51 PM   #37
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 66
Onward,

I've been following your journeys in Ecuador, particularly down to the coast, with a lot of interest. After you left Otavalo, I was waiting for you to resurface.

Spent about 5 weeks there in the late 1980s. At that time Quito wasn't particularly bustling nor do I remember pollution or concern about crime. We stayed with some friends from Chile who had a house there. Also went into the Amazon region (to what may have been one of the first tourist lodges in the area) and to Cuenca, which was lovely.

From Otavalo, though, we went north to Ibarra and took the train down to the coast ending up in San Lorenzo or Valdez, where the coastal roads south started. Did you consider doing this?

At that time there were no roads in the region. It was either backtrack, I'm remembering, or take the train, which was supposed to be spectacular. From Valdez we were able to take a bus down to Esmeraldas for the night and then transfer to buses that would reach beach communities. My guess is that we remained well to the north of where you were.

At the time I was traveling a lot and had been a number of places where there were either few foreigners (remote areas of Borneo) or political tensions (NW frontier of Pakistan, Bangladesh). Nothing compared in danger or social tension to that part of Ecuador. Enormous disparities in income; I'm remembering that the ancestors of the inhabitants of the marshy northern coastal region were escaped slaves.

To be brief, the train was only way for desperate folks to reach the villages on the western slope of the Andes where life was at a subsistence level (pretty much just rice and bananas). Tickets could be acquired by graft only; we got ours from some saavy Brits. The only way to use the ticket was not to foolishly wait at the station but to go to the shed, wait for the doors to open, and fight your way onto the train as it started to move. Crowds surrounded the train refusing to let it move, the army was called in then departed. I found that my ticket did not come with a seat - a definite inconvenience for a ride of maybe up to 14 hours.

No one, I noticed, in the crowded train (only one car) grazed, even inadvertently, the seat occupied by a man dressed simply but immaculately in a white shirt and black pants. With the departure of the army and the return of the crowd, he suddenly rose, told everyone to leave the car, and collected their tickets. Leave, turn in mine? My boyfriend said no, stay - I choose. Go for or rather with the power seemed sensible. I stepped off the train into a crowd that was turning into a mob and wanted me to move away from the car entrance. My boyfriend, an old SDS organizer, seeing the tension rise joined me and promptly started a rally, which changed the mood of the crowd almost instantaneously.

The mysterious man reboarded us returning my ticket. It wasn't the original; I now had the best seat on the train (front, away from the gear box) formerly occupied by an expat engineer. He wasn't happy but of course just let it go (he did get a seat - just the second best). The train finally left with men clinging to the sides. Most eventually fell off. Never did figure out who the man in the white shirt was. He refused to let me thank him or talk to me.

The coastal town was a seat of shacks joined by boards over mud. Knives were the weapon of choice. (Don't remember what happened to the expat engineers.)

We reached Esmeraldas, the regional town, by bus the next night. I couldn't convince my boyfriend that going in at night - just the 2 of us now with the Brits having peeled off - was problematic enough that it was necessary to figure it out ahead of time. There are times to pay for a decent hotel; we could have paid the bus driver extra to take us right to it. Instead of agreeing to this, we ended up off the bus having a discussion (well, I was listening) about the social dynamics of our relationship.

I pointed out that groups of young men were coming out of the shadows towards us. There was an open gas station behind us and it was about time to run for it. On the way, a cab actually came down the deserted street and I dragged now confused BF into it. He was somewhat mollified when he was told by some guys at the hotel bar that there was a reason that the only "best" hotel in town (then $20 a night) was surrounded by a high chain link fence.

It was OK to be on the streets in daylight. The town was filled with piles of garbage. At one point a police car pulled up beside us while we at an outside cate. The officer in charge began beating a hapless prisoner on the head while simultaneously fondling him. Don't think this was that out of the ordinary. Pedestrians on the street could see and walked by quickly with fear and loathing on their faces.

Got curious enough - and hit the net. The train still runs although there are roads. There are tours down the tracks given how spectacular the ride it. It was - the tracks literally surrounded by jungle. Glad to see some tourist dollars are reaching that portion of the coast, though imagine it's still pretty poor. It was not at all typical of the rest of Ecuador (different population in the coastal marshes, isolated villages on the slopes, rough oil trade in the town).
__________________
EveryLady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2010, 05:07 PM   #38
Dryer sheet wannabe
Green Retirement's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 20
Onward:
As someone who lived and owned a B&B in Costa Rica for four years, I am totally enjoying your reports, and I thank you for taking the time to share it with us all. Muchas Gracias por todo!
__________________
Do The World A Favor And Retire!
Green Retirement is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2010, 06:19 PM   #39
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Onward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,664
EveryLady, you had much more adventure in Ecuador than I am having! Partly because you were here some time ago, and partly because I am a coward! I didn't go to the north east because my time in Ecuador is limited. Otavalo is as far north as I've been, and unfortunately as far north as I will probably go.

I've been in the city of Cuenca for two days now, and I am thoroughly won over. It is colorful, lively, and magnificent. Take out the cars & power lines, and the city center looks about the same as in 1600--soaring colonial cathedrals, lovely cobblestone walkways, a flower market, spotless parks and plazas all over the place. I've woken up to ancient church bells every morning. Iīve counted three different rivers, all scenic, that run through town. And, prepare yourself: I haven't seen a single stray dog in the city center of Cuenca.

This place has a very European feel. More than once, walking around, I've had a moment of forgetfulness and thought I was in Paris or Prague. (It's probably even more like Spain, but I haven't been there.) There are museums and restaurants of many cusines all over the place here. And unlike Quito, Cuenca is very pleasantly managed on foot.

I believe there are lots of retiree expats here already, though I haven't met them. If you're interested in Ecuador, I strongly suggest you check out Cuenca. You might run into me on some cobblestone street some night....

Couple of pix of Cuenca:



__________________
And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know.
Onward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2010, 10:57 AM   #40
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Worldwide
Posts: 913
Hi Onward,

We loved Cuenca. We could see that grand cathedral from 2 different hotels in which we stayed - from the balcony in one hotel and from the bathroom in another. I can see why Expats would move there.

For more photos, check here and here

Here's our Travel and Hotel Information for anyone who might be interested.

Akaisha
Author, The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement
The Adventurer's Guide to Chapala Living
__________________

__________________
In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. They have lived over 2 decades of this financially independent lifestyle, traveling the globe.
Billy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
iPod Touch First Impressions TromboneAl Other topics 34 04-20-2010 02:45 PM
First impressions just 5 days after ESR Rich_by_the_Bay Life after FIRE 66 04-16-2010 10:39 AM
8 months in Germany - My impressions Trek Life after FIRE 29 08-07-2009 10:20 PM
Ecuador or Bust AlmostThere Life after FIRE 91 10-28-2008 02:33 PM
Ecuador Andina Life after FIRE 1 02-15-2003 01:59 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:44 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.