Time to take a break from the Exploring Ecuador series of just looking at places to live, and take a look at places to enjoy life in Ecuador. If you like walking around in the great outdoors, then Salinas has a great place for you to get your hike on. The picture above shows the westernmost point of Ecuador (excluding the Galapagos), a national park called La Puntilla de Santa Elena. Opened in October of 2008, La Puntilla is a...

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Rita and I returned last week from our trip to the States, having ensured the financial security of REI, Bass Pro Shops, Jockey and Reebok for 2017. I can't look directly at our American Express bill from our hike supply spending spree without dazzling my eyes, but I think we did surpass the gross domestic product of several small nations. We flew out of Guayaquil with two suitcases and two carry-on bags, and returned with 4 suitcases and four carry-on bags,...

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On April 7th 2017, a great injustice was finally rectified. The band "Yes" was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This has been long overdue. Yes, in its various combinations and incarnations, was one of the best bands going for decades. Their music was a big influence in my life, and as a bass player, Chris Squire was always a big musical role model for me (yes, one of my basses is a Rickenbacker). Although members have...

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As I watched Congressman Paul Ryan the other day, beaming his boyish grin while he talked with obvious joy about the benefits of stripping health insurance from the poor, sick, and elderly, I had a disturbing feeling of dejå vu. It is disturbing, because it seems to make some sense of recent events. It had been bothering me for a while now, this string of politicians actively seeking to punish the less fortunate. Ryan's insistence that cutting school lunches would...

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I was talking to someone in the States the other day about life in Ecuador, and he asked the question an expat hears fairly often – “Don’t you get homesick?” This is not a trivial question, and one that anyone thinking of moving to another country should consider. “Homesickness” has been recognized since ancient times, with references in the Old Testament of the Bible, and Homer’s Odyssey. Even Hippocrates recognized it as a valid complaint, suspecting it had to do...

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With the start of our Inca Trail Trek less than six months away now, we have passed some important milestones - despite almost constant preparatus interruptus over the few months. First milestone: we have now walked over 1,000 miles in our exercise walks. To put that in perspective, if we had set out from Washington DC heading south on US95 back in mid-August when the madness first consumed us, we would be between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida right now. Second...

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Who would have thought that moving to Ecuador would make Rita and me TV stars? Not that we are exactly the Kardashians of the southern hemisphere, but let me tell you about an interesting little event that happened at the end of last year. As happens with the most interesting things in life, this all started with a chain of small events. The first link in this particular chain started at the end of September, 2016. This humble blog was...

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Phone the neighbors, wake the kids, it is time for another Facebook rant! Today's topic: the misuse of memes as proof of the further dumbing down of America by Facebook. Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few decades, you have run across memes on the Internet. Technically, a meme can be any trend on social media. This includes things like Rick-Rolling, LOLcats, Dancing Baby, Hamster Dance, the classic video "All Your Base Are Belong To Us", and...

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Health care is always an important topic for those considering the expat life. In Ecuador you have several options, and which one works best for you is something you should think about very carefully. You can’t have too much information making this decision, so here is a real-life example from our second experience with surgery in Ecuador, this time in January 2017, when my wife needed to get her gall bladder removed. First, let’s do a quick review of the...

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Welcome to the next stop in the Exploring Ecuador series - the beach resorts of Salinas and Chipipe, on the Santa Elena peninsula. The Santa Elena peninsula is one of the two largest concentrations of expats on the coast, the other being the Manta region. As such, many people are interested in what is is like to live there. It is a large area, with several different types of lifestyles possible, so I will be breaking it into sections to discuss....

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