Hard to believe, but we are now less than 100 days from the start of our Inca Trail Trek. We are into the double-digits. Ninety-nine days from now, we should be getting into a van at our hotel in Cuzco at 4:30am to head out to the start of the trail, and a four-day three-night adventure. In preparation so far we have walked 1,327 miles, and taken 18,903 stairs - 14,619 of those just since mid-April. Although my weight is...

Read more

I've been thinking a lot lately about women's rights issues. It is not an easy thing to do for a person of the male persuasion, much like how a white person who grew up in a middle-class suburb really cannot understand completely what is it like to grow up black in a ghetto. But with all the things going on politically in the US that seem detrimental to women specifically, you can't help but wonder exactly what is going on with...

Read more

Happy Anniversary to me and Rita! It as 8 years ago today (May 3rd) that we had our first date. Although to be honest, I did not know it was a date at the time. Let me explain. I got married in December of 1983 to Carolyn, and we had two children. We had a happy marriage, which ended in December of 2008, just a few days short of our 25th wedding anniversary, when she died of complications arising from breast...

Read more

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...

Read more

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,...

Read more

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...

Read more

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...

Read more

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...

Read more

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...

Read more

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...

Read more