Things are getting exciting around here, as we count down to the start of our epic journey. We are now just four calendar weeks from the start of our Inca Trail hike, and we will be leaving to acclimate and do some last high altitude practice hikes in just over two weeks. Although I've been writing these updates for almost a year now, it was pointed out to me that I've neglected to do something that it seems everyone does...

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As of today (Saturday, July 22), we are now only 37 days away from setting out on the 26-mile Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Put another way, it has now been 339 days since we decided to completely change our lives around in order to get ready for a 4-day event. Of course there has been more to it than that; we really did need to get into better shape, me especially. But I'm not exaggerating when I say we...

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We have been spending time each day now preparing for our written Ecuador citizenship tests that we will have to take later this year. This involves working on our Spanish, in addition to trying to cram some information into our old, tired brains. As I struggle to try and memorize the names of Ecuadorian Presidents and their accomplishments, the provinces and their capitals, major geographic features, dates of holidays, and random cultural facts, I find myself thinking about both the...

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I've got some good personal news to report, and another important milestone in our quest to prepare to hike the Inca Trail - now just 53 days away. As I was able to announce to the attendees at International Living's Quito conference, "Hooray - I'm Fat!" Constant Readers among you may remember that back on October 11 of 2016, I was able to announce that I had cracked the 35 BMI barrier, and was then considered "obese" rather than "morbidly...

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At the risk of sounding like saps or even worse, fuddy-duddies, we have always tried to follow the correct paperwork procedures in each step of our lives overseas. When we applied for Visas, we collected all of the documents according to the Consular website and our Ecuadorian attorney's advice, and took no shortcuts or "money-saving" steps. Maybe it is just coincidence that our Visas were ready for pickup at the DC Consulate's office three weeks after filing, but I think...

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Greetings all, and time for the update on the second leg of our practice high altitude hikes in preparation for the Inca Trail, now just 60 days away. Really getting down to the short hairs here! We are back in our home at sea level, on the coast of Ecuador, and ramping up the training. We had a great time in Quito, as we hosted an information table at the International Living: Fast Track Ecuador conference, and I gave four...

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Here we are, just 76 days from setting off on the Inca Trail, and we have successfully completed our first major tests of hiking at altitude. The results were mostly positive, but also quite sobering. I think at the moment we both feel that we can probably do this, but it is going to be, pardon the pun, an uphill struggle. We began this new phase just four days ago on Friday. For me, the day did not start auspiciously....

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It is true that there are some unusual things to get used to when you choose to live in another country. Speaking a different language is something that is high on most people’s list in this regard, but I have found myself noticing some of the more subtle and interesting differences. Here in Ecuador for example, consider something as basic as food. Of course there is an adjustment to be made in the types of food available here, and this...

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I have to confess, I am a foodie. Although not a chef by any means, I love to cook, and I love to sample local dishes whenever we travel. So Ecuador is a perfect place for me to indulge in this weakness. Not only do I have access to incredibly fresh and healthy produce, meats, and seafood to use in my own kitchen, but there is also a wealth of local and traditional meals to experience. Best of all, even...

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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...

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