2 Volunteers on an Organic Farm

June 19, 2011 § 4 Comments

2 hour hike from civilization? Check. “Trash” sorted into 6 different bins? Check. Compost toilet (glorified term for a bucket)? Check! Welcome to Sacred Suenos (Sacred Dreams), the organic farm in Ecuador where we paused our travels to volunteer for a week.

2 ready volunteers, poop bucket and machete in hand

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Adventure Sports

June 14, 2011 § 3 Comments

We took advantage of the low prices in South America to try a bunch of adventure sports. Most cost under a third of their US-equivalent prices (yet still offer over half the safety!). Here’s what we’ve done so far:

Paragliding

San Gil, Colombia

My most commonly recurring dream is having the ability to fly — or to sort of hover using a mysterious seated position — over the trees and houses of my neighborhood. When I wake up I’m deeply disappointed that my magic power is gone. Paragliding is the answer.

You sit in a comfortable harness along with the instructor, the wind fills the sail behind you, and then you canter off the side of a hill and lift-off. It’s so gentle that I didn’t even realize we were off the ground at first. Once aloft it’s quite peaceful and not scary at all.


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Spanish colonial towns – the charming and the unexpected

June 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

In South America, though the capitals typically contain 30-50% of the entire country’s population, they are not generally destinations in and of themselves (exception, Buenos Aires). Let us recommend three alternative cities which are probably new to you: Sucre, Bolivia; Arequipa, Peru; and Cuenca, Ecuador.

All of these cities have a similar feel with their well-preserved buildings, square Spanish-style plazas, and cute cobblestone streets. The United Nations has listed them all as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Two of them even have the same nickname: “The White City”. As Andean cities, all have elevations of at least 7,000 feet. And though they overflow with historic charm, each of them intrigued us with some non-traditional surprises as well.

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