An Egg and A Cigarette: Tales of a Family’s Volunteering in Ecuador and Peru

Manu Park Volunteer

Zone B is a Buffer Zone, generally known as the Reserved Zone and set aside mainly for controlled research and tourism. Zone C is the Transitional or Cultural Zone, an area of human settlement for controlled traditional use. Rich in macaw salt-licks, otter lagoons and prowling jaguars, there are thirteen species of monkey and seven species of macaw in Manu, and it still contains other species in serious danger of extinction, such as the giant otter and the black caiman Melanosuchus www.

The road is used Cusco - Shintuya, in which the second named is in the province of Manu; in whose path the vehicle train is regulated, considering day in and day out admission days are Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Besides this pathway Paucartambo has steep slopes, why circulating Paucartambo into the jungle only trucks and vans suspension wheel drive, especially to spend Sludge and Coal ford rivers. In which place is held the Sunday fair purchase and see agricultural products of the highlands area, such as potatoes, ollucos, barley, lamb.

Then after two hours of journey up Paucartambo, which is 2, meters above sea level. View gallery of the Manu National Park. River Mapacho going through the hill that city Paucartambo is characterized by well-painted houses, some white and others blue with blue balconies narrow streets well paved with river stones is also famous party of the Virgin del Carmen celebrated with much pomp on 16 July, with the large variety of groups of dancers who sing beautiful songs.

This town is located 77 kilometers from the city of Cusco. After passing the town of Paucartambo climb to the highest point called Acjanacu at the entrance of Manu National Park is kilometers an hour to three quarters of the 3, m located and 3 degrees Celsius temperature where the first checkpoint is the Manu National Park. The observation is between the months of May June to mid-July; This natural phenomenon is beautiful by the different shades of colors that contrast between the star rising sun and clouds, each output being very different in color and shape in his appearance, to be observed across the disk of the star.

This entire sector has very steep descent, which is why the development of very dangerous road has many sharp curves that are adorned with crosses testifying accidents that occurred in these places. As the road goes down to LA Manu National Park Reserve will reach the place called New Hope name since then up to Pillawata where there are two houses, the place where a restaurant where passengers take their food works. From this place the jungle begins and the presence of orchids Sobralia dichotoma.

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The place called San Pedro is located in the Manu National Park Reserve tranche which has a very rocky descent in bounds, with crisp presence on both sides of the deep ravines on the right road forest. In this section the traveler will have the opportunity to observe the beauty of the Cock of the Rock, nuanced color between red and black male and female dark brown from the Paca here or Bamboo Guadua weberbaueri that is hanging over whose branches can have the thick thorns at each node.

Since the accident was eaten by laborers who named the creek as it removes Briefs. Then, after an hour's drive you will reach the small village within Chonta Chaka Reserve Manu National Park which means bridge in Castilian Chonta Bactris gasopi in whose place the descent of the road ends, and then continue plain passing the Assumption community as it is called a ranch inhabited place where great diversity of species in their natural habitat.

Then above the lowest populated country in this part of the road has very deep sloughs and potholes that make impossible the movement of small cars; likewise in the towns of ChontaChaka and Patria on both sides of the cemetery road truck chassis Chevrolet and Ford to , shows that come to be silent in the history of logging and transfer are observed des wood forest to the road in such vehicles of the Manu National Park.

The three larger species of the Amazon Peru Macaw are much brighter in color than the other two Red and Green Macaws and Scarlet Macaws are both bright crimson, but Red and Greens have no yellow feathers on their wings Scarlet do. Blue and Yellow Macaws, as their name suggests, are bright cobalt blue and gold in the Amazon Peru All three have harsh crow-like calls that echo around the forest, whether in flight, feeding in fruiting trees or at the colpas, they are never quiet.

Amazon Peru Macaws nest in holes in trees or in the branches of large emergent trees. Blue and Yellows are the most selective-in choosing a nest site, generally only nesting inside old Puna Palms. This is a growing problem for these spectacular birds as the bird trade has cut down many of these nest sites in the search for chicks to export. There are research programmers, however in Tambopata that erect artificial nest sites, in likely trees to hopefully safeguard the future of these incredible birds in the Amazon Peru The two smaller in the Amazon Peru Macaw species both have mainly green plumage with blue wings.

The Chestnut Flouted Macaw is distingue from the Red Bellied Macaw by having white facial skin and a reddish color on the underside of its wings and tail. Throughout in the Amazon Peru history, extravagant wealth and sordid misery are dominant themes. Fortunes were found and lost; kingdoms were defeated; peoples were enslaved and freed.

Added to this, the overwhelming power of legends attracted conquistadors from halfway across the world in search of the gilded man of El Dorado, while explorers throughout the centuries have searched in vain for the women tribes of the Amazon Peru and numerous lost cities: Today the Amazon yields few of its past secrets.

Unfortunately the heat, together with the damp and acid soils of the rainforest, conspire to decompose organic remains quickly before they can fossilize. Human fossils are virtually absent from the lowland regions, so we have practically no certain clues as to how and when people arrived in the area. Likewise, without animal fossils it is difficult to reconstruct ancient faunas and so we are denied the human picture in its ecological context. Aboriginal peoples of the Americas are believed to have arrived on the continent around 15 , years ago, between the two most recent ice ages.

Migrating east and southwards, the hunter-gatherers made their way across the isthmus of Central America down to South America. This wave of migration gave rise to the Olmec, Maya and A2tec civilizations of Central America which flourished from BC until the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in the early s.

In the eastern coastal regions and highlands of South America the Chimu and Inca, along with many other cultures, left ample architectural and cultural artefacts for us to ponder. In the last twenty years, chance discoveries and finds of stone tools and ceramics have suggested that large populations were established on the flood plains near the current city of Manaus by BC. And then it thundered and started to rain again — no problem, we were having our welcome drink under cover.

As we were meeting him and hearing what we have in store Paul looked a little aghast at the 5am wake up calls… there was a six foot caiman that came swimming in front of the bar. Just having a look….. There is a part of the lake that has been meshed off so that swimming can take place in there. Knowing there are piranha and other dodgy things in the lake, I might give swimming a miss! We were then shown to our little huts — all wood, with a wooden balcony with a couple of hammocks on. It looks over the rainforest, and the noise is quite deafening with all the little animals and birds competing to be heard.

Especially as the sun goes down and all those little bitey things come out to play…… Dinner was at 7. The main dining room is waiter service apart from salads and puddings, and there is a choice — not just take it or leave it!

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We took to the canoe with our guide Christian and a native Fernando, everyone gets a local as well, someone who has grown up in the rainforest. It was pitch black, and we paddled across the lake — no lifejackets, no lights, and caiman in the water! Well, we were actually looking for caiman. When Christian shone his torch along the edge of the lake the eyes of the caiman will light up. And there they were.

And then they were gone. We went down little tributaries looking for the blessed things — it reminded me of going on the Ghost Train at the fair. Long trails off the overhead trees, grasses touching your hands — knowing what was out there it made you jump when something made contact. Anyway, we saw three pairs of eyes one caiman three times or three different ones, who knows and as soon as the light was on them they disappeared.

So would I if I had a light shining in my eyes. Back to the lodge empty handed, so to speak. It was actually 5. And there was an egg station! Things are looking up. By 6am we were in the canoe and ready for the next adventure. We had a quick look for the caiman, to no avail. They were well and truly hiding now. After a short walk after getting out of the canoe, we arrived at an enormous kapok tree with a forty foot tower at the top.

Up the steps we went — deftly missing the spiders in their webs on the way up. And there was quite a few of them. Apparently none will kill you. The bad news is they hurt if they bite you. Incentive enough to avoid them if you can. At the top of the tower we were overlooking the main canopy of the rainforest. The birds were flying — there was even a sloth in a tree about yards away that Fernando the local spotted. Just a bit too far to get a good photo! It was so peaceful up there — there was even a tarantula poking his feet out waiting for his next prey.

The birds were so fast it was quite difficult to get a good shot — unlike in the Galapagos where you were tripping over the wildlife and it was so close. It was a good experience though. On the way back we saw a heron and some monkeys and other bits and pieces. And it started to rain again. Fernando had the ponchos to hand so no one got wet. It was quite pleasant when it rained — the humidity here is very high. Paul took off his poncho and there was a very pretty black and white spider on it — no idea how long that had been there!

There were drinks and snacks at the lake bar, and then a buffet lunch was served there. Some of the more serious bird watchers kept getting up to take pictures of various birds during lunch — it was too hot. We went walking for our next expedition — to the back of the lodge.

It was now so hot and humid my clothes were wet and sweat was poring off me. We first went to a little butterfly farm that they have here at the lodge, where they encourage seven species of enormous butterflies to grow and flourish. It was even hotter in there! We then had a three hour walk through the rainforest — and no rain at all. Fernando gave us a couple of demonstrations on how the locals use palm leaves and what they do with them, and how they use them for medicine.

We saw more spiders, and monkeys, and got thoroughly wet through with sweat. Nothing here dries either — you hang up a wet towel and it is still wet when you go to use it again. Hmm — seem to have been there before. But the good news is there are little or no mosquitoes here — so not a malarial area. The cold shower has never been so welcome — except as soon as you step outside you are drenched in sweat again.

If you want to see things like the rainforest you have to put up with the weather. Not a late one — 5am start in the morning again tomorrow! The knock came on the door at 5am sharp — and nobody wanted to move. This is meant to be a holiday? The sun had not even risen when we made out way to breakfast, it was just coming up over the lake.

We were off to see a Parrot Lick this morning — had no idea what one of those was, but now I do. Apparently parrots need clay in their diet, and there is an exposed clay riverbank about half an hour down the Napo River on the edge of the Yasuni National Park. This happens early in the morning as long as it is sunny and dry. So we started with the reverse of what we did to get here — on a canoe for twenty minutes, walk twenty minutes, and then a motorised canoe.

The motorised canoe took a little persuading to start — there were thirteen of us this morning and three guides. It did eventually start, so we had a very interesting and lovely and breezy journey down the Napo to the Parrot Claylick. You could hear them before we even got to it. They were making a huge racket. They were all seemingly perched on the clay, with hundreds more in the surrounding trees waiting in line. Every now and then they would get spooked maybe a snake or another predator and they would all fly off for a few seconds, and then all come back on again.

We then went back and up a little creek to a local community project — the Shipati Warmi project of the Providencia Community of Yasuni. On the way there we saw an anaconda snake — it was apparently only a baby one, although there was too much of it to see it all. It was under and through leaves on the river bank. Must have been able to tell with the thickness of the body I suppose — unless it is a plastic one that has been put there for the tourists!

When Christian spotted it we sort of went past it, so we reversed up and stalled. Oh dear…that engine did not want to start again. It took a good ten minutes of constantly pulling the thing that makes it start before it finally burst in to life. There are several local communities all along the river where the local people live — the oil business brought quite a few people here several years ago, but has since declined so many of the men are out of work.

This particular project was started and is run by the women of the tribe. There is a typical hut here, as well as a gift shop that has trinkets made by the women. They do not have separate rooms, just the one that does for everything. They did not speak English, so all questions and answers had to be interpreted by Pablo another guide and Christian.

This was not a tourist show at all — the ladies, Cynthia and Virginia, were very shy, but happy to speak about their lives. They had various foods cooking over the fire, but first told us how their day started at 3am by making a tea out of large leaves — not tea leaves as we know them. This supposedly gives you energy for the day — will have to try that when I get home with some leaves off the hedge! They also make a drink of Chicha — made with various vegetables but if left for a few days ferments and turns into alcohol.

Cynthia demonstrated how they grate the vegetables with parts of the trunk of a spiky tree — everything they have and use is from the forest. Then came the fun part. On the grill was a kebab of beetle lava — they had a pot of live ones, which are apparently very good for you.

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I also declined the cooked one — although Paul did try that one. I had a cooked cocoa bean — very brave. We then went on to blow pipes. It was explained how the pipes and darts were made, and how they are used to kill monkeys for food. Some had a go — only at a wooden parrot rather than a live monkey — but most missed.

The darts are coated in the toxins of poisonous frogs kept in a box and shaken to make them angry to produce the poison that anaesthetizes the animals so they can be caught. The last part of the visit was about river turtles. They have a system where they collect the eggs of the turtles before they can be eaten, and put into a hatchery to allow the eggs to become turtles. Paul wanted to do that, but whilst the turtles were brought from the hut the rain started. Not just a trickle — an absolute downpour. We put the ponchos provided on, and took our little turtle down to the river.

It was like a river going down to the river — there was gallons of water cascading past us. The turtles were almost washed in rather than having to crawl. At least there were no birds about to pluck them out of the water for their lunch. We all got in the canoe, pushed off….. We slowly drifted backwards down the creek whilst the boat man tried to start the engine.

Not only were we drifting aimlessly albeit in the right direction the boat was beginning to fill with water. After about half an hour, and the water getting over my boots, the guides started to bail out with their Wellington boots. Then the engine started — woo hoo. Until they had gone out of view and the engine stalled again.

Pablo took a couple of seat backs off and tried to use them as a paddle and a rudder — I did start humming the tune of Hawaii Five O but no-one seemed to get the joke. Then the engine started again — hooray. We got to the end of the creek — now all we had to do was go a little way up the Napo and get to the other side.

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Except for that sandbank that we seemed to have beached ourselves on. It was then a case of Pablo hopping out and everyone swinging from side to side in unison to get us back into deeper water. And then we were back. Quite a little adventure — absolutely soaked through, camera equipment dripping, boots full of water, but a fun morning! They had been scared. We then had the walk and the canoe back to the Lodge — Nancy took prime position as the front paddle, and I must say she did a good job.

She apparently was a whiz with a canoe in Ontario — and it showed. The manager greeted us with a late lunch when we returned, and offered to collect all our wet gear and launder and dry it. Perfect — although I feel a few of our neighbours over the pond may have given him a hard time before we got there.

We only had about an hour before we needed to be ready to go out again. Even I am beginning to think this is a boot camp! This afternoon we hiked through the jungle to the Canopy Walk. Bearing in mind my boots had gone off to dry, I was in borrowed Wellington boots — about two sizes too big. It felt as if I was walking in flippers. All the trails had turned to mud or streams, so on one hand it was good to have wellies on, but on the other it was fairly difficult walking.

Fernando spotted a couple of owls up in the tree — just looking down on us. They looked of the Harry Potter type — and they were staring at us right in the eye. Christian set up the scope — what a perfect view. Mark took a picture with his iphone on the scope lens — great picture.

MANU BLANQUILLO MACAW CLAY LICK (Hiding Place)

It was far too dark for my camera to get anything decent. Because it was still raining of course. We got to the canopy walk — three towers forty metres high with a three hundred metre suspension bridge between them. It was even harder going up the steps with the flippers on. But what an amazing view from the top — miles and miles of forest. And rain clouds, and thunder, and lightening. Unfortunately this meant that most of the wildlife was in the dry somewhere — unlike the humans up the tower. We crossed the first bridge to the middle tower — Paul decided that the Indiana Jones music should accompany our crossing just in case there was a pygmy tribe with blow pipes about to cut the ties to the bridge.

We did spot some birds but they were a long way off. We crossed the second suspension bridge, and then some decided rather than walk through the jungle underneath we would cross it back again. OK — I can do that. Some went down, we went across and all met at the bottom of the first tower. Then we had another thirty minutes or so trekking through the jungle to get back to the Lodge.

It certainly has been a wet day today. Quick shower and then it was dinner — we all had dinner together with Christian and the rest of the group tonight, and very nice it was too. Apart from the little bitey things that has also come into the dining room to get out of the rain for their dinner.

And had a feast on those of us that forgot to put the bug spray on. Nearly made it without any bites. We had to be packed and the luggage out of the room by 6. Looking at Christian paddling in the front of the canoe Fernando was back in his usual position at the rear I think Nancy did a better job! The luggage had gone ahead of us in waterproof bags — I think they have this down to a t. It was raining again now. But, it is the rainforest. They let us borrow the Wellington boots until we got to the motorised canoe on the Napo River — my boots had been taken to be dried out, but they were still damp inside.

We got on the canoe and the motor started first time. The river was a lot higher than it had been previously — it must have rained an awful lot in the last twenty four hours. At least we had a roof on this boat — although no sides. It did stop once we got going. The boat driver had to work very hard — the river is absolutely full of sand banks as demonstrated by Mark who had downloaded google maps on his iphone, and could use the gps to see where we were with no signal whatsoever.

And I should imagine that they shift with varying amounts of water. We seemed to weave an awful lot more than we did coming up. He did a good job. Then Mark pointed at a rather large volcano looming up in the distance before us. It was huge — and one that I had completely missed on the way up. It was behind me I suppose — but still not sure how something that big could be invisible.

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Perhaps it was behind cloud…. We almost hit a sand bank — just a little shudder — not sure how that would have worked without seatbelts. I think perhaps a pile of people towards the front of the boat, if not forward of the front of the boat. And then there is the caiman….. We got back to Coca in one piece — of course we did. With about an hour to spare, so we went back to their office and had a drink and a snack or two before going to the airport. Only an hour before the flight — not really big enough to handle passengers any earlier than that.

Quick flight, on time, and arrived back to a sunny Quito. Paul the driver was at the airport to take us to the Patio Andaluz Hotel. Then we thought we would have a good chance to get to the top of the cable car as the weather was unusually good. By the time we had settled in, had lunch and a drink, got changed and out of the hotel it was raining and very cloudy.

Late start today — our guide was not picking us up from the hotel until 8. So, in our bizarre hotel room we had no idea what the weather was like. We have a duplex room, a downstairs with windows that look out onto the corridor around the courtyard, and an upstairs with another bedroom and bathroom, and another few steps on to a balcony — with a table and chairs that look over the same courtyard. Like being in an inside cabin on a cruise ship!

The roof over the courtyard is glass, so you can see the colour of the sky over the little square. We had breakfast with no egg station — but a prawn station. Our guide — should have been Albertino but somehow has morphed into Luis — met us in reception and Paul the driver was waiting outside. Our first stop was Panecillo Hill — the hill where the Madonna statue stands.

It looked pretty cloudy on the way up, so I was not sure that we were doing the right thing. We got there, and the statue was shrouded in mist. Apparently, the statue depicts a lady of the apocalypse — which can happen at any time. The sculptor struggled to find a model for his work, got drunk one night and thought the flamenco dancer in the bar he was in was perfect — so it was she that was the model. Her hands are positioned very similar to that of a flamenco dancer — hey ho. The clouds cleared and we had a good view of the city below and the statue.

And then the clouds came back, and then they went again. The moral of the story — you have no idea what the view is going to be like because it changes every ten minutes. There were plenty of stray dogs around up here — who seemed to bark and chase every car that was going down the hill.

They all seem to survive though — the drivers have no intention of slowing down so they must have got getting out of the way down to a fine art. We went back down the hill and back to the old town, and were dropped off just outside the Casa Gargontena — my all time favourite hotel in Quito by a mile. We entered the convent — which is actually the home of the Franciscan Monks, started by St Francis of Assisi.

The courtyard was lovely, full of birds and trees and flowers. We walked up the stairs and into the choristers room that overlooked the church. Amazing gold leaf design — although no pictures allowed. We also spent a little time in the museum here — which showed pictures of a Good Friday march that happens every year following a statue of Jesus carrying the cross. Followed by lots of what looked like klu klux klan. The klu klux klan dress was apparently copied from these people. If we thought there was a lot of gold in the last one, this one had more.

It was impressive, and incredibly intricate in every place you looked. How much money goes into making religious icons — how much better would it be if it was spent on making the world a better place. Never going to happen. Enough churches said Paul. We were allowed in and up to the balcony, which overlooked the Plaza. There were two guards at the entrance to the main building, and we just happened to be there at the changing of the guard. Only took a few minutes but it was interesting to watch. A lot of foot stomping and heel clicking.

And then there were just two again. The base of the cable car is located in the foothills of the Rucu Pichincha Volcano. It takes you from around 3, metres at the base to just over 4, metres at the top on an eighteen minute journey through the clouds. On the way up, the vegetation changes to go with the altitude. There are amazing views of the whole of Quito from up there — and yes, at times in breaks in the clouds we could see it all. It is a banana shape going around the base of the volcano, and is not very wide but very long — about 22 kilometres. We walked a little way further up the hill — the trail actually goes for another eleven kilometres to the top of the volcano, but with the altitude I think eleven yards did me in.

During the journey back down the dark grey clouds seemed to be rolling in, so I think we did well in the short window we had. We had a bit of a two and eight with the guard at the bottom who would not allow Paul the driver back in to pick us up. We had to walk down the hill, catch a free bus for about five minutes and then he could pick us up. It took us ten minutes to get down the hill and back to the old town to finish the tour, so we went and had a coffee in a little shop off the Plaza Grande. Earlyish start again today — Luis was in reception to collect us at 7. We were in his car now — a Kia SUV instead of the ten seater minibus we had been in — much more comfortable and sensible.

We made our way out of the city, and headed south for the first time. Our first stop after a couple of hours drive was at the Rose Success Rose Farm in a town called Lasso. Ecuador is the worlds leading supplier of roses by quality. If you buy an Ecuadorian rose and look after it it should last four weeks. Even if it is bought in the UK. It is something to do with the altitude in which they are grown — apparently around metres above sea level is good. We started with a look in two of their huge greenhouses — each greenhouse has rows and rows of rose bushes.

This is only a small to medium rose producer, but in low season they cut 25, stems a day and in high season 50, stems a day. That is a lot of roses. And each one is cut by hand. We watched the whole system — from the ladies and gents with the cutters dragging the carts, going up and down the rows, to the men dragging the bigger carts with the roses on the smaller carts having been transferred to them and then taking them to a large packing shed. There are people sorting and putting them in water, waiting for the next person to sort into colours and length of stems to give to the correct person for the next stage.

Then someone takes the perfect roses and packs twenty four in a cardboard package, puts on a production line to have the stems cut all the same length, and then they are moved into the chiller waiting for the lorry to come to take them away. All by hand, not an electrical machine in sight. Beautiful roses — I know what I am going to look for in future! The next stop, and only about half an hour away, was Saquisili Market.

Paul rolled his eyes again — a bit like churches, once he has done one he has done them all. But boy oh boy was this different. It only happens once a week on a Thursday lucky for us and it is huge. People come from miles around both to buy and to sell their wares. We went to the livestock part first we saw a van with a horse in the back on the way — someone happy with their purchase but most of the animals had been sold by the time we got there. There were piles and piles of animal feed there — and the biggest pile of bananas that were being sold for animal consumption I have ever seen.

We made our way around another couple of roads, and came to the main market square. I think we were the only tourists there — it was jam packed with local people. There seemed to be sections for different things — the first section we came to were guinea pigs and rabbits that were being sold for food.

Everything went from here live, so it was fresh. There were chickens in bags, strung up by their feet, in cages — all with no idea what was in store.

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There was even a kitten in one of the guinea pig cages — not sure where that was going! There was every type of vegetable, fish, DIY, clothing and even iron gates on show. And everyone was buying. People were laden with their purchases. I have never seen anything like it in my life — even Paul was impressed. But — no purchases. Not sure anything there would have been allowed home on the plane!

The next very quick stop was at our hotel for tonight — the Hacienda San Agustin de Callo. We were meant to have lunch here, but as we had added the rose farm stop in we had changed it to a picnic lunch that we were going to take into the Cotapaxi National Park — our next stop. It was pretty grey going up to the Park. We had the picnic lunch outside — as British people do — and got absolutely freezing. We were now around metres above sea level, and wind seemed to have got up. We had a lovely picnic — luckily under cover as it was now raining as well — and Paul had some Coca Tea.

That is tea made with the leaves that is illegally processed into cocaine. Cotapaxi National Park houses the Cotapaxi volcano, which is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. It is covered with snow all of the year round, and although the last eruption was in the last activity was in when a mudslide was caused from the activity at the top that was four metres in depth. Only a couple of years ago. On the way up Luis noticed a Caracara Falcon just a few metres away from the road seemingly digging up the grass. There were a couple of lapwings not very happy with him, and making themselves known to him.

Luis seemed to think he was looking for the lapwing eggs, and was probably close to the nest as the lapwings would not usually openly come close to the falcon. Only with your own guide can you tell him to stop the car, wait whilst you change the lens on your camera, edge forward and follow that bird for the next twenty minutes.

What a show they gave — the lapwings finally dive bombed the falcon so many times they drove him away. It was mesmerising to watch. We drove up to just under metres, parked the car, and went for a walk around a lake complete with our hats and gloves. Do not adjust your sets — yes, we are only a few miles from the equator, and yes, we do look as though we are going skiing.

We walked for a couple hours around the lake — very slowly at this altitude. I felt as though I had just completed a marathon. It was a really pleasant walk — the views of the volcano were amazing — even though the very top was blanketed in cloud the whole time, the rest of the scenery was so clear and even sunny at some points. There were plenty of birds, rabbits, and ducks to keep our interest — and it only got cloudy and started to rain when we were ten yards from the car. We then made our way back down to the Hacienda again, and could then really appreciate where we were.

This Hacienda has been built on the site of and Inca Palace, one of the two most important Inca sites in Ecuador. Two of the original Inca rooms are still intact, and are the dining room and the chapel. A former President of Ecuador bought the Hacienda in , was passed to his son, a famous bull fighter and is now owned by his grand daughter. Our room is probably the most charismatic I have ever stayed in. There was a fire lit in the bedroom and the bathroom, and the walls were either stone or painted plaster.

The bathroom has a glass skylight and also a glass part of the floor that shows old stones. Not really sure what though. Dinner was in one of the Inca rooms, and was so atmospheric. The huge table had been laid just for us we are the only guests tonight and it looked fit for a king.

Candles were lit, and we had servants just for us. We got back to our room — the fires had been made up, the bed had been turned down and we had hot water bottles in the bed. Another easy start to the day — collection from the Hacienda was not until 8. The fire in the room was still smoking and giving out heat, and it was not raining outside. Breakfast was in a different room — but again just the two of us. A lovely selection of cheeses and jams etc on the table, and a menu of eggs about twelve ways. I chose coddled eggs with butter and cream and chives — delicious. Luis arrived and we set off again going south on the Pan American Highway.

The Avenue of Volcanoes was again an avenue of East and West Andes — the highest peaks were still in the clouds. There were flashes of the sun, and in stretches the cloud was above us rather than us in it, and when that happened the views were incredible. Our first unscheduled stop was in the town of Salcedo — made famous for their ice lollies of all things. There were little shops all along the road where car after coach after lorry stopped to buy one. And it was still before 10am. Oh well, have to have one then. There was a person from each shop waving a wooden model of the lolly to try and get you to buy from them.

It was quite nice — frozen fruit of vanilla, blackberry, something local and green and passion fruit. A bit different, and had to be done. We then made a stop at the highest train station in Ecuador — Urvina, This station is metres above sea level, and the train comes through three times a week. Strictly for tourists — but the station is manned 24 hours a day. Perhaps the UK could learn a lesson here? There were a couple of llamas tied up next to rails — apparently for the tourists to have their pictures taken with when the train gets there.

We then headed towards our main destination for today — the Chimborazo Volcano, which is the highest volcano in Ecuador and the glacier at the top goes through the equator. Technically, this peak is the nearest to the sun because of its location on the equator, beating even Everest.

On the way up we stopped at another community project called Palacial Real for lunch. This is another project run by the ladies of the community to bring in money, and the restaurant only opens when tourists have prebooked — luckily for us there was a coach load of French that had booked not often you can say that! The lunch was soup and …….. The only place in the whole of Ecuador that cooks and serves llama to customers. We then made our way up and up towards the peak. Still no sight of it — the rain had now turned to snow would you believe.

And we are still only a few miles from the equator. Glad we bought the hats and gloves yesterday! It was shrouded in cloud as we moved up past the snow line — and saw the Ecuadorian vicuna — this is the only place in Ecuador that they live, and only in this high altitude where most of the green grazing has disappeared and there are only small tufts of tough grasses available. There were quite a few of them, so they must like it! Shortness of breath, light headedness, legs like jelly.

And this is the base camp where the climbers start their climb up to the peak. Think I will give that one a miss for today. I slowly made my way around the information hut and there was a little humming bird flitting about — not sure if it was lost, but it certainly looked out of place here. Then Paul spotted a Andean Wolf — it walked along the trail and then spotted some vicuna. They both went in the opposite directions. We picked up a young lady and took her down to the bottom of the park — she had walked all the way up.

A French lady who is in Ecuador doing a volunteering project — by the time we let her out she was converted to having a visit to the Galapagos. I will take my lessons learned back to my own challenged city, which is in desperate need of this type of knowledge. This year me and my best friend turn 30 yikes! We met in college but now live in different cities and rarely do we get to see each other. Right now the Thailand trip is more dream than reality.

Help me earn my birthday wish! I live in the Trinidad and Tobago and the history and significance and rich culture of Haiti is buried beneath years of opression, disasters and propaganda. I recently started working with an organization called ITNAC Is There Not a Cause , a non profit, charitable organization, comprised of volunteer doctors, nurses, technicians, manual labourers, administrators, carpenters, masons and general helpers.

Our mission is to help those persons who are confronted with challenging and unfortunate situations, to touch lives and where possible, help to empower such persons in the communities. In addition to local work, they also engage in several regional and international projects.

This year I would love to be part of their Mission to Haiti. I am not sure if the miles can apply to Haiti but if it can I would be so grateful!!!! Our non-profit organization, The Conscious Healing Initiative, will be sponsoring a new branch, led by one of our graduating members, in New Zealand, and it would be amazing to be there in person for the launch!

We operate almost entirely on a Love Offering basis, providing opportunities for our members to attend life-changing and enhancing events, no matter what their finances. Being a small, start-up non-profit, a free ticket would make this dream trip possible! I live in the UK and, given that the trip must be within Europe, I would use my free trip to take my boyfriend to the Netherlands. Poverty, mainly, has prevented him from traveling. My trips in the past were mainly spent being dragged around by whatever group I was traveling with. Being able to decide what see and where to go with the love of my life would be incredible.

A ticket to Germany so I can visit two friends one in Berlin, one in Bremen. I would also make a side trip on the train to see all my cousins in Austria. Thank you for being so generous! My home base is in Austin, TX. This entry is not for myself, but rather for my girlfriend who is currently entrenched in a dead-end, soul-crushing day job that would not permit her leave to visit her father who recently survived a heart attack in Switzerland for the holidays. If selected, I would desire for her to fly to visit him and take some time to reflect on the values that are really important to her: What a wonderful opportunity you are giving to a lucky winner!

I would like to win because my husband and I have been dreaming about a trip to Scotland since before we were married 5 yrs now! However, life keeps getting in the way and we have yet to take a trip together, aside from visiting relatives, going to weddings, etc. She moved away almost a year ago. We chat online frequently. My family split when I was 2ish, and I had the guts to reconcile with my father about 5 years ago bravest thing? I got a fantastic second family my father is in AZ, sis is in Aus with her mom. I am a mother of two and a freelance photographer. I was a journalist before i came to Australia to study so i am very good with people and exploring the unknown and untouched is my forte.

If I could go anywhere it would be to Australia to visit my sister and her fiancee. My sister moved there about two years ago and I have been wanting to go visit her for a long time. It would be a dream come true to be able to visit and see her life on the literal other side of the world! I would take my boyfriend to New Jersey to visit his family.

I think this would be the perfect gift and would force us to make it happen! And of course it would make his family very happy also since they are not able to fly to the west coast this year. Thanks for a great contest, Chris! I have always dreamed of exploring my European heritage — specifically my Irish and Scottish roots. I would love the opportunity to immerse myself in those cultures — to kiss the Blarney Stone, to walk among the seemingly evergreen hills, to perambulate along the walkways of Edinburgh Castle, and, of course, to drink Guinness in its founding country.

And more importantly, I would love to just mingle with the people in those countries, to meet new friends and just lose myself in the culture. New York, America Desired Location: I had the amazing pleasure when making my first foray into traveling alone to meet an Family in the Blue Mountains of Sydney Australia.

I originally planned to stay for one week helping them renovate their shed into a studio. This turned into 4 months of child care and odd jobs. To say this Family changed my life would be doing them a disservice. The very essence of who I am today comes directly from that experience and those boys that I looked after. I arrived there chasing myself and what I wanted from life.

I left knowing precisely who I was and what I was meant to do. So my trip would not take me home to the UK, rather to Australia so I can personally thank those that I owe so much…and to give those boys a huge hug! I would like to go to USA, in Seattle to be precise, next summer. I live in Italy, and me and my girlfriend have a friend that lives in Seattle.

Last summer she came to Italy and stayed some day with us, now is time for us to go visit her. Both are involved in metaphisics, alternative healing and so on and so forth…it would be great to meet her again so we can exchange experiences… Thank you Chris for this opportunity! The one place I want to go right now is ……………….. July 6 — 10 it appears we are trying to have a Family Reunion of 11 plus families.

Georgia cousins and Colorado cousins are getting together with all of their families! This has never happened. This would require my husband and I to travel with our 3 children! See what you can do to make this easy on us. I have been told that it is literally one of the most beautiful places on earth and the people are wonderful. Our 19th anniv is July 25th. Maybe this could be squeezed in! I would love to go to Tibet…please please pretty please!!! If i could go anywhere Chris it would be, without doubt, Bhutan.

Having traveled for the last few years of my life, the one place that holds the allure of true traveling is Bhutan. So many countries have targeted tourism as a major revenue source while Bhutan has been doing quite the opposite! We are going to miss her terribly, and we have an open invitation to stay with her family. My husband and I are not world travelers — we are barely domestic travelers — so it would be precious to us to be able to make this trip.

And learn more Portuguese. Barring that, though, my second choice would be a trip to Seattle, to visit my brother and his family. I would love to have them show me around the area. Basically this year my goal is get started going somewhere on a more consistent basis. In Asia I would like to visit Japan and China.

Many people have told my I should visit Australia as well. Thanks Chris, that is very generous. Having traveled to a lot of places, there is quite a few dream trips that are still outstanding for me once you get the bug, you never get rid of it.

These miles would make my dream of a Round The World trip possible!!!! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. I would love to fly to Seattle or Portland and do a driving tour of the Pacific Northwest. For some reason that part of the U. I would love to spend some time just enjoying that part of the country. As a photographer I have a feeling that the Pacific Northwest is full of amazing photo opportunities. Chris, thank you for this amazing giveaway and for being the inspiration I need to break away and lead a life of non-conformity.

It means more than I can ever express. I would like to go to Japan, America and Brazil. Anyone of those would be lovely. Being Chinese, going to Japan would be fascinating, being British also, and growing up weaned on westerns, America just has the greatest romance for me. Brazil because a sweetheart lives there. I would most like to earn some miles because I am developing a travel website which will immerse readers in locations using text and photos. My new website will be the start of my adventure and non-conformist life, and some airmiles would be sweet!

I would take my daughter to Estonia. When I was 4 years old, I woke up one morning and could play the piano. My family was floored. I told them I dreamed it and someone taught me in my dreams. It develops young minds and teaches them critical thinking skills. Estonia is hosting the Chess World Cup and the entire chess elite will be there. I envision my daughter being the one of the youngest to play in the free exhibition games and the experience would be incredible and invaluable to her development.

By the way to the first commenter, Lebanon is a beautiful place. The street food is fantastic, a lot of people speak English at least enough to help you and US dollars are accepted in most places. I recommend taking a cab or walking everywhere….. Driving there is something between playing chicken and demolition derby. I would happily go to the travel mecca of central america, Hondurus, of course. My fiance is still teaching here. In 6 months, we can go home. That sounds like it would be a blast and it is a dream of hers. If I were to go on a trip though, I think I would take my wife and go to Ireland.

And now I have a desire to head on over to Ireland and enjoy it for a few days. Wow so many of these posts are amazing. I feel sort of silly even bothering. I lived there for one year several years ago and I miss it horribly. Chris — My passion to travel has been fueled by your blog. Although I have not traveled extensively I have had the opportunity to travel through the US, Canada, Mozambique, Colombia and a few countries in Europe. This year I have one goal — to travel to Ireland. I want to make this trip with my mother who is a vibrant 75 year old woman.

She was born and raised in Northern Ireland and she promises me she knows where to find leprechauns. She also claims to have seen fairy rings. I have no reason to doubt her — although she also told me about Santa Claus. I am sure your readers would love to hear a first hand report about Northern Ireland as well as evidence of the existence of these mythical creatures. My dream is to open the most soul-tastic restaurant on the face of the earth, with amazing organic food, art on display, and including an amazing music venue.

Brunswick Street in Melbourne, Australia would feed this desire more than any place on earth. I would be honored to be inspired by a place that has always captured my spirit and to be surrounded by multi-cultural and amazing places to eat and be moved. I was an exchange student in Minnesota. I would love to reconnect with all the friends I made during my stay 17 years ago. I would use the free trip for a flight from Europe to the Twin Cities.

This is my very first post on your blog after all the closet reading in the past month! I thought I had a very good shot at this contest with my recently inspired happy-to-quit-my-job-and-go-travel-and-volunteer plans in Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam, until I read through all the different posts before me and realize how outstanding every person is, with their own unique story and drive behind their passions. I also find it interesting that you have given hope and motivation to look within and write what compels us the most through this simple contest.

Everyone deserves to go, and although there is only one winner, we are all winners at heart! So thank you Chris for affirming that. Happy to see the Travel Cartel is coming too?! The one place in the world that most intrigues me is Germany. So far as I know at least. Probably very different from everything I ever saw, wonderful music, nice weather, pleasant people. A prize like this would be a boon. The bug has bitten; and travel. If I could fly anywhere today, it would be Japan. In a word, love. Earlier last year I left my college town and drove to San Francisco to chase my dream of joining a technology startup.

In November, after just shy of a year of incredibly hard work the dream paid off and I joined a software startup. We sweat it out for the passion with the payout being down the road. I am madly in love with my college sweetheart and rarely get to see her. If I won, I would use the ticket almost immediately to fly home and see the girl of my dreams. Help me surprise her and make her one of the happiest girls on earth.

This summer I will have the opportunity to join friends on an epic trip through parts of Asia but particularly focusing on Mongolia. Best of luck on your own travels as well! I will graduate in May. I am paying for college myself and will start working as an accountant in Houston in July, when I will have to start paying off student loans and working long hours. Traveling, next to food is my number one passion in life, and I would love to get away for spring break or take a trip somewhere after graduation as a reward to myself for all my hard work.

My little brother goes to school in California, one of my best friends lives in Virginia, my aunt and uncle will be moving to Germany in April. The possibilities are endless as to where I could go. This trip would be a blessing for anyone. What an amazing thing Chris, thank you! My son has been teaching English in Seoul, S.

I have just begun to get back in life with the birth of my son in In I suffered from an injury that caused my spine to collapes, tearing my spinal cord and pelvis to dislocate leaving me in a wheelchair for many years. In 2oo3 they began surgery after the rebuilding of my spine I shocked my doctors by walking. In I discovered I was prego!!! After being told NOT possible! And if possible would put me back in a wheel chair! NOw I have a beautiful, carpet surfing, rockclimbing little boy who only adds to the joy and adventure of life! Since I am on disablility it is difficult to make ends meet at times.

Which has made it impossible for my son to meet his gradfather. I am a single mother. My mother passed in and my son asks why he dosent have a granny, a dad and grandpa like his friends. I would love to show him he does have a Grandpa in San Diego. I won, I went and had just the best time ever. We have big plans to all meet up again in Barcelona again in July. I have never been much into domestic travel, but I turned 30 earlier this month and did a day countdown with a way I gave back that day, things that I was thankful for, and something that I aspiring to do in my 30s.

One of my aspirations was to visit the 26 remaining states that I have not been to in the US. A friend invited me to help move him and his two Jeep Cherokees from Michigan to California in a couple months. We would be camping and going through several of the states that I have not yet been to and would bring me several steps closer to this aspiration!

I found out last week that my mom is planning on getting married in Las Vegas next month. My parents divorced when I was young, and my mom was lucky to eventually find someone new to love and share her life with. My mother was an instrumental part of my wedding two years ago, and I want to be there for her now. I would go to Cape Town. A beautiful place on a continent I have yet to visit.

Oh, it would be nice to escape this harsh Michigan winter too. The good cause will require some more thought. Passing on that friendliness everyday to others I cross paths with each day for the next year? Yeah, that sounds pretty good! I would love to go to Colombia with my boyfriend. I am a Spanish major, and studied abroad in Chile see link.

I am enamored with the language and Latin American culture, and want to share this with Mike. For me, the aspect of traveling that makes it so life changing, thought-provoking and stimulating is the opportunity to connect with new people. Colombia would be the perfect place to share that experience. I am taking a trip to Bolivia in June.

I want to do something big, adventurous and just for me. I have four children and have gone through a divorce this past year after being married for 25 years. I have volunteered to work at a bed and breakfast and work on an organic farm in Samaipata, Bolivia. I thought I would volunteer and worry about how I am going to get there later. I am very excited and know that it will be a life-changing experience for me.

I am afraid and scared too-which is good. We must do the thing we are afraid to do! Thanks Chris for your consideration and your great website! I am currently being treated for depression and stress illnesses related to my teaching career. My family doctor recommended that I get away for a short trip, preferably someplace warm I live in northeastern Wisconsin — Go!

My husband gave me a copy of this book for Christmas and suggested the trip. The challenge in planning this trip: Sweetfield Manor is in Barbados. Frequent flier miles are one of the most valuable treasures for all the travelers. I would fly to Hong Kong to explore the latest business idea I have and finally see this vibrant city. My dream city is Las Vegas. I am planning to propose to my girlfriend in February and would like to have a trip to Vegas with her in late February. But the plan may be canceled due to my tight budget.

If you can help me with that, Chris, I appreciate it very much! My dream is to visit Paris. As a first generation Canuck, I feel a deep connection to continually learn about the part of the world my family comes from. I would photograph, film and write stories about the people, social issues, and amazing experiences I encounter along the way.

I want to speak Hindi with the fluency of a Bollywood starlet and I want to volunteer with an organization that helps empower women and girls in poverty. Thank you for this contest Chris! Traveling is always a good investment years of appreciation afterall.

AND thanks for the stop in Toronto last week! It was so inspiring to meet you I started blogging again…thanks for the creative electrocution: My heart and soul is telling me Ubud, Bali. A place where I can reconnect with my soul, with my authenticity, and figure out the next steps of my one crazy life. I need more clarity in my life in so many areas.. I could sit quietly by the ocean and amidst all that greenery, and just be.

I love to write. I want to write a book someday. Sharing these experiences via photographs or video as permitted may just be a reminder how powerful music, theatre, dance, are to connect. I would like to go back to Costa Rica to continue surfing! I would go visit my brother in law and his family in Germany. He took on a two year commitment as a school counselor at an international school in Kandern, Germany. This was a huge step for him, as we all considered him more of a home body than an international.

That being said, we all miss him and his family and would like to see how they are doing in that beautiful area near the Black Forest. I have two good friends who recently relocated to Europe Ireland and France for school culinary and language and I would just be too excited if I got a chance to go visit them. I got a rash and my cousins stole my juiceboxes.

I missed out on the whole study abroad bandwagon and sometimes I feel like an ignoramus when I hear people sharing their stories of their foreign adventures. If this at all helps my case, I also live in Chicago, where it is frigid and bleak throughout the winter.

Getting out of the cold for just a spell might be the only way I survive another Midwestern winter! It was so successful last time — like someone just flipped a switch off and immediately I no longer had any issues with either addiction. This time I want to work on that plan B as well so I am not overly tempted to return to these addictions. I would be so grateful to win this trip. Sedona is an amazing place for adventure and beautiful pictures. The first time I trained, I fractured the fifth metatarsal in my left foot. The second time I trained, I strained the Achilles tendon on my left leg.

I broke it in the 8th grade; almost fifteen years later, my right leg is still stronger. Running a marathon is on my bucket list, and is going to be different. I have a running partner and mentor Daniel. I have a marathon in my sights: I have Brooks running shoes and Smart Feet inserts. I have a lovely wife who is rooting for me. I want to fly to Berlin with my wife, Daniel, and his wife; run I just need to get to Berlin to kill this Goliath.

Perhaps AONC can help…. What an opportunity it would be to take my two boys to Cardiff, Wales, in May to compete in an international Tang So Doo competition! My youngest, an orange belt, and my oldest, just a year from earning his black belt, have only been to local competitions with approximately 50 or so competitors. This international competition will host about competitors from around the world!

What an experience that would be for them to meet others from different cultures, in a country we have never been, sharing the love of their craft. I would love to give them this chance! Something they will remember, for certain! I recently started a nonprofit focused on closing the achievement gap in K education. We have researched the history behind its existence, and all the approaches that have been tried over the past 30 years to address the problem.

I would use the ticket to spend a week or maybe two on the ground in Cincinnati learning so I can transport it back here. Thanks for the opportunity to make a difference Chris! Reading it started a chain reaction of decisions that has allowed me to find an exit strategy from my current job and an entrance strategy into the world of travel. I would love to kickoff my journey by traveling to New Zealand to learn about their culture and their passion for eco-friendly existence, documenting my experience as I go.

I would travel there and help a non-profit with the clean-up, and in addition, I would tour the state. It would certainly make for some great photos! I already have an underwater camera! These could also be used to spread the word back home about the disaster that occurred there this month. My younger brother is following in my footsteps and is on Semester at Sea right now.

Tag: Huancayo

I would love to be able to meet up with him when they port in Japan in April. Japan is a significant country to me because I lived there for a year teaching English and I would love to show my brother around. Thanks for your consideration! I write a blog, I believe in living my best life through adventure and by sharing my learnings, love and adventures, I can inspire others to live a great life with me!

In the trip to Africa, I would bring along my boyfriend because he is amazing, a camera and an open mind and heart. We would go on a safari, do yoga in the communities I am certified to teach , eat food we have never tried before, watch the sun set and rise in ONE day, dance, and laugh. Thank you for your awesome gesture, Chris!

I have read many of the posts here and there are lots who deserve to win. My trip would be to Amsterdam to visit my two beautiful grandchildren whom I rarely see. I will be able to take them — he, to his International School and her, to her Playschool I would use the flying and traveling to add to my experiences for my newest writing niche, which is for, and about, senior travelers.

Apart from my family time, I will explore Amsterdam and take photos of that unique old city. I was a little concerned about her doing the entire trip alone so I proposed sending my wife with her; they leave in a couple of weeks. Depending on when the trip was awarded I might want to change it to Lapaz, Cuzco, Puerto Maldonado, Trujillo or Quito depending on where they are. As you can tell, your book and blog have been quite an inspiration to both my daughter and me. I lived there before my dad had a heart attack and I had to come home.

My friend Lisa lives there now. She had a bad divorce and her son and her moved back to NC. And I need them. It would be an opportunity to strengthen our friendship, spend some time with one of the greatest kids in the world and help myself recuperate a little too. I want to get him over here soon because my wife and I plan to go back to the US in the next couple years ourselves. I am single and I am not a mother. I also am not equipped with any of the tools to make me any of the above any time soon: The joy i receive in life is traveling but with the recent recession I have seen my own business nearly plummet.

I run my own medical massage therapy business and many of my clients have lost their jobs and are unable to come as often if at all. I would love to go to New Zealand! I can go anytime and my blog and pictures will be out of this world! I would love to go to Paris, France. I want to eat a baguette, walk the Seine, observe the parisians loving life. I want to practice my broken French and smell the aromas of old beauty. What a great way to get people to write out their dream trips.

I will get to do this in a few years, but if you pick me, I can do this in the next 6 months. Thank you for your positive messages. So here it is: I would go visit my best friend in Portland OR who is just exiting a funky relationship and needs some perspective. My tool for gaining perspective: Food Adventures, for which Portland is perfect. Go to the outskirts and get in touch with the bounty of nature; Make some new connections and bring some new food knowledge back to share with the masses. It may sound trite to some, but I believe reconnecting with food, community and nature can heal all and refocus a wandering life path.

What brings on this wanderlust? One, just my age, had just bought her dream house with her new husband and 6 months later she was dead. Events like those certainly get one thinking. Hubby and I have been good little drones for many, many years and have saved and lived the drone life but always there has been an underlying objective — travel and stay warm — we live in Canada. With an offer like this — why wait? Let the adventure begin. Keeping in touch with my family has gotten me through some lonely moments, and has in some ways brought me even closer to my sister.

I would go to Newfoundland. My husband grew up there and has taken to watching a tv show filmed there, just to see how it has changed. My boyfriend lives in California and I live in Germany. Neither of us has the spare cash to travel right now so we have no idea when we will see each other again. My wife and I are just beginning our new life of non-conformity. She is going to quit her job in May and begin pursuing a career she loves, photography. We are currently planning a trip to Ireland, UK, and Italy in the next few months for four weeks, and could not be more excited.

While we are by no means the most deserving of your miles, we certainly are taking a leap of faith as first time travelers, and this would be icing the cake! Thanks for all the inspiration! My dream destination is Italy. I was there in , taking a course, and I fell in love with Rome.

I returned to school mid-life and have been writing about women, roughly my age, who lived in the early second century AD. Thanks for offering to help. Chris, this is a very timely offer for me. I intend to leave the U. My passion is meeting new people and talking to them about food. That is, I crave learning about other cultures and the traditional foods they eat. Thought that I might go to Spain and work my way northward as the weather warms.

She has been studying Canadian geography this year in school and just finished a project on the Yukon. We live near Toronto, and the Yukon has always sounded so far away and sooo cold, but helping her with her project got me thinking that it would actually be an awesome place to visit.. And just to seen another corner of this vast, amazing country would be the experience of a lifetime and one I would love the opportunity to share with my little girl.

Thanks for the opportunity! My dream trip would be to Germany.