Today my brother and I talked about our upcoming trip to Ecuador. It seems we will be together for only the first two weeks or so of the trip, leaving me to return to Los Angeles separately a week or so later. That would suit me, as well as suiting Dan’s construction schedule in his business. We will probably leave from LAX right after the October 15 tax deadline.
Even though we will rent a car for part of the time, we will likely not have a chance to see four major clusters of destinations in two weeks. First we’ll have to get acclimated to the 9,000 foot altitude of Quito (about three days), then spend several days at and around Otavalo, and then head to the cloud forests around Minto or the Intag Valley to spend some time at a lodge, and finally head south to Cuenca, around which there is a whole large cluster of sites, including the Nariz del Diablo railroad, Mount Cotopaxi, Vilcabamba, and several national parks. Then, of course, one or both of us would return to Quito for Dan’s departure.
Possibly, I will do the southern stretch of the Ecuadorean Andes by myself, traveling by bus. Plans are still in flux around this time. The key thing is that we are in basic agreement about destinations, transport, and accommodations. The main thing I want to avoid is getting stuck in a backpacker hostel. Not that I dislike backpackers; but I do dislike bunk beds and late night loud discussions that disrupt my reading and sleep.