For almost forever, I have been in charge of planning the vacations for Martine and myself. My brother Dan knew that, so I thought I’d let him have the upper hand. As we tend to think alike on most issues, that will be no problem.
We will be in Ecuador together for two weeks, then he will return to L.A. by himself because of business obligations. I will have an additional week in Southern Ecuador all alone. For those last seven days, I will do all my own planning as before. I think that’s a good compromise.
One thing that will be different is that Dan wants to rent a car and drive. That gives us a much broader choice of places to stay and allows us a lot of flexibility. I keep thinking of the three all-night bus rides I took in Argentina and Chile. Although I rather enjoyed them, I don’t think that Dan would quite so much.
That puts me in the role of navigator, which is a role I enjoy. Whenever, as a child, I went anywhere with our family, I was the one hunched over a map and dictating directions.
Our first stop in Ecuador will be the Hotel Viejo Cuba (illustrated above). It’s a few blocks north of the popular Mariscal Sucré neighborhood, named after Bolivar’s favorite general.
This trip will be different, but I like the way it’s shaping up.