The Ecuador Chronicles - 2009-17
Road Trip Part I - Quito to Pacto, The Finca
A highway System Under Construction;
What a Difference a Year Makes
Ecuador Road Trip - The Plan, The Group, The Car
In early November, 2009 we began a road trip around Ecuador. Our plan was to travel west down the Andes from Quito to the Pacific Coast, South along the Coast via Ruta del Sol, back inland and up the Sierra to Cuenca - and finally back up the Avenue of the Volcanoes to Quito. We had made no reservations and we had no definite schedule - we would take it day by day. Our group consisted of my wife Dalynda, mother-in-law Lilly, friend and driver Juan and myself. We made the trip in Juan's small Kia. Here is our group and the car near the end of our journey - what a great group of travelers! Lilly kept us laughing all the way, and I'm not saying this just to win points - she is a great traveler, making friends with everyone along the way.
Travelers, Near the End of a Long Journey - Everyone Still Happy....
...After Many Kilometers in a Small Space;
A Tough Little Car!
Ecuador: Country Under Construction
There should be a sign posted somewhere near the beginning of an Ecuador road trip: Pardon Our Progress - Country Under Construction. It really seems that roads all over the country are being upgraded and modernized - all at the same time! Construction everywhere: down the Andes, through the lowlands, along the coast, back up the Sierra and the Pan American Highway through the Sierra. I cannot imagine the amount public spending on this -some of the new road construction is concrete; it will last forever. Some of the roads are four-lane. Did the construction slow us down? In some cases, yes; but long stretches are complete, so we were flying along over 100 kilometers per hour. Sometimes we were zooming down a beautiful new concrete road, with the hard shoulder not yet in place - a 10 inch drop off with rebar sticking out the side; it was enough to concentrate Juan's mind!
Road Construction Scenes - All Over Ecuador
The Result - A Completed section of the Pan Americana
Note the Ecuador First Billboard - There are Variations of This All Over the Country
Quito to the Finca - What a Difference a Year Makes
Our goal for the first day was modest - get out of Quito and to my partner Matt's Finca (farm) about two hours Northwest of Quito, near Pacto. Matt and family were spending a week's vacation there. I had spent a night at the Finca about a year earlier shortly after Matt had bought it. Things were pretty rough then - it was little more than an encampment with a couple of run down buildings and muddy Tilapia ponds. But Matt and his wife Amparo had plans; Amparo had grown up on a Finca in Columbia - she was taking a real interest in the place. I was interested to see their progress.
I could not believe the progress. One of the old buildings had been torn down and replaced with a 2 bedroom, 2 bath house with a large porch. A large covered outside living area had been built as well as a covered outside kitchen and dining room. The other old building had been completely renovated, converted into a guest house with a porch. Brick walkways had just been completed around much of the area. The Tilapia ponds are redone with stone and stocked with tiny fish.
Just Completed - 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath House
One Bedroom, One Bath Guest House
The Outside Living Area and Kitchen, Dining Room
Lunch was Chicken and Yucca from the Finca with Rice and a Green Salad
Amparo is amazing with Yucca, Including Yucca Pancakes
With most of the major construction just completed, the gardens are next - this will give the Finca a green, finished look. We will continue to track Matt and Amparo's progress in future Chronicles. We really enjoyed our afternoon and evening at the Finca with my partner's family.
More Scenes from the Finca
Dalynda and Bernadette, Flowers in Their Hair, on the Observation Deck
Random Pictures from the Finca - and A beautiful View
Stay Tuned - Next week the Road Trip continues: Onward to the Coast!
Would you like to make an Ecuador road trip and visit the Finca -
Find out how at Live Well Ecuador: