Ecuador

 Ecuador, in 8 days. xo

 Beautiful signage in Quito.

Beautiful signage in Quito.

 Centro de Historico, Quito

Centro de Historico, Quito

 Centro Historico, Quito

Centro Historico, Quito

 Santa Mariana de Jesus, walls made of gold and rumor has it, a basement full of skeletons.

Santa Mariana de Jesus, walls made of gold and rumor has it, a basement full of skeletons.

 Sacred Heart

Sacred Heart

 Shop window in Centro Historico, Quito.  This street was devoted to selling religious dolls and the clothes to dress them.  Each street had a different item to sell.  For instance, one street was filled with yarn shops, the next with religious candle shops, and so on.  

Shop window in Centro Historico, Quito.  This street was devoted to selling religious dolls and the clothes to dress them.  Each street had a different item to sell.  For instance, one street was filled with yarn shops, the next with religious candle shops, and so on.  

 View from El Teleferico, Quito.  We took a gondola to get here, but of course this picture barely captures the gravity of this view.  

View from El Teleferico, Quito.  We took a gondola to get here, but of course this picture barely captures the gravity of this view.  

 El Teleferico

El Teleferico

 Selling strawberries by the bucket outside of one of the many garden shops in Nayón, Quito.  This area is known as El Jardin de Quito , or The Garden of Quito, and is filled with endless streets of brightly colored stalls and greenhouses.  

Selling strawberries by the bucket outside of one of the many garden shops in Nayón, Quito.  This area is known as El Jardin de Quito , or The Garden of Quito, and is filled with endless streets of brightly colored stalls and greenhouses.  

 Countless streets of garden shops in Nayón, filled with stacks and stacks of pottery, including every shape and size that one could ever imagine.  If we just had ONE of these shops here in Tucson...

Countless streets of garden shops in Nayón, filled with stacks and stacks of pottery, including every shape and size that one could ever imagine.  If we just had ONE of these shops here in Tucson...

 Oh, if I could just get this one stack to Tucson...

Oh, if I could just get this one stack to Tucson...

 Just one of so many brightly colored stalls in Nayón.

Just one of so many brightly colored stalls in Nayón.

  This plant is called Frailejón and grows in the countryside throughout Ecuador.  I asked all over Nayón for the seeds to this plant, to no avail.

 This plant is called Frailejón and grows in the countryside throughout Ecuador.  I asked all over Nayón for the seeds to this plant, to no avail.

 Beautiful items in  La Bodega Exportadera , a vintage store in Quito.  

Beautiful items in La Bodega Exportadera, a vintage store in Quito.  

 My view from the  Black Sheep Inn , an eco-lodge set high in the Andes at over 10,400 feet elevation. This was the view from the front porch of my room, at dusk.  

My view from the Black Sheep Inn, an eco-lodge set high in the Andes at over 10,400 feet elevation. This was the view from the front porch of my room, at dusk.  

 My view at dawn, and the nosy wake up crew.

My view at dawn, and the nosy wake up crew.

 Gym equipment at  Black Sheep Inn . I did a pretty good workout with this business.

Gym equipment at Black Sheep Inn. I did a pretty good workout with this business.

  The Black Sheep Inn , firewood for the wood burning stoves, which is the only source for heat in each of the rooms.

The Black Sheep Inn, firewood for the wood burning stoves, which is the only source for heat in each of the rooms.

 And finally, Quilotoa, a water-filled crater in the most western volcano of the Ecuadorian Andes.  We hiked the perimeter but you can also hike down into the crater, and a donkey will take you back up to the top.

And finally, Quilotoa, a water-filled crater in the most western volcano of the Ecuadorian Andes.  We hiked the perimeter but you can also hike down into the crater, and a donkey will take you back up to the top.