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Travel & Exploration

New Quito Airport

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The new airport in Quito that opened in early 2013 has made the trip to Cotacachi a bit easier.  Upon arrival, usually late at night, it is no longer necessary to pass through the streets of Quito to make your way north.  With a good driver and light traffic, it is possible to get to Cotacachi within 1 hour and 45 minutes.  Of course, that depends greatly upon how many slow moving trucks you encounter along the way on the mostly two lane mountain highway.

Cotacachi versus the Midwest (by Cotacachi expat)

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Cotacachi is such a great place to relax. So refreshing compared to the frantic pace of the U.S. Even here in the Midwest where life is slower than NYC or LA, there's still a lot of stress to contend with on the highways and byways, especially now that Americans are so fond of texting while they drive.

Away From Cotacachi

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We have been away from Cotacachi for almost 5 months now as we are attending to some family health issues. I haven’t been very diligent about updating my blog but do have a few thoughts about life in Cotacachi versus the U.S.

1) As younger retirees, most of our friends in the U.S. are still working and have their own lives. As almost everyone in Cotacachi is retired, it is much easier to get together for lunch or a beer anytime we feel like it.

Europe versus Ecuador

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For those looking for a place to retire overseas, there are many options and things to consider. My wife and I just returned from a three month European trip around seven countries (Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Ukraine, Poland, and Czech Republic) with an eye toward comparing Cotacachi to potential retirement destinations in the Old World. A few observations…

The things that we missed most about Cotacachi…

1) Fresh produce

2) Cheap prices – Western Europe is expensive!

Europe Bound

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On the day after Christmas, I found a great airfare from Quito to Barcelona, and Angela and I decided to fulfill our dream of traveling throughout Europe.  So, we will be leaving on New Year’s Eve and returning to Cotacachi at the end of March.  Our plans are to spend time most of our time in Eastern Europe but will go wherever our spirit takes us.  After we return, it will be fun to see the changes  and meet the new people who have arrived in Cotacachi during the time we are gone.  Until then….hasta luego!

Exploration

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We're always discovering something new here. Angela and I live in a development called Jahua Pacha about 2 miles outside of Cotacachi. The development is surrounded by small indigenous communities and vast areas of open space. This past weekend, we decided to explore one of the trails leading further into the mountains from our home. We initially had no intention of going as far as we did, but curiosity's hand kept pushing us forward to see what was over the next hill or around the upcoming bend.

Mindo Trip

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After our recent trip to Mindo, a town in the Ecuadorian cloud forest, I made a video about the town that can be viewed below.

Colombia Trip

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A while back, my wife and I had the opportunity to take a day trip north into Colombia.  Passing through the border in our friend’s car was a breeze without even being stopped for a passport check.  Our destination was the Sanctuary of Las Lajas, a cathedral built on the site where an apparition of the Virgin Mary was claimed to be seen in the 1700’s.  It is constructed deep into a valley and is quite an architectural feat.  After spending the morning exploring the church and the grounds, we headed back to Ecuador, crossing the border into the city of Tulcan.

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