|Having fun with Isabella and Thomas!|
We ended up spending several months there, including setting up our own AirBnB apartment in La Floresta. Alex and I call many places home, and Quito is clearly one of them.
I know it's been a long time since I have put 'fingers to keyboard', but the last year seems to have just run away. After several months in Ecuador our departure date from Australia had almost reached the one year mark and we decided that we simply were not ready to return home ... yet! It was July 2015 and we left in August 2014.
|Quito up high! "By travelling life is richer!!"|
|Gonio Beach, Black Sea coast, Georgia.|
So, let's scroll back and recap. The journey so far since July 2015: Ecuador, Colombia,USA, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Maldives, India, Nepal, Georgia, Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and currently in Turkey.
|Canoa beach, Ecuadot.|
|Whale watching, Puerto Lopez, Ecuador.|
|Meeting a local girl; four day 'Lost City' hike in northern Colombia.|
|This is how the locals roll, Inza, southern Colombia.|
|Riding 'la brujita' (the witch) in San Cipriano, near Cali, Colombia; home to an Afro- Colombian community of 500 people.|
|La Guajira, near Cabo de la Vela, very northern Colombia.|
|San Agustin, southern Colombia.|
|With the las Vegas family.|
|Gorgeous Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas ... amazing hiking!|
|Us and them! The fence that separates Mexico (L) from the USA.|
|South of the border with Rich.|
|With our Bangkok family.|
|Kho Phayam, Thai Island near Myanmar.|
|With the Bangkok family ... you can never have enough good food in Thailand!|
|Kanchanaburi province, Thailand.|
India next, right? Wrong! We met a man who asked us if we'd considered the Maldives. Had we? No! Too expensive! Only resorts! Well, no! They recently opened it up, some seven years ago, so that you can do it independently. There is nowhere on earth where you can find a cheaper ticket to fly there (well under USD $100.00 from Colombo), and flying to southern India from the Maldives is also very cheap. We were so up for this. Always ready for an adventure, we booked our tickets and were off. Our two weeks in this island-country which comprises of 99% water and only 1% land, lies just south-west of India and Sri Lanka. It was beautiful and we made some amazing friends, local as well as foreign. The country is Muslim and their language Divehi, an Indo-Aryan one, is spoken by their population of approximately one-third of a million people. Without a doubt, it was on this archipelago that we visited some of the most spectacular beaches on earth. It was here that we celebrated Christmas, on a desolate beach, with warm warm turquoise waters, gorgeous sand, and no commercialism! Now that's my gig!
|Sigiriya, Sri Lanka.|
|Galle, southern Sri Lanka.|
|Kandy, Sri Lanka.|
|Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka.|
|On top of the ferry going from Male to Ulkhulas (Alif Alif Atoll), Maldives.|
|Mathiveri Island, Maldives.|
|Rasdhoo Island, Maldives.|
|Hennaed hands, Kochi, India.|
|Jaisalmer Desert Festival, India.|
|Those eyes ... Johdpur, India!|
|The colours of India; Makar Sankranti (Harvest Festival) in Hampi, southern India|
|Gokarna, southern India.|
|The ghats (sacred bathing places) of Pushkar, India.|
|The infamous Taj Mahal, Agra, India.|
|Colour your life ... Pushkar, India.|
|The all-seeing eyes of Buddha; Kathmandu.|
|Poon Hill on The Annapurna Trek, near Pokhara, Nepal.|
|Poon Hill, Nepal.|
|The magic of the Annapurna trek, Nepal.|
|A year on from the devastating earthquake that rocked Kathmandu.|
|A Kathmandu local 'hammering it'!|
|Georgian dancing on their Independence Day, Gori, Georgia.|
|Local sauces and sweets, Tbilisi, Georgia.|
|Breathtaking Kazbegi, northern Georgia, near the Russian border.|
|The Tuscany of Georgia; Sighnagi.|
|Typical Georgian bread.|
|Around Yeghegnadzor, Armenia.|
In summary, these are now two (three!) of my favourite countries, and in fact, National Geographic recently published an article on '10 Places That Deserve More Travelers' and both Armenia and Georgia were on the list. So was Iran, but that's another story. This was also on our to-do list, but obtaining the visa was going to be a little harder and take a little longer than we expected. Next time! And with us, there is ALWAYS a next time!
|Vernissage Market, Yerevan.|
|'We are our Mountains' monument, Stepanakert, Nagorno-Karabakh; the symbol of the tiny republic.|
|Tatev Monastery, Armenia.|
|View of the valley from 'Wings of Tatev' cable car, the longest in the world, Armenia.|
|Azerbaijani mother (L) and Armenian mother (R) ... nobody wins in a war!|
|Zorats Karev (Armenian Stonehenge) near Gori, Armenia.|
|Time to relax, Gonio Beach, Georgia.|
|The fairy chimneys of Goreme, Cappadocia.|
So, that's it in a nutshell; almost 23 months on the road and still going. A few more countries to go but the end is near-ish ... for this time! As opposed to touring, travelling is a full time job for which you don't get paid: Pack, repack, move, catch transport, look for a place to stay, buy food, cook, work out where to go to next, research that place and the list goes on. It's our choice and we love it.
Whilst I have not been writing many posts, I have kept our public Facebook page regularly updated with not only lots of photos but several ad-hoc, spur of the moment videos, which I am sure that many of you will enjoy. If you are not a user of Facebook, don't worry, you do not need an account, and can simply access it as a regular website. If you are a FB user, like it and follow our continuing sojourn through this big, wide, wonderful world of ours. Go on, take a look! It will fill in all the 'blanks' that I could not possibly cover in a single blog post!
And thus, we continue to live the life we love and love the life we live.
One life, live it!