Ecuador: Galapa-go-go

This is it, Directorate. The final holiday post, excluding suitcase post-mortem, which will come later. The last leg of our trip was an 8-day sail around the Galapagos Islands, which are part of Ecuador and (primarily) reached by flights from Guayaquil and Quito. We flew from Quito through Guayaquil, but didn’t have to de-plane in … Read more

Ecuador: The Longest-Staying Guests at Mashpi Lodge

Directorate! We were silent last week because the Internet coverage in the Galapagos Islands was very spotty. That’s not a veiled complaint. I’m amazed we had any Internet access on a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. But the coverage wasn’t steady enough at any point for me to crank out one of … Read more

Ecuador: The Woman in White Visits Muddy Spots

Today, Directorate, a break from my penetrating travel writing about people, places, and things for a brief discussion of my suitcase. I’ll start with the headline. I am going to grade my packing for this trip a “B” — but there is a chance that grade will rise next week. It may also drop. Dress: … Read more

Ecuador: Live, from the Earth’s Waistline

I left you with a cliffhanger on Wednesday. The Directrice and The Photographer touch the equator! As you see below. Roses thrive in certain parts of Ecuador because of the moderate temperature (we are still at elevation — maybe 5,500-6,000 ft.). The cut flower industry thrives in Ecuador because farmers are able to grow roses … Read more

Ecuador: Very Old Pots + Walk the Line

After visiting St. Francisco, we crossed the Plaza of San Francisco, walked a short block and entered the Church of La Compania de Jesus. I did not know this until we came here, but Ecuador abandoned its own currency — the sucre — and switched to the USD in 2000. This decision was prompted by … Read more

Ecuador: Our Lady of This and That

Directorate! We are here . . . in Ecuador.  For those who follow international news, your Directrice and her Photographer were pulled up short last Wednesday evening — whilst packing — by news of turbulent events outside Quito. After hearing from people on the ground in Quito and checking the State Department’s guidance, we decided … Read more

Visit to an Atelier, and Suitcase Post-Mortem

  On our last day in Argentina, Luján — knowing my interest in clothes — arranged for me to meet a designer whose atelier was close to our hotel: Francisco Rojas of Design Maker Lab. This is the scene.   Here, I am clearly rhapsodizing about seaming, darting, and exterior scaffolding. Francisco told me the … Read more

Big Boat, Little Boat — And Penguins!

  After several days incommunicado, we can tell you where we’ve been and what we’ve been doing.   In case you haven’t previously had cause to ponder the enormity of South America, allow me to share some useful information. It’S HuGE!! Keep in mind, we started in Buenos Aires, which is roughly midway between the … Read more

A Remarkable Spot

  The last thing we did before leaving Buenos Aires was withdraw a ton of Argentine pesos from the bank . . . forgetting that we would shortly be in Chile where Argentine pesos are not legal tender. Oh no. We found that in this modern age, you can manage for a week in a … Read more

Big Ice

  All that’s come before was merely prelude to the main event: gLAcIeRS. That’s why we’re here.*   After a few days in Buenos Aires, we boarded a plane and flew south and west to a Patagonian town called El Calafate. El Calafate (pop. 23,000 according to our guide) is in the Argentine part of … Read more