We had been hoping to finish up a few more posts about New York, Costa Rica, and our time in Massachusetts a couple of weeks ago – especially about the great meals we had at Boston’s O Ya and L’Espalier – but that will have to wait until we have more time to write and post and review the thousands of photos we took in Canada and New England.
I ended up spending all of last week in Dallas on business, with no time for anything but the project I was there for. I got home to Bonaire two days ago in the early morning hours, and all of The Traveling Richters are due to be on a flight to Quito, Ecuador in the morning for the start of our final exploration of the year.
We will spend the rest of the week in and around Quito, exploring the colonial city, regional crafts and arts centers, and also will take typical tourist pictures of ourselves straddling the equator. On Saturday we start our time with Lindblad Expeditions with a flight to the Galapagos Islands, best known for where, approximately 175 years ago, Charles Darwin got his inspiration for the concept of natural selection as a key process in biological evolution. We will spend a week aboard a ship, exploring various islands, hoping to see Galapagos tortoises in their natural settings, marine iguanas, Darwin’s famous finches, large schools of sharks during our snorkels, and a plethora of other fauna. And maybe some flora too.
From the Galapagos, we fly back to the mainland, and then down to Lima, Peru, and from there to Cusco and by bus to the Sacred Valley of the Incas high in the Andes. A couple of days later we’ll be at the fabled Incan ruins of Machu Picchu – spending the night there. Then we’re down to Cusco for a couple of days before returning to Lima for a final night before parting ways with the folks from Lindblad Expeditions.
We’ll spend a morning being driven to Ica, the wine capital of Peru, spending the rest of the day and night there so that the following morning we can take a private plane over the mysterious Nazca Lines, before returning for a few days in Lima. To get back home we have to overnight in Quito and catch the direct flight back to Bonaire on KLM from there. We’ll be back home on December 4th. And I probably have to head back north for two weeks of consulting right after our return. Gotta love those frequent flyer miles.
At this point Linda and Bas are rather travel weary, so they will undoubtedly be glad when this final trip for the year is over. The only trip of any sort we have scheduled at this point for 2009 is a couple weeks in the southwest, centered around Tucson for the Renaissance Weekend conference, with a few days at a ski area in New Mexico at the end for the kids to enjoy (brr!!!) the snow. And we may head up to New Hampshire later in the year as well. But that’s it. For now.
Krystyana and I will attempt to post missives from our South American travels – hopefully the Spanish we learned in Costa Rica in September will be of use.