What to do? Monday April 25

Andes Moutains

Andes Mountains

I don’t know what to do.

I know that I am sleep deprived which makes making a decision even more difficult.

Here is my dilemma ( this might turn into a winefest)

I can’t teach right now ( the internet is too slow and unreliable).  I can’t get a full night’s sleep, the trees are dropping things on the roof of my cabana which wake me, or worse causes nightmares.  I have been looking for other places to stay within the community but seem to be striking out on all counts.

Realistically I should get out of town.  I have people who would be happy to see me in Southern Ecuador.  So why I haven’t I left?

My head tells me I need to go, to get my teaching business back up and running, my heart tells me I need to stay and be here.

About 2 weeks ago I was looking at a similar question and I came to the conclusion that this is where I wanted to be.  After searching for a place to be, a place where I was happy I think I have found it.  I decided this is where I wanted to stay, to stop traveling and to be. After coming to such an decision, it is difficult for me to uproot and go.

I have usually followed my heart for most of my life, maybe this is the time to follow my head?

If I stay I could document the ongoing rebuilding, but I am a little short on camera equipment for that.  I am using my “studio” camera, but it really isn’t ideal for taking into the field alone.  It is a little too conspicuous.

Another factor that keeps me here is fear. I am safe here, but travel right now is a little suspect.  There are a lot of people who have lost a lot, and traveling with what I need would make me a bit of a target.

So with dilema I am slowing organizing  my stuff so that I can go quickly if that is what I decide.

Any thoughts?

where I am heading

Water flowing over and around rocksI have been doing the paperwork run around, I need to get my Visa renewed to stay in Ecuador.  This has given me time on buses with not much else to do but think…or sleep. This Visa will allow me to stay in Ecuador for another year.

Some people seem to control their lives, plan ever step, have a goal and work every day to reach that goal.  I admire people like that, but that is not how I seem to live my life.

My life seems to be like a  boat on swiftly flowing river, it is difficult to control, I just go with the path of least resistance and try to keep moving with my head above water.  I let it take me where it wants to go. Some times it is a nice smooth comfortable dift.  Other times it seems like a major challenge to keep my head above water.kayaker keeping his head above water

When I reach a point that is too challenging, or I am not happy, I pull my boat out of the water and put it in another river and see where it takes me.  It is difficult to reach a goal, when you don’t have one, but it has been an interesting ride.

Loja Ecuador

Loja Ecuador

Loja is a city in Southern Ecuador. Safe and friendly it is a City with several Universities and a strong musical heritge.

It is high in the Andes so the temperature is temperate, to cool…. the sun can burn you quickly, but you will need blankets at night.



 It is a city that conbines modern life with Colonial Buildings.

It has a rich culture that combines Pre-columbian ideas, with present day thinking.

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Travel Days


Travel days

Travel days are when we move locations, but we still take photos. We take our time and stop along the way. We have traveled these routes before so we know the good ( and safe) places to photograph the vistas. We also know some of the back roads that can take us to places not normally seen by tours.

We travel in small groups ( 4 to 6)   Though larger tours can be accommodated

Box lunches

Since we are trying to get maximum photograph time we travel with box lunches. This allows us to only have to schedule start times and end time to a day. The rest of the day is flexible depending on the weather and wishes of the photographers


Ecuador is a paradise for photography

Landscape of Ecuador

with some of the worlds most beautiful landscapes, nature, birds and culture just waiting to be explored and photographed


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Photography is an individual pursuit,but it is nice to be with others who enjoy and understand your passion

Other photographers understand when you want to take 20 minutes to photograph a flower or that it may take 1/2 an hour to go 75 meters if you are exploring with a camera.
Security is also a factor when you are carrying expensive equipment. There is safety in numbers

Different photographers have different styles.

Some are walkers ( like me) who like to walk and explore with a camera. These are usually slow meanders unless a destination is in mind.

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Others like to stay in one place and photograph what and who comes by.

We plan to try and accommodate both styles and types of photographers.


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I am still in the planning and building stages but the goal of my service is to be there to help you shoot the photographs you want. I am there to offer guidance and support for the creation of your masterpiece.

My Concepts for a Photographic Tour

I want my tours to be based around the concept of allowing photographers to produce their own, unique images.  We each see differently, and I want to have the photographers explore their own vision.


I am a “good” photographer, and a talented instructor and critic ,so I have been told.  I really enjoy helping photographers develop their style, their ablity to see, and their talent, to its fullest. My passion is as much for developing other photographers as it is for creating my own images.





Notes and Tips for Photographers

Tips for Travelers and Photographers in Ecuador


Keep hydrated

You will be sweating more then normal. You will be breathing very dry air… Drink lots of water. There are many safe brands of water available. Always have a full bottle with you.

There are two schools of thought on how to drink.

One is to consume a large quantity at one time, usually before and after your hike.

The second thought is to take a mouthful or two every 10 minutes or so.

I do both…. the large quantity fills my system, while the sips keep my mouth and throat wet.



The forests are full of them…. Most of them don’t care about us, but there are some that do bite. Have a bug control system worked out…. Spray… Long sleeves… Let them bite me… Just plan ahead.

There are lots of locations where bugs are not an issue but we travel to one or two locations where it is a concern.


Look at your eyepeice

Look at your Eyepiece before you bring it up to your eye… Especially after you have set your camera down. You never know what insect may have decided to land there.


Watch were you walk

Just because the rock you are about to step on has been there for millions of years, don’t expect it to hold you weight.

There are snake, who don’t want to have anything to do with you, but might get upset if you startle them.

The sidewalks, and trails have a tremendous number of trip hazards.


Be Careful with your equipment

Your camera costs can be more than some people make in a year.  It can be very tempting for someone who is struggling to feed their family.  Keep an eye on your, and other peoples gear. In the larger cities there are people who prey on tourists, but in the smaller locations it is usually crimes of opportunity.



The weather in Ecuador can be hot dry and sunny, hot humid and sunny, hot and raining, cool and overcast, cool and damp, cool and raining, cold and wet.  In the Andes you can find all of this…sometimes within an hour or two.  Plan for this with your clothing choices.


Travelers Diarrhea

A very unplesant topic, and experience.  When you travel anywhere you are exposed to differences which can upset your system.  Bottled water, cooked food, washing hands after touching animals and using hand sanitizer can cut down on the chances of getting this.  But you should plan on getting it, so that it will not spoil your trip.

Bring medication to deal with this… Industrial strength.  ( As a Canadian I like the life brand anti- Diarrhea pills…. they work for me, but they may not do the job for you)

The important thing is, when you get hit with this, is to increase your liquid intake.  If you stop peeing then you are in trouble!!!!


Shots and stuff you need from the CDC


Ecuador Tourism site..Stay healthy

Ecuador Tourism Site…Safe Travel