Should I start to commute?

I have been working with a friend from Loja exploring the idea of setting up a commercial photo studio.   If I continue through with this, there are a few problems I will have to deal with, including where to live and my dog Buster.  Actually Buster is a bit of an issue that I will leave for another post.

Right now I live in the lovely little city of Zamora which is nestled into the foothills of the Andes on the edge of the Amazon basin. Except for the rain, the climate is nice.  Warm but not overly hot most days, cool, but not cold most nights.   A jacket is needed for the rain but not for the temperature.

The studio would be located in the bigger city of Loja which fills a valley higher in the Andes.  I lived there for a year.  As cities go it is OK, but it is chilly.  I like wearing sneakers and with all the concrete floors and lower temperatures, I always had cold feet.

One thought is to live in Zamora and work in Loja… a possibility.

The distance between Loja and Zamora is about 60 Klm… a small commute in many parts of the world.  It is about an hour motorcycle ride for me, and weather is good extremely enjoyable on a motorbike.  The problem is that of the hour or so ride on the bike 10- 20 minutes are going over the top of a pass where the wind comes straight at you from all directions, it is usually in the clouds with a cold rain, and low visibility.  The good thing about this road is it is in great shape, there is minimal traffic, and the drivers are respectful of others around them.

Andes Moutains

View from the road between Loja and Zamora

I have never done this drive at night… and I don’t think I want to.  The sun sets every day at 6PM so realistically The latest i can leave is 4pm…

The Bus ride is about 2 hours to Loja… a 1/2 hour shorter coming back ( uphill vs downhill) The bus is also slower because it can’t take the turns as fast as my bike or cars.  The cost of the bus is $2.40 each way.

Another option would be to live in another town near Loja that has a better climate and less elevation change.  Vilcabamba, Malacatos and Catamio come to mind…

We will see how this all plays out… and in the back of my mind are the messages I am getting from my friend Kris to come and live on a beach in Thailand…

Vilcabamba Ecuador

Vilcabamaba Ecuador

The Valley of longevity

This area is supposed to have some of the longest living people on the planet. 

I don’t know if there is something special in the air or water, but it is a nice relaxing location.



The town is surrounded by hils, so the senery is tremendous. 

The town itself is an interesting mix of old world Ecuador with New Age Gringoism.


Vilcabamaba Wikipedia