"World Heritage" Market, Cuenca, Ecuador:


Pop 417,000 / Elev 2530M

Southern Highlands


October 17, 2013 

My Dear Friends, 

You know that your friend Jan loves to wander around a UNESCO World Heritage Site and photograph the plazas and the parks and the buildings that are responsible for the World Heritage designation. 

By now, you also know that my stroll leads inexorably to the “real action.”  In Cuenca I found the action at the “World Heritage” market. 

Machala: The Petrified Forest Puyango



October 21, 2013

We New Yorkers are not timid.  We confront.  We question. 

 So, long, long, long ago when my Fifth Grade primary school class traveled from the Bronx to Manhattan to the Museum of Natural History and stood before the skeletal recreation of Tyrannosaurus Rex, it should come as no surprise to anyone when I challenged the tour guide, “Doesn’t this display contradict what we read in The Bible?”  (Imagine the chutzpah of that ten year old boy!)   The docent gave some inane response and we proceeded on to the diorama of Neanderthal Man.

For some reason, I recalled that museum incident during my stroll through El Bosque Petrificado Puyango (Petrified Forest) in the south of Ecuador.  Once again we are confronted with a remarkable natural process: How in the world is organic material transformed into inorganic material – tree trunks to solid rock!  And how does a fossil of an ancient sea creature end up a mile high in the mountains?

Puerto López: The Blue-Footed Booby

Isla de la Plata: The Blue-Footed Booby 

Miami, Florida


October 1, 2013 

Jan: So, you’re going to Ecuador for three weeks.  You’re also planning a trip to The Galápagos Islands?

Jan: Yes, I’m doing my research and making a few calls.  In fact I have cruise recommendations and the travel agent has been most helpful.

Jan: So, when are you going?  

Jan:  After considering all the factors, I decided not to go to the Galápagos.

Jan:  What? And you call yourself a traveler?  What will your friends think?