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Quito, the Equator, and the Coriolis Effect (Part 2)

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…continued from Part 1.

Gregor and I finally left Quito after spending a whopping 16 days in the city. We spent most of that time camped at Aire’s Cabin working on major van projects (in between Gregor’s work days and our normal van chores). With projects completed, it was time to move on and see the rest of Ecuador. (more…)

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Quito, the Equator, and the Coriolis Effect (Part 1)

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Quito (pronounced ‘kito’) is the capital city of Ecuador and has a population of about 2,700,000 people. Since Gregor and I are not big fans of driving through big cities, we didn’t really want to spend too much time in Quito. Ultimately, a string of van-related events led us back to Quito twice over the course of 4 weeks and we spent a total of 18 days in the city.

(more…)

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Oaxaca (Part 3 of 3): Lucky Gets Some Upgrades

(Click on the links to read Oaxaca Part 1 and Part 2.)

Calvin is an engineering wizard. He has the creativity and know-how to repair, build, and re-build absolutely anything – particularly when it comes to vehicles. We discovered Calvin’s talent while we watched him help other campers at Overlander Oasis to fix and revamp their rigs. So we asked him to provide Lucky with a few upgrades…

Project 1: Build a metal rear-rack cover to replace our homemade plywood one, which was disintegrating from excessive sun and warping from ever-changing humidity conditions. Calvin welded together a sturdy aluminum cover in half a day.

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(more…)

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Colonial Towns of the Mexican Interior

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Storefronts in Patzcuaro

Efrain was one of the waiters at the beach restaurant where we camped in Bucerias. A Mexican raised in San Diego, he spoke perfect English with Southern Californian slang. “Where are you guys goin’ next?” he asked. I told him that we were heading for Patzcuaro, a colonial city located in the state of Michoacan.

(more…)

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Carnaval in Mazatlan

We arrived in Mazatlan by ferry just a few days before Carnaval (the equivalent to Mardi Gras in New Orleans). This 5-day fiesta of the libido begins the weekend before Catholic Lent and is celebrated across Mexico with parades, costumes, music and dancing in the streets. This year, Carnaval took place from February 12 to 17.

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All spruced up for Carnaval

Fun Fact: The festival of Carnaval is celebrated as a last indulgence of carnal pleasures that Catholics must give up for 40 days during Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday. The word ‘Carnaval’ is derived from Latin, meaning ‘take away’ or ‘goodbye to flesh’.

(more…)

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