Saturday, March 9, 2013

Day 177 On the Way

My full energy returned after just a few sluggish days in the soft rain and I'm a happy happy pilgrim once again.  Unfortunately, Ecuador doesn't have the through-going network of dirt roads connecting mountain villages that Peru has and I'm sort of stuck following the main north-south highway, which is never so beautiful as the countryside paths.  Elegant modern houses fill the clean villages and dot the hillsides... why?  I've asked a dozen different people the source of the prosperity that makes Ecuador look drastically different than the neighborhoods south of the border.  It's because of the US, they all agree.  People go and work in the US for some years and bring the money back here to improve the quality of their hard-working lives.  The US dollar is the local currency - they don't even bother to print their own parity equivalent.  Amazing.  Clean and tidy everywhere, the children in particular are extraordinarily well-mannered and greet me individually.  What a difference a border makes.

Here are a few fun statistics for the pilgrimage so far:
    • Argentina 32 days 1,326 kms
    • Chile 51 days 2,243 kms
    • <Atacama Desert 36 days 1,575 kms>
    • Peru 83 days 3,363 kms

      I'm heading for Colombia a little slower than my normal pace so that I can end up at the Santuario de Lagas for Easter, just on the other side of the border.  Pilgriming on major holidays is usually challenging, so finding a shrine or monastery is important.  I copied this image from the Wikipedia page... not a bad place for the Easter Bunny to deliver a basket full of chocolate eggs.  (Hope springs eternal.)

      6 comments:

      Michèle Dextras said...

      Wow that castle looks like Neuschwanstein in Bavaria! Stats are impressive. Take care and soldier on!

      Sheila Phelan Wright said...

      Glad your pace will slow down a bit. Sure the Easter Bunny will have goodies for you. Interesting info about the American $$$.
      Take good care.

      Anonymous said...
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      Anonymous said...

      Viva Ecuador!! Hello from Saugerties, NY! I'll be back in Colorado soon to complete the skiing season. Go easy on the beer on St. Pat's Day and the chocolates on Easter. May the luck o' the Irish continue to shine on your amazing journey.
      Andrea

      ksam said...

      Well, once again your my little, learn something new each day!! I really thought the pic was from Europe! Hope this week goes well as we all travel towards Palm Sunday. Sould be interesting to see how they celebrate in Ecuador! Buen Camino

      Amy R said...

      Hello! I was thinking that castle looked awfully familiar, too. Is it a copy?