In Cuenca Ecaudor Part 2
Guide to Make Money and Travel Full-Time
Posted by Ryan Lima Ecuador – Gringo Owned Business
Chris Guillebeau is the mastermind behind “The Art of Non-Conformity,” an online blog that touches on unconventional strategies for life, work, and travel. He is also a friend of this traveling gringo. Chris is an amazing character who has spent time the last ten years self-employed, four of them in West Africa as a volunteer aid worker.
Chris’ most recent project is a series of Unconventional Guides and other informational products. These will be available for purchase and expound upon the topics he regularly tackles on his blog: Life, Work and Travel.
The Unconventional Guide to Working for Yourself is an authoritative look at being self-employed. It explains how you can make money and spend your time traveling and doing what you want to do.
As Chris explains it is for “Anyone hoping to escape the tyranny of a conventional working life, anyone interested in setting up a microbusiness to earn additional income, and anyone who believes in hard work.”
For a more comprehensive review of the material covered in the Guide, visit The Art of Nonconformity. ( Book On Amazon )
10,000 ft Descent in Just a Day
Mountain bikers will be happy to find some of the most excellent terrain just north of Quito deep in the heart of the Andes Mountains. At the Hosteria San Jorge, an eco-lodge that offers not only top-notch accommodations, but a number of exciting activities as well, you can find high quality guides ready to take you on any one of the guided tours offered. Tours range from easy to super difficult, short to long. All include gear and at least one box meal.
Some of the most attractive high thrill trails head down either the Cotopaxi or Pinchincha Volcanos, high up in the Andes, all they way down to the Amazon Basin. Guides are bi-lingual, so there is no need to worry. Bikes are decent, and the food is not bad either! All you need to bring is an adventurous spirit! For more information call up Hosteria San Jorge at (5932) 2 247549 / 2 494002 / 2 493123.
Traditional Textiles – Otavalo Market
Quito, being one of the most highly trafficked cities by tourists in South America, is the perfect launching point for a trip to Otavalo Market. From the city you can take a bus or a private taxi to the market; it is easily accessible and well known. Here is where the Otavaleños, who are mostly Quechua Indians, sell their goods.
Poncho Plaza is the center of the market, and a sensory overload within itself. Beautiful bright textiles line the street and traditional Andean pipe music lingers in the air.
If there is any way to arrange it, try to arrive in Otavalo on Friday, that way you can be up bright and early on Saturday, enjoying the busiest morning in the market, while avoiding the heavier crowds that come in the afternoon. To get the lowest prices, do your purchasing away from the main Plaza and all at the same vendor if possible. Don’t be afraid to barter; they expect it!
Business at its Best
When doing business it is important to look the part and the same holds true if you plan on doing business in Latin America. Despite the fact that Ecuadorians tend to be more laid back than North Americans, when doing business they adhere to a more formal code of conduct. Business meetings may be held in offices or in restaurants and proper attire, such as a suit with a tie, is standard.
Normally Ecuador runs on a different time clock than the rest of the world, with meetings regularly starting after their designated time. This, however, is not an excuse for lateness, and foreigners in particular are always expected to be on time. (They are also expected to not be upset when the Ecuadorian half of the party shows up an hour later.) Also remember that most offices close at 1 for lunch and reopen again at 3 in the afternoon.
Ecuadorians are very well-mannered and polite. Although kissing on the cheek is a common greeting, when doing business hand shaking is appropriate. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, do your best to at least learn a cordial greeting, and use it sincerely; your efforts will be appreciated. And remember, always address people using their proper title, such as Doctor or Engineer.
Exciting Train Ride Down the Mountains
The Nariz del Diablo or the Devil’s Nose train ride is considered to be one of the world’s most spectacular train rides, and one of Ecuador’s highlights. The track zigzags down the mountainside passing providing fantastic views of the Andean Sierras.
The train ride is four to five hours long and starts in the city of Riobamba in the Central Sierra Region. It starts off in the cool highlands, descends through the cloud forest and ends in the hot coastal jungle. You can either get off in the city of Alausi or Sibambe.
A few things to keep in mind: Dress in layers. You will be cold at the start, but sweating by the bottom if you aren’t prepared for the climate change. Many foreigners who take the train for the ride travel on the roof, much to the amusement of locals. If you plan to ride on the roof bring a sleeping bag or blanket to sit on.
Once you get into town check the schedule, and buy your ticket the evening before to avoid long lines.
(The latest most recent schedule I found online was at TurismoEcuador.com, which is in Spanish. It says the train leaves Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays at 7:00 and the ticket cost is US $14.20) Tel: (03) 2961-909