Posts by Julie_admin

Equinox Observance on Ancient Pyramid

Posted by on Oct 10, 2014 in Blog | 5 comments

Equinox Observance on Ancient Pyramid

Ancient peoples the world over have celebrated the equinoxes and solstices throughout time.  Such times are significant because they mark not only specific times of year as related to the special characteristics and activities of that time in the annual cycle; but because they also are a recognition of the relationship of the earth to the cosmic entities beyond and how they affect life on our planet.  Cycles are usually marked by observation of angles between earth and the sun.  Indigenous peoples have always made use of the specific energies received at these special times and take time to honor the life giving powers and energies which are made manifest through the interplay of forces emanating from mother earth and father sun (Pachamama and Taita Inti). In the Intag region of Imbabura Province Ecuador, there is a very ancient and sacred site left by the Kara people.  A few weeks ago I was fortunate to accompany a group of healers to the fall equinoxial events at Wariman Sacred Site. It was my first time to travel to Intag, and I can say the region is breathtaking.  The road to Intag is only partially paved, so travel can be very tricky, especially during rainy season at which time the unpaved roads can become somewhat  perilous due to muddy conditions and the possibility of land slides.  A four wheel drive vehicle is advised. Buses do run, but can be delayed for hours when road conditions are compromised. Forgive the aside, but one needs to be aware of land and prepared for the road conditions.  Now back to the place itself, Wariman is a most  amazing and sacred place  left by the ancients and imbued with an undeniable force of positive and divine energy.  There are 4 pyramids and 38 tolas on the site. There are facilities for camping as well as cabin stye rooms, bathrooms and a restaurant.  Wariman sacred refuge means star of the dawn. The main pyramid is used for ceremonies of thanksgiving and for connecting to outer space. It is unique in all of Ecuador and is the best legacy in Ecuador to the Kara civilization. Ceremonies during the time I visited were conducted by the shaman from La Calera community.  We arrived as one ceremony was concluding and were there just in time to scale the pyramid from the back (a steep ascent without the aid of the ramp) and receive holy water from the shaman which we held in our hands and then released to the ground again. We removed our shoes when we got to the top and I was very surprised to feel how extremely hot the land was beneath my feet.  I thought it was just below a temperature that would have burned our soles.  The surrounding air temperature was not particularly hot. After the ceremony people left by way of the long ramp, and a feast followed.  That night many received the water purification ritual led by the shaman.  I had not come prepared so I did not participate this time, but perhaps next time I will be able to do so.  ...

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Birds on Isla de la Plata

Posted by on Oct 10, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

Birds on Isla de la Plata

There are a number of trails to hike on Isla de la Plata ( aka Silver Island) off the Ecuadorian coast. Tours are available from Puerto Lopez, especially during whale watching season, but also throughout the year.  Some of our group decided to take the trail known for great numbers of frigate birds and blue footed boobies. We were not disappointed! Male frigates are known for their ability to enlarge an area of their throats in order to attract females.  It’s rather an impressive sight.  The male pictured above is resting but you can see the red area of his throat. The blue footed boobies are dong a courting dance.  The males feet are more turquoise colored than the females’. Males also have smaller...

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Enjoying Coastal Ecuador

Posted by on Oct 10, 2014 in Blog | 2 comments

Enjoying Coastal Ecuador

  Here it is October and I am only beginning to catch up with this blog!  Yikes!  Well, things happen such as multiple trips to Quito to get my visa stamp moved to my new passport; however, I shall try to do better in keeping up with sharing what is going on.   The visa procedure is another topic I may include here on this blog for your education and information, but for now, back to coastal Ecuador. In the previous post I shared a bit about Puerto Lopez.  There is not much to the town , but each June through August it gets busy with tourists visiting in hopes of seeing magnificent humpback whales and of seeing, and perhaps hiking, Poor Man’s Galapagos an island several miles offshore which is home to many species of wildlife also found on the Galapagos Islands. We had a wonderful guide and were thrilled with the experience we had on our whale watch and tour of Isla de la Plata (aka”Poor Man’s Galapagos). There is a relatively new pier which helps embarkation for sea trips sooo much easier than before.  In 2012 I remember actually wading into the ocean with my skirt held just above the water as I climbed as modestly as I could onto our boat.  The new pier and ramp is so much easier ( and drier) compared to that first experience.  Our group  found several restaurants of good quality and we much enjoyed the fresh seafood. There was a wonderful little shop we discovered with of all sorts of items derived from Palo Santo, wood from a protected tree which is the source of an fragrant essential oil used in making incense, and several body care preparations. The Palo Santo tree is in the same family of tree from which frankincense and myrrh are derived.  Because it is a protected tree, the wood is only to be taken from dead trees.  We saw Palo Santo trees growing on Isla de la Plata.  ...

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Season of the Humpback Whales in Puerto Lopez

Posted by on Oct 10, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Season of the Humpback Whales in Puerto Lopez

On August 1 a small group headed out to coastal Ecuador on trip organized by Circle on the Square and by our very good friend Jairo Munoz who did some amazing work to make this trip run smoothly.  We flew into Manta and visited Alfaro City ( see our previous post), then we made our way south along the coast to Puerto Lopez. Puerto Lopez is a fishing village with a wide variety of places to stay, restaurants with delicious seafood, and places to buy souvenirs, as well as what is said to be the very best place on the Ecuadorian coast to take a whale watching tour.  Humpback whales are present in the coastal waters from June through August, and there are plenty of licensed companies offering tours to see whales as well as to visit and explore Isla de la Plata, aka “Poor Man’s Galapagos.” Our group stayed at the very comfortable hosteria, Nantu, at the edge of town north of the new pier.  In March 2012 when I first visited Puerto Lopez there was no pier.  In order to board a boat one had to wade into the water and climb aboard; now with the new pier, boarding the yachts is very easy for guests and crews. We took a tour on the “Isla Tour” with two guides and a captain who looked all of 18 years old. They gave us a fabulous day which included whale watching, hiking on Isla de la Plata and becoming acquainted with the spectacular birds and other animals who live there, and near the end of the day I came back with fantastic photos which were taken for me by one of our guides. We were able to go snorkeling and we were thrilled to see many colorful fish as well as curious sea turtles who came right up to the boat to check us out. It was a magical day in terms of being able to see and explore so many life forms unique to this particular area  of the world, and for me it was really thrilling to be out at sea since I haven’t personally spent much time there.  That night when I crawled into bed and laid still, I could still feel the sensation of the rocking of the waves  beneath me. It was an unforgettable day.  ...

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Cuidad Alfaro in Montecristi Ecuador

Posted by on Aug 5, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

Cuidad Alfaro in Montecristi Ecuador

Our latest Circle on the Square tour took us to visit attractions along the Ecuadorian coast right at prime whale watching season.  We flew from Quito to Manta then began our tour with breakfast followed by a visit to the Cuidad Alfaro.  Eloy Alfaro Delgado was President of the Republic of Ecuador from 1895 to 1901; and, he took office a second time from 1906 to 1911. Although he was disliked by conservatives, today he is considered by Ecuadorians to be one of their greatest presidents. Perhaps his greatest achievement was to establish a railroad between Quito and Guayaquil. From the airport in Manta we traveled a short distance to Montecristi where Cuidad Alfaro is situated. The site overlooks the port of Manta and has several attractions.  There is a marvelous mausoleum of stunning design and incorporation of fine art depicting historically significant events in the life of General Alfaro and the history of Ecuador. There is also a large hall and meeting room used by Ecuador’s national assembly,  a historical museum and a beautiful area with artesan shops.      ...

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