Category: Travel research

Occupy waterfront

Malecon 2000 is a waterfront boardwalk in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city. Besides giving a tour of the place, I have examined the composite factors that lead to waterfront development projects, impact of public spaces on the local polulation and finally the perceived impact of these regeneration efforts on travel and tourism.

Advancing the ‘urbanidad’: A new church every week

Spanish conquistadors from the fifteenth-century, and subsequent waves of settlers that came to South America during the the period of Spanish imperial dominance were thorough adheres of the urbanidad (urban-living) doctrine. In this post, I discuss this concept and relate it to the density of colonial churches in Cuenca, Ecuador.

Three lakes emerge as two volcanoes die

A group of indigenous people arrived and setup a ceremony on the shores of the lake. Folks sat in a circle, with one person, presumably the holy man, standing at the centre chanting prayers. At the end of the assembly, he passed around a earthen pot placed in a decorated basket and his followers offered their respects to it one at a time. Within thirty minutes, the gathering was dissolved and people left. It was interesting to watch this ceremony although I have no clue what it was about

Türkiye Merhaba: Too much research spoils the fun?

I work, I save, I travel. As a result, between my trips, I have plenty of time to read about a place and to get to know it from a theoretical perspective. My idea of recreation is to do geeky things like reading history, looking at maps, memorizing train timings and redrawing archeological sketches. No wonder that, as soon as I saw an opportunity to travel to Turkey, I excitedly jumped into a full-fledged research mode.

Independence Square: Ecuador’s centre of power

The Spanish started constructing a new district in Quito and as with typical colonial urban design, a city plaza was built at it’s centre in the 16th century. In my opinion, this is a very appropriate place to start touring old Quito. This plaza was among the first sites to be constructed and has some of Quito’s most important buildings around it. Therefore I chose it as the zero coordinate for my trip (you know, the point from which everything begins)

A tourist guide to public transport in Quito

Since I am completely committed to sustainable modes of public transit as opposed to taxis or cars, I was delighted to find that most, if not all, principal sights of tourist importance in Quito can be accessed by public transport. For a mere $0.25, one can navigate a vast network of efficient public transit system to get to different parts of Quito. It might seem slow, crowded and chaotic, but what’s the point of travelling if one doesn’t mingle with the common man and experience all that?

Stumbling across Bizcochos of Cayambe

Early in the morning bakers all over Cayambe wake up to mix wheat flour, sugar, margarine, yeast and a bit of salt. Then, they let the dough rise for about an hour before they begin kneading and stretching it to cut it into little pieces that are neatly lined on baking sheets. On average, a bizcocho shop bakes between 1,500 and 2,000 pieces a day, so you can get warm, out-of-the-oven bizcochos any time of day

Tale of two lovers: a tree and a lake

According to a local legend, El Lechero (a tree on top of a hill) and Lake San Pablo are the souls of two lovers from rival families (an excellent plot for Bollywood movies). Unable to get their families to reconcile, they decided to escape to be with each other. Unfortunately the lovers were caught in their attempt and cursed into a tree (Lechero) and a lake (San Pablo). According to another story, El Lechero is a magical tree with healing powers

A line that splits the Earth

I remember my school days back in India. Rather than the individual desks that you find in North American schools, our classrooms were filled with large wooden desks that two (or sometimes three) students shared. Very collectivist and cooperative, I know, but often not as idealised as it sounds. You see, there were times when you had to share your desk with a total jerk, who was