Salasaka   The little indigenous town in the Andes changed everything for me; I was captivated by its people, their lives, the work. I wouldn't leave for a year.

  

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just a glimpse, stay tuned for more to explore  ·  MilesAstray unfolds in retrospect. I was living these stories full time, now I’m penning them down. Head over to the countries page for the latest places/stories.

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a glimpse

 
Erupting Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador

 

glimpse: PACHA MAMA | I remember learning about Pompeii as a child – the petrifying bottom line was dreadfully clear: don’t live near active volcanoes. Be that as it may, what sounded like a nightmare back then became a dream come true later on. Living (not too) near Tungurahua in Ecuador put me face to face with nature’s might like nothing I’d ever witnessed before. It was marrow-deep awe. By day, Pacha Mama’s fiery womb would breathe enough ash into the sky to cover it wholly. Then, when night fell, lava gushed from it in fountains and trickled down the voluptuous slopes, the vivid scarlet glowing determinedly against the darkness until it cooled and blackened and bled into the night.

 

glimpse: SALASAKANS | And so the months passed by as the place kept me. Its spell felt like deliberate inevitability to me, some sort of circumstantial fate. I was stranded in a paradise. Salasaka. Melding yesterday and tomorrow today, the Salasakans knew something that was either long forgotten or far from discovery elsewhere. Their wisdom was intricate, their lifestyle so graceful. Everything was deeply rooted in bygone centuries, in the land, in Pacha Mama, but change was harvested everywhere. Salasaka was not a village outside the world or inside a vacuum. It was right there, where it seemed to belong, in a limbo between eras. Holding on to ancient knowledge while embracing the next generation’s wit, the indigenous life lingered beautifully and without haste on tomorrow’s verge.

It's one of these places that you simply can’t do without a tour. We city creatures are no longer made for the jungle.

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Cuyabeno, Amazon

 

Tungurahua   I was always more of a coast guy, but the Andes changed my perspective on many things.

 

 

 

 

 

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places / stories

Baños / When Opposites Attract

yet to be written

stay tuned

Cajas / Forks without Signposts

yet to be written

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Chimborazo / Closest to the Stars

yet to be written

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Coast / The Beach

yet to be written

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Cotopaxi / Hiking Gear None

yet to be written

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Cuyabeno / Hoping for Crocodiles

yet to be written

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Quito / Party Nights & the Blues

yet to be written

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Salasaka / Indigenous Life between Merging Eras

yet to be written

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Salinas de Guaranda / Weather Issues?

yet to be written

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Tena / Rabies Shot or Not?

yet to be written

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Tungurahua / Craving Eruptions

yet to be written

stay tuned

 

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related

photos | people

Story Time

we all have one

Our narratives have been full of forks, twists and turns, shortcuts and detours, but here we are to intersect with each other in the now. see more

reads | travel

How to Find Free Volunteering Opportunities around the World

avoiding costly and ethically precarious voluntourism agencies

...rev the search engine, skip over the voluntourism industry and dig all the way down to the grassrootss... read more

photos | landscapes

Americas

wilderness heart

The glaciers looked like petrified tsunamis, and the psychedelic lagoons like glitches, and that altitude canyon like an abyss in the sky. see more

photos | urban

South America

brick beauty & street art, color & glass

From Medellin to La Paz to Rio, the hills bled bricks. The street art wasn’t born there, [...] urbane installations mixed with flamboyant Pacha Mama spirituality that formed a fairly tame and countenanced link between dyed colonialist old towns and glassy capitalist new towns. see more

 

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elsewhere

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in South America