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September the 20th was our first wedding anniversary. It seems so much longer than a year since we were in Fiji, yet it has been a wonderful year, with a lot of change and some great travel. We found a great little hotel in the middle of nowhere (try and find Chugchilan on a map!), met some lovely new friends, went for walks with the hotel's dogs and horse trekked through cloud forest at 3,500m. A lovely few days of real relaxation. The landscape around Chugchilan was the first time I enjoyed the Ecuadorian landscape. Deep valleys hundreds of metres bellow with hills another half a 'K' up. Still very dry (the time of year - we have seen photos of the same hills green), but dusty and beautiful. We even got some nice weather!

typical indigenous market Ecuador colourful rainbow man hat

The train at the Devil's Nose or El Nariz del Diablo is one of the main tourist attractions in Ecuador. The train runs down a steep gorge with several switch-backs and some interesting scenery. I love train travel and this train is most famous because you can sit on the roof. Unfortunately, the roof was crowded with bus loads of rude package tourists. Culture shock set in quickly and neither of us particularly enjoyed the ride given the company.

Ecuador train ride attraction Devil's Nose El Nariz del Diablo tourist gorge steep

Our last stop in Ecuador was Cuenca. Like Quito it is a World Heritage Site, with many great buildings, cobbled streets a good museum and some OK markets. The cathedral was especially beautifully designed and built, with all the usual images of suffering, sin, regret, pain, death and devotion to winged, fat babies with thoughtful expressions.

Yesterday we arrived in Peru, where we will spend at least the next month. Obvious places on the itinerary are the Inca trail with Machu Picchu and hopefully some climbing and trekking in the Andes. Finally, we should see some real mountains, none of these 5,500m hills!