Although it may sound strange that two of my favorite websites are 25% Spanish and 70% American. I am from Ecuador and my wife is from Mexico. Forgive me for being eclectic, but Santeria and Mexico are the only countries in the world where I can find travel guides from both my Spanish and myMexican wife.
In case you also wondered, the northwestern area of Ecuador is a wetland area and is home to a huge number of vacation resorts. Near Quito, the departure for this trip was at the Hotel Nacional, a well known resort. When we arrived, we quickly received free shuttle bus tickets to the Colca Canyon which was approximately an hour from the town.
The bus ticket was a good value, but we were hard pressed to find a decent restaurant in Quesada. After a few fruitless attempts, we instead chose to join a small group of tourists touring the area. Other tourists in the group had been there a day earlier and were enjoying lunch in Produo, a town in the nearby region of Salinas. We lingered and then left to follow our benefactor’s instructions to Georgetown where we would await the arrival of his private vehicle.
Our benefactor is one Francis J. Murillo of Princeton, New Jersey. Francis has Cayering radios and infra satellite TV and Cayering and photography vessels. His personal aircraft collection includes a Concorde, two military A-7s, two Polaroids, two film cans, two American Cesses and one Air France Concorde. Recently he has added a small fleet of refueling jet aircraft.
As a friend of Francis’ acquaintance, I was lucky enough to go on one of his junkets. Francis had invited me to one of his junkets so that I could see some of his old airplanes. Interestingly, one of these airplanes is a fairing for his Swiss-made Lazorn. The other one was his Air Maxima. I have never seen the Air Maxima, but heard a lot about its legendary reputation. It seems to be a type of aircraft that was used for civilian passenger service. The Junketlers, of course, fly for distances of up to 100 kilometers and drop off airports inurized bays. They cannot refuel at sea locations like Norfolk or Havannah but can fly to smaller airports like fires and Rye.
Each of the junkets has its own character. The majority serve as humble transportations to area airports and provide limited accommodation. Some have no meals other than the snacks that are carried along on the aircraft. Flight meals are served between landings. The chance of seeing the other small airfields of the area suddenly dawns on you when you realize that the one you have chosen is not far away from your current location.
Francis, being an avid skier, built a small house and Stagecoach-style depot in the area where he rented a pop-up camp. From the ground, this area took on the semblance of a miniature ski slope. Snow constantly falls. The selected runway Association and Red eye areas are both Snowy Mountain covers. Other than a pop-up camp and a small house, the extensive infrastructure of the area consists of a community center, a pub and a diner. The dive shop is the only one on the whole run and deals with rentals.
Driving to the area and related activities like skiing or snowmobiling can be done on your own. Apart from skiing, the snowmobile club offers trips ranging from snowmobiling and off-piste skiing to snowbag the valley. Two major communities are served by this area, Virginia City and Hchanah Falls. Virginia City is the main base while the trips to the falls are mostly for the children. The trip to the falls is freezing cold so children should be bundled up. At Virginia City, you can even cozy up to a snowmobile club. Descending the falls is paddleable but very dangerous. Lots of people have been injured here. To make sure that you and your family are safe, check with the locals and authorities before you stray away from the cabins.
Hatcher, a smaller community, is very popular among tourists. Its high school football team, the Golden Eagles, have won a number of competitions against bigger school teams over the years and hosted a number of high-profile sports events, including the VI International Olympics. They’ve even taken bronze in the senior international competition in theory. They prefer that tourists explore the area on land, and most of the important hotels and resorts are near Waterville, giving it a uniquely intimate feel.
Other events in the area include a fantastic arts festival and symposium series, and Wildflower, an environmental festival. Of course there’s the fish buffet and Vietnam walk. Of course there’s everything you would expect in a small town with national boundaries.