Today is my last day at work before a few weeks off. Before possibly the longest time I've planned to spent 100% off work since first having enough freelance business that it could matter. Except for 2 quick, simple bug fixes, I've spent the whole work day writing up documentation and tidying up code repositories. That's not only very satisfying, but also leaves me thinking I might actually succeed in not touching work until I get back home.

Alright, work is as done as it's going to be, and my stuff including a rather silly number of camera accessories is all packed. All that's left is a pile of dishes and some leftovers to freeze and I'll be ready to go.

I'll be a lot less Online for the next few weeks; please contact other mods (listed at ) for any :weirder_earth: needs.

How did we manage to use so many pots and things that don’t fit in the dishwasher in just the last few days?

This trip starts with a night in Houston. Originally just because of awkward flight timing, but we’ve turned it into something nice because we’ll get to meet someone in meatspace who so far both of us only know from Online. I am wearing my pineapple socks in honor of the mastodon memes of oh so long ago when we first started chatting.

On our way out, not only Tahoma but also Loowit, Pahto, Wyeast and another peak further to the south all came out to bid us farewell from Cascadia. A 5-stratovolcano day always feels blessed.

+ some tiny + a view + a few moments of flying through the trees.
The flowers are called Santa Lucia, and there’s a local saying about how giving someone these in January will make them rich for the year, rhyming Enero with dinero.

It may not look like it from the photos I’ve shared so far, but we are actually here for taiji. I’m just not usually holding a camera in those sessions. But here is some slow photography in that spirit. Details in image descriptions.

Things that have caused distractions in our taiji classes this week:
🐯The resident cat
🦋That moth that landed on one of us and wouldn’t leave
🐦Hummingbirds out the window
🌈A rainbow.

I like this crowd.

I took this short video much more for the sound than the visuals.

Hummingbirds are magical creatures, even if I can only ever capture their images at feeders.

I’m in an airport in Costa Rica and keep seeing wework ads. Not only is there no escape, but also how do they still have an advertising budget?

The flotilla of ships waiting to enter the Panama Canal is a ghostly vision at night.
I’d like to actually visit this country some time, but today we’re just changing planes and being grateful that PTY has the decency to let international transfer passengers stay airside and not make us clear passport control in order to leave like certain other places I won’t name.

For those who know the delightfully eccentric Horniman Museum in south London, here’s what seems to be the dominant tea brand in Quito.

Limited activity today because I’m unwell. But we are staying just off the 30km route that Quito closes to cars every Sunday so cyclists and flâneurs can take over. If I’d felt better I’d have preferred to rent a bike and join in, but spending a couple of hours at a sidewalk cafe taking in the scene was also good.

I seem to have abruptly recovered from illness overnight. Let’s just say that this is the only circumstance in which waking up hungry at 3am is an exciting thing to happen.

One thing I feel like I’m missing so far is the gloriously syncretic style of religious art we saw so much of in Bolivia. We’ve been into two churches so far and both had very European art collections, incongruously white jesi and all.

I realize my themes are kind of predictable: bikes, flowers, street art. Oh well....

It’s always wise when visiting volcanic places to go and pay one’s respects to the local projector mountains. I wished them all well on Tahoma’s behalf, between short breaths because the teleferico took me from Quito’s altitude to La Paz’s.

My taiji teacher just sent me a photo of myself that I don’t hate, from the birdwatching side trip in Costa Rica:

I really should try to visit an interesting synagogue in every new city I go to. Not least because the fediverse loves the photos.

I’d need a much longer trip to fully adjust to the higher altitudes, but I can’t get enough of the Andes.

And here is most of our haul from the market in Otavalo. Those things are even more fun now that I know a little more about weaving... though that does also mean I turned my nose up at a few carelessly finished scarves among all the beautifully made ones.


shitty tourism 

colonial mentality 

colonial mentality 

colonial mentality 

colonial mentality 

Better things from yesterday; the Franciscan convent is beautiful and appropriately hosts a pet bird rescue. Also the one church I felt appropriate taking photos in because they put tourists in a gallery separate from worshipers and removed enough that I felt like I wasn’t disturbing them.

And here’s some more Quito . I could happily spend another week here, but I’m also very excited about our next stop.

Alright, next stop Galapagos! Whatever else happens in the coming week, we’ll be on a boat in a place I’ve wanted to visit for literally decades.

I don’t know how much internet access we’ll have, so if I go quiet assume it’s just that. And if there are connections I’ll post more photos, of course.

Landed at Baltra. It claims to be the world’s first “ecological airport”. I’m curious what, if any, substance there is to that, but I do appreciate how much is done to limit the introduction of invasive species.

Today was pretty full of transport and logistics and planning, but (a) it does look like the tours here are going to be a lot better done than in Quito, and (b) I still got to stick a camera out the window as we passed a small island.

@eldang those are the best things though!

well, except for humans. but it's problematic to take their pictures w/o permission.

@eldang I love the pictures! And I love your way of seeing them. Not predictable at all!

I'm sorry the GI stuff is ongoing - and antibiotics are a lifesaver but also miserable, like yay, would you like some gastric distress with your gastric distress? It seems you are not having enough gastric distress. Ugh.

I'm really hoping this is going to resolve quickly and with minimal discomfort. :flan_luck:

@compostablespork thank you. One thing that will probably help is that probiotics are very much part of medical orthodoxy here, so I have two different prescription ones: one just for while symptoms last and one to take daily for twice as long as the course of antibiotics.


That second mountain vista should be in a gallery, its amazing.

@Melisandre thank you! That was a spot where the photos practically took themselves, but I am excited about seeing that particular one on a big monitor and doing a proper edit when I get home.

@eldang :flan_hearts: I love the way you're watching the world - what a great picture!

@alx I am an absolute sucker for modern styles of both stained glass and religious art in general.

@eldang The secular world really needs to up its stained glass game.

@twistylittlepassages I am choosing to parse it as “nice man drew lots of cameras, better take lots of photos”

@eldang I love the 3rd one, with the erigeron embedded into the wall

Where are you headed next?

@GwenfarsGarden thank you! And since you know the names of so many more of these than I do, I appreciate you sharing.

Next stop Galapagos: the past week was originally just a filler between two trips it didn’t make sense to go home between, so I’m glad we picked such a nice place to spend it in.

@eldang I don't know what the 1st one is. The 2nd looks like a Pelagonium and the last one like a Hibiscus.

The Galapagos - how exciting! I look forward to those pics.

I hope one day to get to that part of the world. Til then, I'll live through others pics :)

colonial mentality 

colonial mentality 

colonial mentality 

colonial mentality 

colonial mentality 

colonial mentality 

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