Although I rarely attach myself to excursions that include a bus and a few too many people, I did just that on two occasions recently and I am all the better for it. Each was great fun, very educational, and was a relaxed opportunity to chat with folks and deepen friendships. My first trip was to a botanical garden about 45 minutes from Cuenca – a lovely site that, when mature, may well become one of  Ecuador’s most treasured contributions to the preservation of native plants, and development of attendant educational programs.  Our guide, Manuel Meneses, gave an entertaining tutorial…

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