Report from the Equator

by | Feb 25, 2001 | Archives

Two suns hang orange on cotton clouds over black keys that float on a fading Caribbean blue. Grey corrugated clouds ride in a long plain and slide into the fading inkiness of dusk.

February 22, 5:10 AA Flight 967. Part of the pleasure in flying to Ecuador has been that flights always leave at dusk. Sunset over the Carribean is a magnificent sight. The bad news is you arrive late in Quito or Guayaquil, tired sometimes and more confused in the dark if you have not been there before. Now there is some great news about travelling to Ecuador! Since the great depression down here Saeta (Ecuador’s airline) and Equatoriana (Brazilian) have not been flying. This has left American Airlines the bulk of the route. This has meant that American in their typical, corporate stinkiness raised prices and lowered the level of their already bad service. I have experienced cancelled flights, overbooking, just plain rudeness, etc. Plus I hear that American has been trying to make it hard for other airlines to get in. My guess is they enjoy gouging those of us who have no choice. But finally other airlines are getting in. Chile’s Lan Chile now offers flights to Ecuador in the $350 range (round trip-about half the price of American). I like their schedule. They depart Miami at 8 a.m., arriving at lunch into Quito. You miss the sunset but get into Quito at a decent hour. I have not travelled this airline yet so cannot comment on their service but I find it hard to imagine it’s as bad as American. Lan Chile is a well respected South American airline, however. Some have successfully booked via After speaking with the Lan Chile office, we discovered that they do have abilities to offer you flights from all over America that tie into the Miami flight.

There is more good news down here! Merri and I have been working with International Living to create a course entitled Ecuador Business Made EZ. Richard has focused on import/export and has interviewed over 100 artisans and craftsmen looking for products that you can sell in your own business. Merri and I have already started and are enjoying an incredible success making sometimes 100% or more in a week!

I have been writing about how not to get ripped off by scams offering that you can make 10% to 20% a month investing in bonds. But I believe the real way to make money is in your own international business and to enjoy dramatic returns.

Richard will be conducting these courses on a regular basis, but Merri and I will help him kick off the initial course for just a few who can come down on short notice. I will have the final dates confirmed early next week but it looks like this will take place the week of March 18 to 24. This barely gives you time to get low cost early bookings. These one week courses once going full speed will run $3,499 or more for the week, but this first course (you will be our Guinea Pigs} will be half that $1,699.

At the course you will learn of hundreds of products you can buy and ship to your or other countries. Also, we are travelling everyday outlining and producing many other opportunities for investment and business down here.

You will visit the towns and villages where the goods are produced, meet the artisans and have help in designing a custom business for yourself. Then Lord Richard will be able to act as your agent down here, helping in the buying, shipping, customs etc. I’ll be here for this first course to help you gain ideas on how to sell the goods back home. We are current selling most of ours on eBay.

I’ll give you details in my next report of what we have already bought and sold. In the meantime you can get travel details for here on Travelocity or contact Agora Travel at

Merri and I hope to see you down here! We are enjoying our stay…although working hard. We have a lovely routine of a long swim in the Hotel Quito’s olympic sized heated pool which overlooks the entire city, then a nice long steam in their while tiled Turkish steam bath (filled with fresh eucalyptus leaves), then a great breakfast of tropical fruits and fresh juices (this morning a delicious blackberry), homemade Swiss muesli (loaded with currants and mango), fresh French bread, free range eggs, corn tamales stuffed in banana leaves and of course cafe con leche. We had a view of the entire city line from the top floor of the hotel,in Techo del Mundo (the roof of the world) a restaurant with the distinction of the 2nd highest restaurant in the world with panoramic views.

Hope to see you down here!