If you wonder who the people are that I’m talking about, here’s your soap opera guide to the people in Ecuador.

In Quito:

At the top of the Teleferico

From the left:

American born, married to Sherrie, making one of Quito’s best Salsa dance and tango dance partnerships. Charlie’s an ex-USA ice dance champion, who has been living out here for about 15 years. Always up for a night out and a few drinks.

Sally (the boss)
Stylish as ever, Sally speaks fluent French as she used to live in Paris, before giving it all up at the toss of a coin for Ecuador (tails was Mongolia apparently). Sally is currently single, and although a self-confessed workaholic who isn’t a people person, she knows how to flirt to get what she wants.

From London, Anne (24) has been visiting Ecuador since she was 18. Currently in Columbia (24 hours by bus. joy eh) Anne’s an idealist with an outgoing character. She’s an amateur photographer, undaunted by South America, foreign languages or hanging out in bars on her own.

A cut above, Georgina has been in Ecuador for 30 years and owns/manages a yacht called The Beagle which takes luxury cruises around the Galapagos. With a home counties accent, Georgina kindly lent me her scarf at the top of the Teleferico, but didn’t drink the box red wine we had in our rucksack.

Reminds me of a girl I went to school with called Andrea Carter-Waller. Ecuadorian, with excellent English, she’s very bubbly, smiley and an excellent salsa dancer (ex ice-skating champion too, that’s how she knows Charlie). And at only 25 she’ll hopefully be my partner in crime on a few nights out whilst Anne’s in Columbia.

And at the farm:

Patricio Me and Roberto

From the left:

Sally’s full time farm manager up in Pintag. He’s extremely good with horses and patient with English girls who don’t speak Spanish. Aged 33 and married for 8 years to Magdelena and has a son, Jose Sabastian.

Looking photogenic as ever.

Local eye-candy. Ecuadorian Roberto speaks English with an American accent having spent 3 years at University in America studying dairy farming or some such course. He has a lovely girlfriend who he’s (unusually for an Ecudorian man) serious about and faithful to. But even so the guests (and Anne) like to watch him strutting around in spurs and riding the horses. Roberto often guides rides for Sally.

Tack cleaning before a ride

From the left:
Anne, Jose Javier, Santiago, Pacifico and Roberto just walking in the door.

Jose Javier
Has worked with Sally for 10 years, or since he was 19. He’s married with three children and lives in the town of Machachi, about 40 minutes drive from Pintag. We use some of his horses on the rides. Of the guys I’m working with he fits into the “strong and silent” category. He doesn’t know any English and doesn’t help me out quite so much with nods and winks. He drives a 1985 Suburu which he gave me a lift in – it’s a wonder he didn’t leave half of it in the road, it rattles and shakes so noisily when driven (like a rally car) down the local streets. Jose Javier works 3 days for Sally, and is currently breaking in Anemika. (In this pic is brandishing a knife in his right hand, which we’ve been using to scrape the sweat and dirt of all the tack we’re cleaning.)

Original ‘Chagra’ (Ecuadorian cowboy). Age 27 and married 5 years now, has two children. Santiago works for Sally on tours only. Something about male chagra pride makes it difficult for guys to work for Sally. He doesn’t have a car, but does have some horses, a couple of which I’ve ridden. Santiago tries to include me, calls me ‘chica’ all the time and does know a few English words.

Local chagra, hugely well known and respected in the area. Pacifico is a grandad, tour guide and master leather craftsman. He’s currently working on a couple of saddle and a pair of chaps for me. He has a lot of respect for Sally and her riding and the two have learnt a lot from each other. He’s super helpful, and a bit macho/chivalrous (whichever way you look at it). For example, he can’t stand to see Sally or I leading more horses than he is. He’s also started buying bigger and bigger horses as he’s got used to Sally’s larger horses. Typically chagra ride 13.2 ponies!

Not pictured

Business partner of Charlie, (they operate specialist bird watching tours in Ecuador), single, blonde, Swedish (but not very tall) and admits, under duress, to being 38. Great friends with Sally and flirts with anything in a skirt. Lovely guy.

A talented clothing designer and wife of Charlie. Very stylish and chic, but I think she’s originally American or German. Can’t remember. Impecable English.

Pete and Renee
Good friends of Sally, Pete Oxford (originally from Deveon) is an Internationally recognised photographer. See some of his pics here or visit www.peteoxford.com. He and his wife Renee (South African) have travelled the world taking shots and have written 4 books. A couple of which I want to get copies of as they’re amazing.

Jewish-Israeli adventure tour guide and hostel owner. Eran is tall (for out here), dark, muscle-bound and handsome. A shade over 30 (and lying about his age), he can’t sit still as he NEEDS to be climbing a mountain all the time, and is commonly heard saying in a strong (Israeli, I assume) accent “´Ow much deeed you pay for that Salleee?”

Karin and Tony
Owners of Cafe Cito in Mariscal, but not together relationship-wise. Karin is from Germany and a nurse. Karin’s also thankfully more than happy to help me out with random things I can’t translate and is top of my emergency phone numbers list. Tony is from Canada with Jamaican and English parents, a lovely guy in his early 30s, he likes to go up for riotous weekends in Columbia.

An ex of Sally’s, Alvoro is a comfortably-off son of family with a large Hacienda. He speaks perfect English with an American accent, as is the vogue out here. He’s 30 and fairly latino attractive. An all round good guy. He has a newish pick-up truck, which whenever I see it has a dog tied into the back. (You have to tie the dog in, or you can lose the dog when driving up the main road at speed, he told me – it happened to a friend of his.)

Jordan and Juan Carlos (Juanche)
Jordan (25) is a lovely, smart American living out here with her boyfriend Jaunche, who owns and runs a Mexican restaurant in the heart of Mariscal in Quito. These guys are doing lots to include me out in town on the weekends – yay.

Tanya (and Alex)
Tanya (26) a London born Jew who’s been out in Ecuador for over 3 years and is living with Ecuadorian boyfriend, both are friends of Jordan.

And here are some photos of Sam, from the 2007 trip.


4 Responses to “The people”

  1. kate waller Says:


    The journal and the photos are looking absolutely fantastic and you sound like you are having a great time. I also love the dogs name “guapo” how fab!


  2. whirley Says:

    Glad you like it Kate! Will try and get more man pics on soon too. 😉

  3. Andrea Carter-Waller Says:

    hi which school did you go to? My name is andrea carter-waller

  4. whirley Says:

    There can’t possibly be two Andrea Carter-Wallers, how’re Vicki and Stuart? 😉

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