Even though I’m sad Wylie isn’t with us anymore, I’m sure excited to write my first blog! I’m the one who actually did a lot of the photo taking this time. A lot of you probably haven’t ever heard of Ecuador, but it was a really fun country to go to and even looked a lot like Colombia in most spots. Our first stop was a town called Otavalo where we went to the biggest market in all of South America. That’s pretty big if you consider how big South America is! We just HAD to get up extra early for the animal market in the morning, and boy were we glad we did. They were selling everything from puppies and kittens to cows and pigs! Jessie even had an old lady offer her a kitten to buy. Nate and I actually though she was going to go for it for a second, but I grabbed her pant leg and said, “Oh no Jessie, you can’t buy a kitten until you go back home!” I think if she could do it, she would honestly keep a little kitty in her backpack with her between places we
visit just to have one. They even had guinea pigs for sale at the market! It was really interesting to see all of the people in their traditional hats walking around selling their livestock in the middle of the market. Sometimes it’s just not good to be a one of a kind animal in a place like this. NO, I’m not for sale sillies! Geez.
We had a great time at the big market, but I really enjoyed our time in Quito, too. We went to a place called “Mitad del Mundo”, which means middle of the world. They call it this because it’s exactly on the equator so you can keep one foot in the northern hemisphere of the world and one in the south at the same time. Isn’t that cool? Now, you’d think that since we were on the equator that it would automatically be hot outside, but because Quito is SO high up in the mountains, it was actually cold most of the time, especially at night! Once the sun went down I don’t think I poked my head out of the covers. Although I have to say, I had fun tickling Nate and Jessie’s
toes under the blankets when they were trying to warm up. We have to say, none of us were expecting to be somewhere this cold and NOT have any heat. I guess we better bundle up everyone! At least I already have my scarf to help with that. By the end of the day if we were still outside I was definitely saying, “Umm, can someone put me in their jacket? I PROMISE, I won’t tickle your armpits, too.”
Our favorite place in all of Ecuador was a place called Banos. It’s kind of funny because the name means bathrooms in Spanish, but this place sure was amazing. We even got to go for a mountain bike ride down the mountains for a whole afternoon while stopping and seeing about 10 different waterfalls. Of course they didn’t rent bikes my size, so it was a good thing I can hang onto handlebars really well on Nate’s bike. Besides, then I didn’t even have to do any of the hard work! At one of the stops we saw people zip lining down the mountain, which means they basically rode a cable downhill over the trees and the river below. AND,
they got to do it like superman! It looked really fun but since it was a bit expensive, we decided to take a cable car ride instead over the top of one of the really tall waterfalls. I have to admit, I was a little bit scared when we stopped before the huge waterfall so everyone could take picture. I think the car operator thought it was funny to let us all sit there a little bit longer than normal just to scare us a little bit. I mean, how could we not be? Wouldn’t YOU be a little scared, too? I’m not scared of heights being a monkey, and even I was getting nervous. “C’mon buddy! Keep us moving!”
I tell you what, Nate and Jessie sure were glad we could pay for a truck to take us back up the mountain instead of trying to ride back by the time we got down there. The last waterfall we stopped at wasn’t the highest we’d ever seen, but the amount of the water rushing out of it was just crazy! Just standing next to it you got soaked! Nate stayed down a little further because he didn’t want
to get wet and be cold, but not Jessie and I. We hiked our way right up that mountain to check it out. Just to make sure Nate knew how we felt, I jumped up and gave him a big, wet hug! Nate just laughed and said, “Gee thanks Amelia!” Any time Nate, my pleasure! The waterfalls were a LOT of fun, be also had a good time at the hot springs right in town. They have natural hot springs that they take water from and put into man made pools every morning and every night. After a long day of biking it felt great to let our bodies soak in the nice hot water. You could tell we weren’t the only ones who had a long day. It seemed like everyone in the TOWN had a long day and went there to relax. I don’t blame them one bit. By the time we were done sitting in there even every muscle in my tail felt better! Can we just come here every night guys?
After having a great time in Banos, we stopped in a town called Cuenca where we got to go to a really neat museum.
They had REAL, actual shrunken heads there from a tribe in the Amazon. You could literally see the eyelashes, eyebrows and even facial hair from the men! We had never seen anything like it before. Most of them were heads of enemies from other tribes they fought with, and some of them even had their lips sewn shut. They did this with some of them because they believed that way no evil spirits could escape and try to harm them. It was really interesting! Vilcabamba was another stop we really liked. It was a little town in the mountains where we could do some hiking and test out how Nate’s toe and foot were doing. He was definitely sore after our hike, but he’s getting a little better finally. I have to say, even though we all love the beach, the mountains have been pretty amazing! I can’t wait to see what Peru has in store for us. Machu Picchu here we come!
See you soon!
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