Blogs from Ecuador, South America - page 4

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South America » Ecuador » Centre December 22nd 2014

Our Ecuadorian experience was divided between two very differing places. Our attempts at a cultural and sophisticated homestay learning Spanish in Quito under the safety and comfort of the Sosa sisters felt a world away as I plummeted to my seemingly inevitable death in adventure town Baños, having been pushed off a bridge by a somewhat less motherly, bearded entrprenuer persuading exploit-hungry gringos to try his self-made, unforgiving rope swing, which should probably be nicknamed ´whiplash´. Opting for the ´cultural package´at the Yanapuma Spanish School in Quito, 4 hours of lessons with our tutor Olgita were followed by enriching excursions with Benecio and while not only improving our Spanish we had learned in the morning, the benefit of a local guide gave us the most in-depth experience of a city we have had. The Museo Etnografico ... read more
Sosa Family
Zip Lining
Rafting

South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca December 22nd 2014

I woke up at 6am to catch the 645am bus to Cuenca to meet up with the Abad family (Michelle Abad is one of my best friends and her family is Ecuadorain in the country for th holidays to see family). caught the bus just fine and had a connection in Riobamba, 2 hours from Banos). By accident I got off the bus at the wrong stop. Totally lost I asked some kids my age where to go to catch the bus to Cuenca, and I only had 40 minutes to figure it out. They directed me toward a city bus. Jumped on the city bus and asked these older women where to go. They laughed at me, due to being a gringo with bad spanish and being lost, but were very helpful and told me ... read more

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños December 21st 2014

I woke up around 8 and headed out to get some breakfast. Upon arriving back at my hostel I was greated by a group of 3 people in the hostel who were sitting in the garden area outside. Naturally, I went over and began to have a conversation with them. One lady was in her mid to late 60s from Denmark and the other two were in their mid 30s from France. We spent an hour talking with one another getting to know eachother. The French people spoke practically no English and the Danish lady spoke English and practically no Spanish and verry little French. It made for an interesting conversation as far as languages go. I shortly found out that the French couple was going on a hike to the Virgin Statue and I decided ... read more

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños December 17th 2014

Wednesday was a pretty tranquil day. After my typical morning routine I headed out to walk around town. There was people lined up everywhere on the streets, this was around 10:00 am. I soon realized there was a parade going on in town. All the schools had there own little routine in the street parade. Kids dancing, otheres dressed in traditional garb, and lots of school bands playing the music. The military had a cool little routine as well. I watched th parade which lasted close to 2 hours. I then walked to the park and spent a couple of hours in the park reading my book in one of the parks and talking to locals and travellers alike. I had lunch and then walked went on a little hike with the French couple I had ... read more

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island December 17th 2014

The boat to Isabela island left early at 6am and was completely full without a space left on the boat. It took two hours on the quick speed boats to arrive at the Island from Santa Cruz. When we arrived at the port, the water was crystal blue clear and there were dozens of sealions resting on the pier not phased by the incoming traffic of tourists passing by onto the Island. A full day with itinerary was planned. I was paired up with two couples, one from Korea and another from Chile. The five of us headed towards a lake where we could see some wild flamingos and other native birds of the island. It was quite impressive, but we weren't able to get up too close because the muddy lagoon was far below. We ... read more
Giant Turtles
Resting Sealions
Breeding Centre

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island December 16th 2014

I decided to skip breakfast, which in hindsight was a great decision. A day of scuba diving lay ahead at Gordon Rocks, just off Santa Cruz Island and the sea was rougher today causing some of us to feel a little sea sick. We stopped off near the dive site so that the new divers could check their gear and be briefed on hand signals. In the meantime we admired the sea life by the rocks. The blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, sea lions among others. On the boat was a biologist, who passed me his binoculars pointing out all of the animals. It was a really great to hear about all of the animals from an expert and to see them so close. We approached the rocks, where the current felt much more strong and the ... read more
Marina Iguana
Cactus Tree
Me at the Bay

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños December 16th 2014

I slept in, by accident, as I was very tired from the previous day waking up around 9-930. Like I do everyday here in Banos, I walked down the street to a local bakery and got 2 breakfast pasteries (like a croussant) and 2 eggs for $0.60. Walked back to the hostel to make my breakfast and proceeded to eat in the courtyard. I then walked around town for 45 minutes people watching and enjoying the nice weather, another day in the 70´s. I was a little restless as all my friends in the hostel were out and about doing their own things. So I walked down to the bus station and hopped on the next bus headed towards Puyos. I asked the bus driver to drop my off at Rio Verde, the next town from ... read more

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños December 15th 2014

We all got up early and made breakfast in the kitchen of our hostel before our big day. It was the French girl (her boyfriend had a dentist appt.) and the Candian couple and me. Our plan was to hike up to the Casa de Arbol (Tree house). We started off on the trail toward the Bella Vista (a cross and viewpoint that overlooked the city) which was close to 1.25 hours to get up there. We took some pictures of the City and surrounding country side before starting the next leg of the hike up to the casa de arbol. The next leg was another 2-2.5 hours and was not easy by any means as we were treking straight up a mountain on some little trail. We walked and talked laughing and having a good ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito December 15th 2014

Tababela - Day 22 Breakfast was included in our stay at the hostel. Very friendly and accommodating place. They later gave us a a ride to the bus station. Tonight we stay in Tababela, a small town close to the airport. We leave for home at 7am tomorrow. The time has gone quickly. We decided to avoid the traffic and buses in Quito, and go around the east side of Quito, from Otavalo to Cayambe to El Quinche to Tababela. We found the buses quickly from Otavalo to Cayambe, and from Cayambe to El Quinche. A few minor problems asking for directions to the bus stop in Cayambe. People gave us conflicting directions, but we finally got settled on the bus. On the way we saw a beautiful view of snow-covered Mount Cayambe (5790M high). It ... read more
Bruno
Hostel
View from our window

South America » Ecuador » West » Guayaquil December 14th 2014

I woke up early at 8am despite a late night the night before staying up until 2am packing my things. I was full of excitement at the prospect of visiting South America for the first time and had a few things to sort before I departed. I left the house at midday and went to the shop to pick up some new hiking boots and a mosquito net for the rainforest as well as a medical kit. I had just enough time to sit down to have breakfast at my favourite bakery near the train station. With three hours until my flight I decided to leave, as I was excited to catch my flight to go travelling. However, upon arrival, the day took a turn for the worse. During the check-in, the flight assistant notified me ... read more
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