This month we’re back in Albuquerque for a bit, so we’re recapping our time in South America. This week: Ecuador
Ecuador is where our great adventure started and it is where we spent the bulk of our time in South America. It’s where we learned Spanish, first saw the Andes, climbed volcanoes, rode burros, shopped in historic mercados for artisan crafts & pigs, rode our first chicken & cuy buses, trekked through jungles, on foot and in canoes, and first learned about cloud forests. We slept in our first hostel here, got our feet wet as backpackers, and learned to appreciate the many local foods and cultures that make Ecuador such an amazing and diverse place.
In Ecuador, we found a new family at our Spanish school. A group of people we plan to stay in touch with and see again down the road. In addition to them, we also were lucky enough to share two weeks of adventures in Ecuador with Kat’s parents. Ecuador was our first home away from home on this trip & it will always hold a special place in our hearts. We know we’ll return there again someday.
Number of Days in Ecuador: 52
Places visited: Quito, Otavalo, Tena, Jungle, Bellavista Cloud Forest, Cotopaxi, Quilotoa, Latacunga, Puhili
Currency: The US Dollar, oddly enough, especially Sacajaweas.
Number of Hostels we slept in: 11
Favorite Hostel: Secret Garden
Average cost of a private double with shared bath in a hostel: $24 ($12 per person)
Average cost of a meal: $3 for menu ejecutivo (3 courses plus jugo)
Average cost of water: $1 for 5 liters
Modes of Transportation used: Taxi, bus, canoe, teleferico, plane, and our own two feet (we walked a LOT)
Favorite dessert: Helado Pailla (traditional Ecuadoran-style ice cream)
Number of hours spent in Spanish class: 100 hours each
Number of hours spent studying/doing homework: at least another 100 hours each
Favorite place to eat: Aromas y Sabores
Favorite place to shop: Artisan Market, Otavalo
Favorite place to hang out: El Mariscal (aka Gringolandia) or Parque de Carolina (Quito’s version of Central Park)
Number of Guinea Pigs (Cuy) eaten: 0
Coming up this week: Posts on the Artisan Market in Otavalo, Our Adventures in the Jungle, Our Adventures in the Cloud Forest