Sitting in my hostel listening to ‘Down by the River’ by Milky Chance. Just arrived to Arequipa, Peru this afternoon. I accidentally grabbed the wrong bag from the bus and had quite the chaotic morning haha. I will save that story for my Peru post 🙂 I am excited to tell y’all about my trip in Ecuador! I did not think that I was going to love it as much as the other countries but that ended up being further from the truth. I met a solid group of people that I traveled a lot with and really made that trip a great time!
I traveled from Bogota, Colombia to Quito, Ecuador. This was the longest trip that I took! It took a total of 36 hours and maybe only 4 of those not on a bus! First bus was 24 hours and cost $50 us. That is where we stopped in Las Lajas where you saw the beautiful picture of the church that looks like a castle near the boarder. Once I crossed the boarder I got on another but. It is midnight and I missed my stop on the bus. The driver would not let me get off because he said it was too dangerous. I have now passed my hostel by another 30 minutes, I am in a new foreign country, tired, been traveling for 36 hours and hungry. I was so frustrated but this “nice” officer offered to get off the bus with me and help me find a taxi since the neighborhood we are in was not “safe” according to the locals. The officer showed me his badge to ensure I knew who he was and we started walking down the alley trying to find a taxi. He asked me for my number… and I know what you are thinking. Don’t do that. But honestly I needed his help and I did not want to do anything to irritate him. I wanted to get to my taxi and hostel asap. All I had on me is $10 and Ecuador uses the American dollar. I got in a Taxi who said it was 12 but I begged him and said all I have is $10 and to please take me. I woke that next morning at the hostel with over 7 missed calls, texts and video messages from that officer. Needless to say I blocked the number I and was glad to have woken up in my hostel. I stumbled into the main area, grabbed a cup of coffee and tried to figure out my next steps. I have $0 at this point and am starving. I met these two nice guys who said they would spot me for lunch so we headed out on town! As we headed out this Canadian girl joined us. (Which full disclosure, she never did care for me from the start haha) For $2 you can have almurezo which is lunch special of the day. You get drink, soup, salad, chicken, rice and potatoes! We started to run around town and went into this museum, which ended up being a sex expo haha. Nothing like a good icebreaker with a group of 4 strangers than a sex museum. The rest of the night we checked out the churches and went to grab drinks. It is so cool (sometimes) the conversations that you have with complete strangers. Politics ALWAYS comes up. Not like AMerica where you know that is a “no-no” conversation. When you travel you need to be ready, informed and have talking points because it is always a topic of conversation.
The next morning we headed to Cotopaxi for $88 for a 3 day/2 night get away. ALl food and two excursions included. This really had a lot of potential to be great but honestly the hostel, Secret Garden, took a lot of the fun away from it. No one told me that there was no service or wifi there. Which if your parents are like mine, shit could hit the fan if you go MIA for a few days without a heads up. The staff was pretty hard to have a good connection with. The way it was set up with like an adult day care haha. Everything was very organized from meetings, to lunch, dinner, activities, etc. I like to beat to my own drum. We played this drinking game where you had to make an animal noise. When it was my turn I made a baby dinosaur name, and any of my friends, mostly from college, know that this is my favorite noise to make. They would not even let me be a baby dinosaur! HOW RUDE! Haha. First day we did a waterfall hike, next day rode horses around the valley which was beautiful. I definitely fulfilled everyone’s stereotype of a Texan! The guide let me leave the group and go ride off alone for a bit which was awesome. Some positive things about it was the food was great, and the views were absolutely breathtaking!! If you have to “number 2” you had to hike up behind the hot tub and it had the most incredible view haha. Don’t worry there are pictures. Amy gave me full permission to disclose this in my blog, and I found it so funny but her and this guy she had a small thing with took a liking to another girl. When she found out she was drunk and grabbed his flip flops and chunked them hahaha. The next morning he told her someone stole his flip flops and she responded with, “I don’t know, that sucks”. Hhahaha you go Amy! 😉
After Cotopaxi my friend Joe, and new friends Amy and Edwyn headed to Banos, Ecuador. We all went out that night and had so much fun! In Banos there are so many outdoor activities that you can do. The next morning, with a hefty hangover, Edwyn and I headed to go canyoning over 7 waterfalls while Amy and Joe went river rafting. Propelling down the waterfalls was the coolest thing ever. Also there was the man who was 60 years old with a bad heart and wanted to just live life to the fullest. IT was so inspiring. Reminded me why I did what I did. After that Edwyn and I went to grab lunch and I found this blue hat that I really wanted. We walked into the shop and this little girl was in there. We asked for her parents and she said she was running the store haha. She couldn’t have been more than 6. She was a hard bargainer so I didn’t get the hat. The next day we all went mountain biking and went to see the waterfalls! The devil waterfall in Banos is a must see! I still was stuck on that hat so Edwyn and I went back and her mom was there and sold it to me less than the little girl did!! Hahah.
I was itching to get back to the Pacific and away from the cold so we jumped on a bus and headed to Montanita, Ecuador. We stayed at Kamala Surf hostel which is definitely a party hostel. I was disappointed because right when we got there the water was so calm and no one was out surfing which was the main reason why I cam to the Pacific. But those 3 nights we had so much fun! Amy and I were ready to head to Peru, and I was on a time crunch so that Sunday night we booked a bus ride and started to head to PERU!!!! And that my friends I cannot wait to tell you about! It has been so amazing! Peru is everything that I have wanted it to be and can’t wait to share about it 🙂 Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! I will be in Texas for one month June 21st and then off to Thailand on July 25th!
OH AND PS – Pilsen, the local beer of Ecuador, just reposted my “Local beer” picture! Go check it out at @pilsenerec