End of Ecuador

Trip Start Sep 02, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Peru  ,
Wednesday, September 30, 2009

So, we're saying goodbye to Ecuador and hello to Peru! We decided to take the first crossing inland. The one near the coast is supposed to be a mighty faff with having to get off a bus, which then doesn't stop, taxi across no man’s land and then onto the next bus when it comes along. Our crossing was much simpler. In addition we got a bit of comical value when Chief rocked up to the guard at the crossing. In response to 'what is your profession' the guard almost fell off his chair with laughter at the response of 'doctor'. He decided to write down student, which was obviously a much more fitting occupation for the bearded, floppy hair scruff in front of him. However I then felt a little offended (as the baby of the group) when in response to my answer he just wrote it down. Think he must have seen the mature responsible captain sensible (Phil) behind me and I’ll blame that! Anyway talking of the ginger one, in his usual autistic way, he wishes to do his top 10 of Ecuador (bear with him, ranking things appears to make him happy...)

Don't worry; it's not going to be a Top 10 as such, just a quick nod to our 21 days in Ecuador.

Obviously we have only skimmed the surface but I reckon we may have got a taste for most of Ecuador’s aspects, just in a slightly basic way.

"Aspects of Ecuador" (I am possibly being ignorant)

1) Great Wildlife- Now the jewel in the crown is obviously Galapagos- we saw Isla de la Plata.

2) Pacific Coast- Montanita might not be real Ecuador but was great for us. Would have been even better if the sun shone.

3) The Andes- Banos was a lovely valley town with activities and hot baths. Would definitely recommend it

4) Colonial Cities- We avoided Quito which was getting a bad name from fellow tourists at the time but saw the classical if slightly sleepy City of Cuenca

5) The Rainforest- Well you can't see it all in 3 weeks.

This isn’t a bad selection of attributes for a country to have, particularly when it is the size of Nevada.

Top Scary moments
- Whale swimming under our flimsy boat
- Going over a 50 foot drop, dangling from some rope when not fully expecting it (Alex was too sensible to do this)
- Maverick Andean Bus drivers

Top Characters

1) Isidro. There is a bit of me that is very jealous of him, but I'm big enough to put him in. He was our surf instructor who was born in the Galapagos, started surfing at the age of 3, has represented his country and been national champion, teaches salsa, cooks well, is a cheeky chappy with the "Chicas", but is still a nice and humble chap.

2) Patricio. Rafting instructor. Isidro on speed. Managed to wind up and take the piss out of our girls for an hour and a half without them having any come-back except screams; a real achievement.

3) Brian. Worked at the Spanish School. Got 5 and 6 mixed up (in Spanish). Introduced himself as the "Master of Disaster" and could not have been more American. Almost constant source of amusement (not always intentional) but with a heart definitely stuck in the right place.

Lesson for us Brits

The Kids. The kids have relatively nothing except for a caring family, the freedom to be kids and maybe a football. No games consoles, no designer clothes and no strops. I have never seen such universally happy kids. If they fall over chasing a ball they don't look around and cry but get up and run faster.
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