Bags packed. Passport in hand. We are ready for Ecuador!
After months of anticipation we are almost on our way South, and I couldn’t be more excited. We will be flying into the capital city of Quito where we will spend the night in a historic hotel before exploring the rest of the city the following day. I can’t wait to walk around and see first-hand the many works of architectural beauty that make up the city, many of which have been standing since Quito was founded in 1534. While in the city, we will have the opportunity to try authentic cuisine and purchase goods from local merchants and immerse ourselves in the Ecuadorian culture.
Although many things about this city are similar to the United States (such as the use of US currency), I am nervous about the language difference between our group and the locals. Spanish is the primary language in Ecuador, and although I took classes on this in Elementary and Middle School, I haven’t been exposed to it much since. Since I intend to explore the city as much as possible during our short time there, I don’t want this communication difficulty slowing myself and my fellow travelers down.
In addition to exploring the historic city of Quito, I am eager for our time in the Amazon rainforest. On our way to this destination we will have the opportunity to stop and explore some of the sights one can only find in this small South American country. The cloud forest, hot springs, and humming bird lodge are some of the unique sights we will get to experience along the way and probably some of the ones I am looking to most over the whole trip. The only downside to this in-country road trip will be the roads themselves. Since Ecuador is divided by a ridge of mountains, the bus trip from Quito to our final destination in the Amazon rainforest outside Tena will be a curvy one, which is not ideal for those like myself who get severely motion sick.
Once we get to Tena I know the bus trip will be worth it however. I am excited to see what life in the rainforest is like as I have never had an experience remotely like this one. During the rest of our stay in this biodiverse wonderland I hope to take a step back from my everyday life and relax while learning about the ecology and supply chain of cacao. I hope to spend as much time outdoors as I can and to expose myself to as many new sights, tastes, sounds and experiences that I can. See ya in a week!