Monday, November 16, 2009

Last week in Ecuador

Written a week ago Sunday....

Wow, get a little bit behind with this and it becomes hard to catch up!

So I got back from one trip last week and headed straight out on another, taking the opportunity of not having classes and having someone to travel with to see more of the country. We headed off to Cuenca on Tuesday, a day-long trip on the bus that was made bearable by the incredible scenery through Cajas national park. Incredible mountains here, and how you can go from the hot cloudy coast to the cold clear sierra in a few hours is amazing, it’s like a whole new country with different accents, food and culture. I didn’t feel very well in Cuenca, had a bit of a fever, perhaps the altitude and something I ate? But I did have a fantastic time! First night went downtown and ate cuy (guinea pig). I nearly gagged seeing the raw little animals being shoved on a stick but I managed to eat it and almost enjoy it anyway. Like dark chicken but very little meat, you have to gnaw on all the bones to try and get your money’s worth!

Wednesday we headed off to see Ingapirca, like the mini Macchu Pichu of Ecuador, a old Inca village in the mountains 2 hours north. It was the perfect day and I even got a bit of a sunburn… That evening we strolled around central Cuenca admiring the churches and other colonial architecture. Thursday we were going to go to Vilcabamba or Loja but then decided that it would be better to get back Friday so ended up in Manta, back on the coast only 2 hours from home but I had only driven through there. Went out dancing at night and the next day to walk around the city, to the beach, the museum (where the guide actually spoke slowly and I understood nearly everything!) and to the mall. Stopped but Montecristi on the way back and went up the hill to see the railway museum and Eloy Alfaro museum before just getting the last bus home.

I tried a ton of new food again, and there’s still so much more to try!

Quickly packing up now, last-minute trip planning, saying goodbyes and trying to organise a few things for my return at the end of the year. Heading to Guayaquil very early Monday to catch my flight to Chile!!! 6-7 weeks of intense backpacking here I come... Will see how often I’m able to update this but I will try!

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