S: Adventures in Ecuador 2011
BC: "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." | It was a trip of a lifetime and Ecuador will never be the same! | Ralph Waldo Emerson
FC: Adventures in Ecuador | 2011
1: Ecuador 2011 | April 2 to April 10 1 Country, 5 Cities, 8 days | Ecuador 1. Quito 2. Cuenca 3. Oña 4. Guayaquil 5. Galapagos Islands | What began as a crazy idea to visit a college friend serving in the Peace Corps turned into an adventure of a lifetime. ... And the Story Begins ...
2: Before we could even get on a plane, several things needed to happen ... | Renew Passport Get Shots (all 10 of them) Book tickets Review Matt's 5 page email about the trip Pack (Justin - 1 bag) (B - 3 bags) | And we're OFF !
3: Atlanta, Miami, Quito, GA USA FL USA Ecuador | We were met with the royal treatment! A homemade sign welcoming Señor Justin & Señorita Bethany | to | to
4: QUITO | Parque El Ejido (Local Park in Quito) | The Capital
5: La Basilica | Ecuador has amazing architecture, predominantly Catholic churches.
6: Street Vendors & Performers
7: President's House | B's New Military Friends | More Churches
9: The Center of the World | The Ecuador Latitude: 0 - 0 - 0 Longitude: 78 - 27 - 8 Changes in latitudes, Changes in attitudes!
10: El Panecillo Angel that overlooks and protects Quito
11: Night Bus from HELL | What was planned to be a super cheap means of traveling 308 miles, was actually the worst travel experience Justin & B have ever survived.
12: Cuenca | The Cultural City
13: Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción (Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception)
14: The Flower Market
15: Locals at the market
17: The Hat Shop | Where the Panama Hat really came from!
18: The Fruit Market
19: The Meat Market
20: 1st stop, while unexpected,was the side of a car. YES! Our bus got in an accident. | next stop on the PanAmerican Highway...
21: Ona | ~ | Mateo's host town
22: The view from the top of the highest hill in Oña. Angel, Mateo's host dad, drove us up the narrowest dirt road so that we could see the entire town. It was a beautiful view with a small abandoned-like church at the top.
24: Mateo's Host Family | Top: Justin and Carmita's Aunt Middle: B, Carmita (Host Mom), Mateo & Justin Bottom: B and Elian (Host Brother)
25: Carmita's God Mother | She had never seen a 6 foot tall, blonde haired woman before. She keep saying "como una flor de primavera" meaning like a spring flower, referring to B.
26: Before | The only thing Justin knew about the trip before he met up with B in the ATL airport was that he was going to kill a chicken and a "cuy" (guinea pig). | &
28: After about a 2 hour down pour, Angel & Carmita offered to drive us back to Cuenca so that we could catch a buseta (mini van) to Guyaquil. | Needless to say, the infastructure in Ecuador is not as developed as that in the U.S., so the roads on the way back to Cuenca were pretty bad after the rain.
29: Rocky Roads
30: Once back in Cuenca, we met up with Diana, Mateo's friend, and she drove us up to a lookout point where we watched the sunset and lights of the city come on. | Right: Amazing church at the lookout point.
32: Cuenca to Guayaquil ... | We were lucky enough to have the buseta all to ourselves so that we could stretch out; however, that didn't happen because yet again the PanAmerican Highway was not our friend. | The Guayaquil Airport, what an experience! After waiting in line for over 2 hours to scan our luggage and pay the entrance tax to the Galapagos, we realized that we were going to miss our flight if we didn't do something. Justin decided to take action and get a flight attendant's help because we weren't even checked in yet. She rushed us through check in and off we went running trying to make our flight. B got stopped at security which took several minutes. Thankfully the flight crew was nice because we were literally the last people on the plane as they were trying to close the doors!!
33: Guayaquil to The Galapagos ...
34: Galapagos Islands
35: Charles Darwin Center
36: Tortuga Bay | Over a mile walk on the brick path to the beach where the turtles lay their eggs.
37: Mr. Not-So-Nice Pelican It's a good thing B has quick reflexes because if not she might be missing a few fingers.
38: Wildlife Galore | Blue Footed Boobies | Sea Lions | Crabs
39: Marine Iguanas at Dog's Beach
40: Justin tried to make a new friend with the Sea Lion that was sleeping under the steps once he jumped in.
41: Excursion Snorkel
42: Operation Scuba
45: Silly, Silly Sea Lions
47: Goodbye Galapagos | Las Grietas
48: Guayaquil | The largest city in Ecuador and its main port.
50: Iguana Park
52: Tour of Ecuador ... | Breakfast at the hostal in Quito: 1-2 Scrammbeled Eggs, Roll, Fresh Watermelon Juice, Coffee or Hot Chocolate | Lunch at a fast food chicken place in Quito: 1/8th of a Chicken, Fries, Salad, and Soda | Dinner at Crapes & Waffles in Quito (very Americanized restaurant): Waffle covered in Nutella with Bananas and Ice Cream for dessert
53: The Food Edition | Breakfast at hotel in Cuenca: Eggs, Cheese, Bread, Fresh Strawberry Juice, Coffee or Hot Chocolate Lunch at the food court in the Mall in Cuenca: Mateo - Lasagna Justin - Rice, Beans, and Grilled Steak B - Burger King Kids Meal Dinner at Mateo's house in Oña: Mystery Soup, Smashed & Fried Bananas, Rice, Avocado, Fried Shrimp, and Crab (Mateo's host family brought the shrimp and crab back from the coast the same day.)
54: Lunch in Oña: Orange Juice Marinated Chicken, Roasted Cuyes, Potatoes, and Soda. | It was definitely a little hard eating the chicken and cuyes that the guys killed the night before.
55: In Cuenca, at dinner, at Fogo Restaurant. After not eating hardly anything, B thought the solid choice on the menu would be the chicken fingers. Little did she know that, YES, you can screw up a chicken finger. Even Justin wouldn't eat these things!
56: Mateo (top) - "Camarones al Ajillo" (Garlic Shrimp) Justin (middle) - Hamburger & Fries B (bottom) - Pizza | Lunch in the Galapagos
57: On the way back from Torguga Bay, Justin saw a sign of his favorite new food. | We were so hungry when we ate at The Rock we forgot to snap a pic of the food. We were all in food comas after this fabulous meal.
58: Dinner Night 2 in the Galapagos | B couldn't wait for her meal after looking at the menu and deciding on the Pork Chops. Who knew that in Ecuador "pork chops" were really just slices of ham.
59: Dinner & Dessert Last night in the Galapagos
60: There's a Mickey D's everywhere! | Thank goodness for a Big Mac. | Lunch at McDonald's in Guayaquil.
61: Ecuadorian Grocery Store
62: "The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live." Flora Whittemore | B's crazy thing for doors.
63: "Las puertas que nosotros abrimos y cerramos cada día deciden las vidas que vivimos."