01.05.2012 - 23.05.2012
We've been in Ecuador just over a month now, and we've certainly been busy. After heading straight to Quito, the capital of Ecuador, we got a sense of city living and got unnerved by the amount of heavy handed security everywhere and the reason for it. The city itself is an insane mix of classic colonial architecture on a backdrop of rolling, alpine mountains. It's 2800m altitude, and my head and lungs could tell on the first day there, but we got used to it.
We then spent a few days in Mindo, in the Cloud Forest Reserve, which was just incredibly stunning. So different from the coastal areas we'd spent time in before. We came back to Quito and arranged a week in the Amazon basin in the Cuyobeno National Park. Making friends with a tame Pygmy Marmoset (the smallest monkey in the world) was the highlight of that trip. Since then, we've been working our way south, through Banos, Riobamba, Alausi and finally to Cuenca where we are now.
So, we've decided to stop dithering and just go to the Galapagos islands while we're here. We're flying off on Friday from Guayaquil, where we began our Ecuadorian adventure. After a week of cruising and wildlifing, we'll be heading to the Peruvian border to start exploring there.
The travelling is amazing but still hard going as we're always trying to stay one step ahead with planning the route and organising transport and accommodation. No cracks in the marriage yet either! My Spanish is rapidly improving after a number of mistakes along the way. Please note, the word for soap is Jabon, not Sopa. Asking for liquid soup at a pharmacy only makes the locals think you've mistaken it for a restaurant.