I flew down to Ecuador with my friend, Bolivar, and his wife and daughter. He is Ecuadorian and was going down to see his family and invited me along so I had a built in guide. We spent most of the time at his parent's place in Tumbaco, a small town a short drive out of the capital city, Quito. Bolivar and I spent one weekend in the jungle, his wife didn't think that sounded like fun, and had a great time there.
I feel that Ecuador was one of the best places I've traveled to, it has a lot going for it. The weather was perfect the whole trip and it sounds like that is the norm. Since Quito is at such a high elevation it doesn't get too hot even though it is just about right on the equator. The people were friendly, although I would like to improve my Spanish before I do another trip there as I feel that being able to communicate better with the Ecuadorians would make the experience even more enjoyable.
People in Canada and the States complain about the noise from airports. Imagine what the people of Quito think of Mariscalsucre Airport. If you look closely in the picture above you will see the runway going from the left to the right. You have to look pretty closely as the city is built up almost to the very edge of the airport.
The picture above shows me relaxing on the river. Bolivar and I hired a guide and boat to take us on a river trip one day. We actually swam, or more accurately floated, down the river for about one mile (2 km) at one point. Probably not something that we should have done but it was very enjoyable. The rivers in Ecuador are controlled by the navy so we actually had to stop at one point and get our passports stamped. It was an interesting trip, we got to try out a cervatana, blowgun, and stopped at a location where a group of people were working at reintegrating illegally captured wild animals back into the wild.
The road we took to get to the jungle was in quite good shape. When we left we decided to try the other route as we were told the road was ready. As you can see from the picture above the road was not in very good shape. At times we had to slow to a crawl. There were virtually no guard rails anywhere and quite often the large trucks and buses would take the inside of the road, even if it was the wrong side for their direction of travel. It made for a very entertaining, if long, drive back to Quito.
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