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.

map of Ecuador

Mariscalsucre Airport, Quito

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.

parent's house This is where Bolivar's parents live, a short drive out of Quito near the village of Tumbaco. It is a beautiful area, close enough to the city but not too close. It was a very peaceful and relaxing location.

This is the lane to Bolivar's parents. If you look closely you will see some geese in the resting in the middle of road. I'm not sure what it was about these geese, or maybe it was just me, but whenever I walked by them they would hiss at me and try to chase me. mean geese

El Quinche market
Market day in El Quinche

jungle hut When Bolivar and I went to the jungle for the weekend we stayed here, Cotacocha. This was a "resort" at the end of the road. There was no power, we used kerosene lanterns for light. The meals were served in a common area which was covered but had no walls. You can't see it but next to the hut in the picture there was a banana tree. The last night we were here there was a rainstorm and the tree was knocked down against our hut. fortunately it was a smaller tree so it didn't damage anything but sure got our attention.

going for a boat ride

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.

boy and his snake The family that was responsible for running the wildlife site had been away for a few weeks and only returned the day we got there. Their young son was happy to be back and immediately went to check on one of the snakes.

One of the last stops we made on the boat trip was at a family that the guide knew. They were living an isolated life in the jungle. This is my friend Bolivar with the youngest child. Bolivar and friends

scary road in Ecuador

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.

Tunguragua volcano On the drive back to Quito we drove past this volcano,Tunguragua (which means "Throat of Fire" in the Quechua Indian language). It is about 75 miles (121 km) South of Quito and is 16,266 feet (5,016 m) high. The last time it erupted was in 1916.

Guagua Pichincha volcano situated just six miles (10km) west of Quito had been dormant since 1660.

Both of these volcanoes erupted two years after our visit.

This website and all of its contents (except where specified)
are Copyright 2001-2007 by Al Schoepp. All Rights Reserved.