Here are a few photos of our time spent in Ecuador. Not the most exciting country in South America, but far from it's worse. As you travel up the west coast of the continent from Argentina north you can't help but notice that Ecuador marks not only the equator but the start of Caribbean America. Suddenly it gets hot and humid, suddenly people are no longer white or indigenous but sporting the rich hues of Africa. Jungle covers the interior and the sea is a bit warmer to swim in. This was particularly noticeable to us because we travelled through the southern winter months.
The famous tourist beach of Ecuador is Montanita. It was cheap and backpacker friendly. The surfing waves were great and if you looked carefully you could spot the small hippy weed smoking community. We did a great day excursion to hump back whales from Montanita.
After Montanita we spent a few days travelling up the coast on buses. One journey involved changing buses in the middle of the jungle. On that particular journey a passenger put his baby pig in the luggage hold of the bus. The little critter shat on my wife's backpack.
Sua and Canoa were average beaches. It was the weekend and people poured into the seaside towns at night to dance to loud salsa music and get pissed. A big bottle of beer was only $1. And I mean literally $1 since Ecuador uses American money. I can't decide if this is a good thing for their economy or not.
In Quito we heard numerous stories about the murder rate in the city. It did seem to have its problems - we saw kids jacking up on the street - but perhaps no more than any other big city in South America.
My wife collapsed while we were walking around Quito taking in the colonial sights. A kind taxi driver drove us to a private hospital who were very efficient and also had English speaking doctors. It turned out she was just hyper-ventilating. But the good thing was that they found numerous parasites living in her stomach left over from food poisoning in Bolivia and Peru. Getting the right antibiotics to treat the problem was definitely worth the $50 odd dollars that it finally cost us.
From Quito we caught buses over the border and into Colombia. After a few days in Colombia I realized just how average Ecuador is.
Isla de La Plata