Welcome to Ecuador

P1000651

After a night out in Cali I hopped on a midnight bus bound to arrive in Quito, Equator some 18 hours later.  As the bus moved slowly south, the valleys widened, and we transitioned from the steep mountainous terrain of central Colombia to the more open and dispersed volcanoes of Ecuador.  The border crossing was smooth, simple, and scenic, and it wasn’t until I was 15 minutes inside Ecuador that I ran into the familiar hassle of being the only gringo on the bus.  A police officer flagged down the bus and escorted me and my Colombian neighbor outside to a quite generous frisking and bag check.  As he proceeded to empty all of my stuff sacks, toiletries, and sleeping bag, he asked if I had carried any drugs with me from Colombia.  “Just the usual,” I replied.  “Antibiotics, anti-malarials, and a few ounces of crack.”  He giggled, declined my offer of a sip of Colombian rum, and I was soon back on the bus, feeling guilty about inconveniencing a busload of Ecuadorians.

Arriving to beautiful Quito in the late evening, I felt lucky to already have an accommodation with Lore, my friend from Oregon State (some use graduate school to acquire connections for work; I used it to acquire connections for travel).  I walked into Lore’s home only to meet her entire extended family, some twenty people, there to celebrate her cousin’s last night in Ecuador before he departs for a PhD in Spain.  I would have to save my recovery sleep for another night, as there was no way I was going to miss this party.  Her family was too much fun.  After finishing several bottles of whiskey, they danced cumbia until two in the morning.  The only rule was that no one was allowed to sit down, and the parents and grandparents definitely outdanced the youngsters.  The party continued the next day with a traditional Ecuadorian family barbecue. What a loving tight family Lore has, and I feel so grateful to have been apart of it that weekend.

Ecuadorian Family Festival

Ecuadorian Family Festival

I now (Sept. 7) sit here in Banos, Ecuador, a small touristy town, some three hours from Quito.  I came here with Lore’s dad, who invested in a hostel here.  Depending on who you talk to, Banos is either a beautiful, laid-back, mountain town or a tourist-trap nightmare (I’m more for the later).  After a series of nearby volcanic eruptions in the last ten years, tourism has taken a sharp decline, and Lore’s dad is looking to get out of it.  My job today was to be the translator for some gringos who are looking to turn it into a tourist cultural center.  I did my best, and hopefully we’re about to strike a deal!

Super scenic and super touristy, Banos, Ecuador

Super scenic and super touristy, Banos, Ecuador

Arriving to beautiful Quito in the late evening, I felt lucky to already have an accommodation with Lore, my friend from Oregon State (some use graduate school to acquire connections for work; I used it to acquire connections for travel).  I walked into Lore’s home only to meet her entire extended family, some twenty people, there to celebrate her cousin’s last night in Ecuador before he departs for a PhD in Spain.  I would have to save my recovery sleep for another night, as there was no way I was going to miss this party.  Her family was too much fun.  After finishing several bottles of whiskey, they danced cumbia until two in the morning.  The only rule was that no one was allowed to sit down, and the parents and grandparents definitely outdanced the youngsters.  The party continued the next day with a traditional Ecuadorian family barbecue. What a loving tight family Lore has, and I feel so grateful to have been apart of it that weekend.
I now (Sept. 7) sit here in Banos, Ecuador, a small touristy town, some three hours from Quito.  I came here with Lore’s dad, who invested in a hostel here.  Depending on who you talk to, Banos is either a beautiful, laid-back, mountain town or a tourist-trap nightmare (I’m more for the later).  After a series of nearby volcanic eruptions in the last ten years, tourism has taken a sharp decline, and Lore’s dad is looking to get out of it.  My job today was to be the translator for some gringos who are looking to turn it into a tourist cultural center.  I did my best, and hopefully we’re about to strike a deal!After a night out in Cali I hopped on a midnight bus bound to arrive in Quito, Equator some 18 hours later.  As the bus moved slowly south, the valleys widened, and we transitioned from the steep mountainous terrain of central Colombia to the more open and dispersed volcanoes of Ecuador.  The border crossing was smooth, simple, and scenic, and it wasn’t until I was 15 minutes inside Ecuador that I ran into the familiar hassle of being the only gringo on the bus.  A police officer flagged down the bus and escorted me and my Colombian neighbor outside to a quite generous frisking and bag check.  As he proceeded to empty all of my stuff sacks, toiletries, and sleeping bag, he asked if I had carried any drugs with me from Colombia.  “Just the usual,” I replied.  “Antibiotics, anti-malarials, and a few ounces of crack.”  He giggled, declined my offer of a sip of Colombian rum, and I was soon back on the bus, feeling guilty about inconveniencing a busload of Ecuadorians.
Arriving to beautiful Quito in the late evening, I felt lucky to already have an accommodation with Lore, my friend from Oregon State (some use graduate school to acquire connections for work; I used it to acquire connections for travel).  I walked into Lore’s home only to meet her entire extended family, some twenty people, there to celebrate her cousin’s last night in Ecuador before he departs for a PhD in Spain.  I would have to save my recovery sleep for another night, as there was no way I was going to miss this party.  Her family was too much fun.  After finishing several bottles of whiskey, they danced cumbia until two in the morning.  The only rule was that no one was allowed to sit down, and the parents and grandparents definitely outdanced the youngsters.  The party continued the next day with a traditional Ecuadorian family barbecue. What a loving tight family Lore has, and I feel so grateful to have been apart of it that weekend.
I now (Sept. 7) sit here in Banos, Ecuador, a small touristy town, some three hours from Quito.  I came here with Lore’s dad, who invested in a hostel here.  Depending on who you talk to, Banos is either a beautiful, laid-back, mountain town or a tourist-trap nightmare (I’m more for the later).  After a series of nearby volcanic eruptions in the last ten years, tourism has taken a sharp decline, and Lore’s dad is looking to get out of it.  My job today was to be the translator for some gringos who are looking to turn it into a tourist cultural center.  I did my best, and hopefully we’re about to strike a deal!After a night out in Cali I hopped on a midnight bus bound to arrive in Quito, Equator some 18 hours later.  As the bus moved slowly south, the valleys widened, and we transitioned from the steep mountainous terrain of central Colombia to the more open and dispersed volcanoes of Ecuador.  The border crossing was smooth, simple, and scenic, and it wasn’t until I was 15 minutes inside Ecuador that I ran into the familiar hassle of being the only gringo on the bus.  A police officer flagged down the bus and escorted me and my Colombian neighbor outside to a quite generous frisking and bag check.  As he proceeded to empty all of my stuff sacks, toiletries, and sleeping bag, he asked if I had carried any drugs with me from Colombia.  “Just the usual,” I replied.  “Antibiotics, anti-malarials, and a few ounces of crack.”  He giggled, declined my offer of a sip of Colombian rum, and I was soon back on the bus, feeling guilty about inconveniencing a busload of Ecuadorians.
Arriving to beautiful Quito in the late evening, I felt lucky to already have an accommodation with Lore, my friend from Oregon State (some use graduate school to acquire connections for work; I used it to acquire connections for travel).  I walked into Lore’s home only to meet her entire extended family, some twenty people, there to celebrate her cousin’s last night in Ecuador before he departs for a PhD in Spain.  I would have to save my recovery sleep for another night, as there was no way I was going to miss this party.  Her family was too much fun.  After finishing several bottles of whiskey, they danced cumbia until two in the morning.  The only rule was that no one was allowed to sit down, and the parents and grandparents definitely outdanced the youngsters.  The party continued the next day with a traditional Ecuadorian family barbecue. What a loving tight family Lore has, and I feel so grateful to have been apart of it that weekend.
I now (Sept. 7) sit here in Banos, Ecuador, a small touristy town, some three hours from Quito.  I came here with Lore’s dad, who invested in a hostel here.  Depending on who you talk to, Banos is either a beautiful, laid-back, mountain town or a tourist-trap nightmare (I’m more for the later).  After a series of nearby volcanic eruptions in the last ten years, tourism has taken a sharp decline, and Lore’s dad is looking to get out of it.  My job today was to be the translator for some gringos who are looking to turn it into a tourist cultural center.  I did my best, and hopefully we’re about to strike a deal!
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One response to “Welcome to Ecuador

  1. Ahhh… Banos and Ecuador! We remember it quite well. On our hike up the hillside, Sam and I counted over 20 shoes in the mud. Good times.

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