After backpacking through Columbia myself and 3 friends (and 2 Aussies we met along the way) made our way to Quito, Ecuador.

Quito is South of the equator so it has mild days and cool nights which makes it a great place to visit year-round.  Quito is surrounded by white capped mountains and beautiful green hills.  We spent time in Old Town and loved the colonial architecture.  We relaxed in the large open plazas and visited beautiful churches.

Otavalo is famous for it's friendly people and their Saturday market.  The market dates back to Pre-Inca times.  We enjoyed Andean pipe music, colored textiles, ceramics and of course seeing the Otavalenos in their traditional dress.

My travel compadres Chris and Tommy at the Otavalo Market.

We took a bus from Quito and drove south past the "Avenue of the Volcanoes" to Banos.  Banos is a small town in the Amazon Basin named after the waterfalls in the area.  Many people come to Banos to relax in the thermal baths.  

It's a beautiful place to go hiking, biking and bird watching.  We saw spectacular views on a horse ride.   At one point we were riding along a cliff and I prayed that my horse would stay on the trail. ;)

 Heather playing with a spunky monkey
Candy makers make Taffy (Melcocha) along the streets.  They pull and stretch the gooey treat over large wooden pegs.
Tommy washing his clothes the old fashioned way...

Once we were in Banos I realized I had left my passport at a bank in Quito.  I could not believe I lost my passport!  I was trying to think of things I could do if I ended up in Ecuador longer then planned.  I had just been furloughed from Continental Airlines so I figured I could just stay and teach English and learn Spanish!?  

I ended up finding my passport (the bank had it) and went home with my compadres after all.  But I don't think being stuck in Ecuador would have been so bad!! :)  


The Flying Pinto said...

You have great stories and photos to go along with them!! I'm so glad you found your passport...that would have been a huge pain in the behind: )

Zuri said...

What a wonderful trip in South America. I really enjoyed your pictures they are fantastic. Hope you have enjoyed your adventure trip around Ecuador. Nothing compares to its people, the landscapes of the Highlands, the lush of the Amazon Jungle Forest, the exotic Beaches of the Coast and the mystery of the Galapagos Islands.


dutchbaby said...

Am I ever glad you visited my blog! Now I can travel alongside your wonderful journeys. My best friend was a flight attendant for eight years and I always love hearing about her many adventures.