A lot of times, during my travels, before leaving a country, I think back if I’d return. And so savouring Ecuador on my first trip, I had to visit it a second time. But what a difference two years made!
The whole month of September, I will share 30 stories with you. One story each day. You will find out how I travelled, what countries I called home and how many times I repeated a travel in the same place. But most importantly, you will get to know my comfort zone stories. Would you share yours?
It was the last country I visited on the 8-month South American solo backpacking trip back in May of 2018. I fell in love like crazy with the small country. The sunsets, the cliffs, the mountains, the hikes, the jungle – such a small country filled with treasures. Probably it also felt like a breath of fresh air after the experience in Peru, but don’t worry – it’s the country where I won’t ever hitchhike ever again. I had one of the worst experiences there.
First time savouring Ecuador
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It’s also the place where I’ve done a lot of things for the first time, most of them when I was in Baños. For example, canopying, rock climbing – shaking knees and all – going on the beautiful swing at the end of the world and even ziplining. So let me share with you the story behind one of my favourite pictures.
I was travelling by myself through South America for over 7 months, and Ecuador was the last country before going back home.
There were a lot of moments when I went to places and, because I’m an introvert, I would rarely have the courage to ask someone to take a picture of me. You will see most of the travelling pictures are taken by myself. But how to do this all by myself?
La Casa Del Arbol is a place I dreamed to go to before starting my trip and when I finally managed to get there, I realised not only I won’t be able to take my own photo, but I also needed someone to push the swing for me. It didn’t seem anyone was in charge, but there were a few guys helping some girls to go on the swing. One of the girls was screaming like there was no tomorrow, and the guy seemed to enjoy her screams so much that I legit thought they are together. But then the girls left and the 2-3 guys were still around.
So then I asked if he can help me, damn I was so nervous. Nervous to ask more than about the actual swing. He kept telling me to take my hands off the swing, but even though I was strapped in, I didn’t feel safe to do so. However, I still thought that he should push more because, well, the other lady’s scream was still echoing in my ears and I wanted to get a bit more excited too. So he stopped soon after. Hhahaha, only when I saw the picture I realised that was quite enough of swinging. HhahahahMarch 2021
I arrived in Ecuador from the South and stopped in Vilcabamba. Then Loja and Cuenca. And finally, I kept zig-zagging my way through, making it to the beach in Puerto Rico. Even exploring Isla de la Plata, one of my favourite islands. And one of the last things I visited was the jungle. During a two-day trip on Amazon River and that’s when my camera finally gave out. I don’t have the image of it, but that was also the first time seeing a tarantula in nature. Let me tell you, it doesn’t look nice when you are the only one around scared of it. Oh, well. At least I was the one who ate the chontacuro worm. Not the worst thing I ever tried.
Also, the food was soooooo good, and the pineapple was the best that ever existed. It actually ruined pineapple for me, I lived a lie my whole life now knowing what the actual taste of pineapple should be. Haha. And that is also why I want to travel to Hawaii. Well, not really, but sort of. Coming back to Ecuador, another amazing thing regarding the food was that it was so inexpensive. I love eating where locals do, and a menu of the day for $3 in Quito was so good.
Second time visiting Ecuador
Speaking of the capital, I got to see it again later on. I returned in November-December 2020 to be with my partner. At the time I wasn’t able to see him for almost one year. We spent an amazing time in Manta but the way to it was horrible. A long, bumpy ride with a bus took us through the serpentines. We got so sick that when we returned we decided to take the plane. But then the plane was very late. Haha.
The best time was to explore the area around us so we also made it to San Lorenzo and La Tiñosa. I usually drink mulled wine on December 1st, National Romanian Day. But this time around we had mimosas by the beach and had an even better time. Unfortunately, the pandemic had closed a lot of places, so what I’m trying to say is, don’t be surprised if I’ll make it there for the third time.
As this ends the South American countries visited so far, the 30-day challenge continues with the last North American country. More about that in the next article.
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