Ecuador the Andes
There are so many places to visit and things to explore in Ecuador. Different parts, the Coast, the Orient or the Amazons, the Andes, the North, the South, the Galapagos… We had a limited time so we had to pick just a few. Definitely wanted a lot of relaxing time at the beach, but also some other adventures. Decided for a trip to the mountains and the avenue of Volcanos. From Playas we took the bus to Guayaquil. Then a long bus ride to Riobamba. Traveling with bus seems to be the best way in Ecuador. Not expensive. Comfortable busses with air-condition. Riobamba, in a valley in the Andes. We visited the local markets. Sweaters, blankets, ponchos, hats. Fun shopping. Difficult knowing no Spanish, but Elsa was a great help, learning Spanish in school. We stayed at Pucara Tambo, a community run hotell. Fantastic view over Riobamba. They had some Alpacas. Great dinner. The altitude in Riobamba is 2754 m and at the Pucara Tambo even higher. I was so exhited over this place and wanted to go for a walk to explore. It turned out to be a very short walk due to the altitude… It made me sooo tired and exhausted. It was chilly at night, around freezing, then nice around 15-20 degrees Celsius during the days. So make sure to pack some sweaters and warm clothes or get some nice alpaca wool sweaters at the market. We went on a roadtrip to the volcano Chimbarazo. We stoped at 4800 m. I felt extremely sick due to the altitude, but we had great hot chocolate at the base station before going down. We saw some Vicuñas on the way. Beautiful animals and gorgeous landscape. After Riobamba we took the bus to Banos. On the way, Tungurahua volcano, that erupted a couple of years ago. Banos. A beautiful place. Lush and green. The place for adventures. Fantastic waterfalls, canopies, river rafting, kayaking and geothermal bathing houses. We stayed at Abby´s Hideaway. The pictures below are from their colonial house, Casa Carmen. We stayed in the river house. Guamote traditional Thursday market. A genuine market selling about everything! Real authentic. In love with the beautiful traditional outfits.Alausi. A cute town. Traditional. The girls were thrilled about the “luxury” hotel with hot water! Woke up around 5 am that everything around us was shaking. It took a while before understanding it was an Earthquake. Had to leave the room and wait for it to be over. Scary experience. Our first Earthquake experience. No real damages in our town, but som fallen houses in some other places nearby. A magnitude of 7.44 at the center in the Oriente. 6.5 in Alausi. So thankful everything went ok. Once again, realizing how fragile life is. The Devil’s Nose train. A train ride through the mountains and La Nariz del Diablo. A stop for some traditional dance and fantastic music. The bus station. Waiting for the bus to Cuenca. Some political demonstration on the street.Cuenca. A more European feeling in the architecture. We were shopping for hats. We finally found the perfect ones in the public market among other fun things. We visited the museum of Panama hats. The authentic ones are made in the town of Montecristi on the Ecuadorian coast. We stayed at Casa Macondo. Beautiful colonial hotel. After all the adventures and traveling we took the bus back to Playas at the coast enjoying the beach.