After spending time in Galapagos we headed to Ecuador, and you would think it would be hard to meet such high expectations after the Galapagos but Ecuador was equally amazing. I remember waking up to view that overlooked the city and as we walked through the streets I could feel the life in the city of Quito. We visited “La calle de las siete cruces” or “the street of seven crosses” where we learned about Quito’s history and the construction of its churches. One church “The church of the society of Jesus” blew my mind with its abundant use of gold and intricate carvings as far as the eye could see. One of our days we hiked to the top of the volcano Ruku Pichinchu which stood at more than 15,000ft. And coming from Ohio I had never felt the impact of altitude until then! I wasn’t sure if I could make it but I did and the beautiful view at the top and sense of accomplishment made it worth every step. It was fun to ring in the new year with some local traditions. We made our own puppet to burn in the fire which symbolized burning all of the bad things that happened in 2015 and saw men dressed as women dancing in the streets asking for money in honor of their deceased mothers. We had the last dinner of the old year right before midnight and welcomed the new year by jumping through the fire symbolizing being reborn again. To perfect the night the new year was accompanied by a full moon which is a coincidence that only happens every six years. After new year we traveled with the local people to the waterfall to purify ourselves and also visited the leather and textile market places in Otavalo and Cotacachi.
Special thanks to Tour Guide Ecuador for an experience of a lifetime! I hope I can visit Ecuador again soon!!