Some 10 years ago, my sister Margo went to Ecuador to volunteer. Finally last weeks it was my time to see where she stayed and where she did her voluntary work.
We had the great opportunity to stay at one of her Ecuadorian friends for almost one week. A week that was different from any week so far. Were we longing to feel home a bit; this week gave us a home.
We enjoyed the best local spots, went to visit thermal baths, discovered the National Park with a newborn, had a family party, experienced a concert (ladies screaming I love you!) and visited the school where Margo did her voluntary work.
It’s difficult to say what made the biggest impression on us. The overly warm hospitality of Margo’s friends, the effort some people take for their future (3 years of study in Holland), having a baby being so far away from your family or the almost tangible love we saw at the school for disabled kids. We loved our time in Cuenca and now do understand why Margo has been so lyrical about her stay here!
In Cuenca we also attended a running race, organized by the local clubs. 8:15 were ready to go, for a 5km run around the river, 9:00 we started to think we could have already run the distance twice, 9:30 we finally started:). Ambitiously started the race, aiming for a top qualification, as before they announced that today even runners from Europe came to race! If it’s the food, the lack of training or the altitude, the results were rather confronting; our new fitness level unfortunately reconfirmed later that day in the swimming pool :-(.
Besides Cuenca we visited the village of vilcabamba where people tend to get old; the water or the lack of stress? We have seen whales jump out of the water near Puerto Lopez and fell in love with the blue-footed booby’s, our alternative penguins ( we were supposed to see them in Argentina and Chili).
In Mindo we were offered a ride to Quito (and coffee and a stay in another city for which we unfortunately had no time due to booked flights).
In Quito we relaxed, went to see the beautiful colonial center and tried to improve our fitness level and by some smog inhaling runs we finished our tour though Ecuador.
Now we already in Colombia, already close to the end of our trip through Latino America with only Panama awaiting afterwards..
As every country we have visited, also Ecuador was again different than all countries before! Would love to go back one day!
Love from Colombia!