A Jam-packed Beginning
By: Andrea Dennis
Andrea Dennis and her Ecuador adventure
It didn’t take long to make friends in Ecuador, and it started on the plane with two lovely Ecuadorians living in the U.S. who immediately invited my travel mate and me to dinner during our week´s stay in Quito. We will definitely be taking them up on the offer. I arrived in Ecuador three days ago, three days before the beginning of my Greenheart Travel language school in Quito.
To make the most of my time before school, my travel mate and I spent a late night at the interesting, vertical Quito hostel, Secret Garden
, then hopped on a bus the next morning and headed to Banos. The three hour bus ride through the mountainous terrain kept my eyes open the entire time (normally I am a vehicular narcoleptic). Banos was a misty delight. After spending $30 on an hour and a half massage AND facial, we headed to their famous thermal baths heated by the near, active volcano. It was a unique experience… think thermal baths and public pool in one.
We didn´t skip a beat and the next morning we made our way, albeit unconventionally, to Cotopaxi
, the world´s largest active volcano. We stayed at the Secret Garden Cotopaxi hostel, and it will surely be a highlight of our trip. The remote, remote, hostel had huge meals with local frothed milk, juicy fruits and free range (and by that, I mean mountain-range) meat. The manager was more than hospitable and we chatted it up with several Brits on a gap year and other travelers. This morning we took a majestic horseback ride up the mountains. With some hot tea at the top, and some curious cows checking us out, we stopped to breath in the fresh air and watch the mist roll around the mountains. After the 5 hour horseback ride, we had a steaming bowl of soup with fresh bread at the hostel, and then hopped on a jeep to journey back to Quito for our language school. So now, I am at our host family, who truly embodies ¨mi casa, su casa.” I look forward to exploring Quito and diving into Spanish. More adventures to come.