Skip told us that we’d be seeing three vastly different landscapes. First was the Andes and Quito, the second was the Amazon and Iyarina, and the third would be the pacific coast. It was a great way to wind down after the breakneck speed of the first two legs of the trip. We spent our first day at Machallila National Park with an amazing view and a white sand beach. We hiked around a mile to get to a scenic overlook. I was not expecting how easy the hike would be, especially after the Amazon, but the view was definitely worth the hike.
Yesterday, we went to the Isla de la Plata and saw some blue-footed boobies. I’m still not convinced that those birds are real. Everything about them seems fake. How clumsy they are, how they look, how they act, and the fact they have bright blue feet just seems unreal. It really is their world and we’re just living in it. It was amazing to see these birds up close, but my favorite part of the day came after lunch. I had the opportunity to do something that I’ve never done, snorkeling. I got to see angelfish and sea turtles off of the island, and I easily could’ve spent all day there looking at the reef. After our excursion, we spent our last night in the town buying souvenirs and talking to the locals.
When I started this trip, I had some ideas of what I’d experience in Ecuador. I’d see some birds. I’d meet some people. I’d see some nature. I was right, but my time here exceeded my expectations. I met with a recently contacted tribe. I was taken to places where locals go, and not just the tourist traps. I learned in-depth about the chocolate and rose industries here, and how they get to the United States. I saw people’s daily lives, and how it differed from mine back at home. Now when I have a bite of chocolate, I will be forever reminded of my time here and the friends I made while in Ecuador.