Quick Summary

Time in Ecuador: Dec 12 - 31, 2009

Route: a straight shot down the Panamerican highway + 10 day “detour” in the Galapagos

Food: typical Andean and coastal fares, generally uninspiring with some good exceptions; also very good tomate de arbol (tree tomato) juice

Crafts: exactly like Peruvian and more expensive

Roads: surprisingly fast and new surfaces with cheap gasoline and cheaper tolls but very poor signeage and an unfortunate ever-present threat of landslides (poor curb and barrier construction)

Highlights: the Quito ring-road (allowing us to completely bypass the sprawling city), the 2.5m long bed in Latacunga (Ognen’s favorite), zooming at over 60mph (amazing!), swimming with sea lions, sex on the beach (by marine turtles), the Quilotoa lake, cheap gasoline

Low-lights: our Galapagos guide, seasickness, driving through fog,landslides and accidents, the craft markets

Impression: a very decent country that Ognen mistakenly had a very negative impression of; a “mini South America” that is a good place to see the coast, Andes and Amazon if you have limited time, although more spectacular versions of each can be found in the neighboring countries; glad we saw it

Ecuador

After a difficult goodbye to Colombia, we planned on zooming through Ecuador to make up lost time in order to reach Patagonia before summer ends. Well, plans never work out. It was Christmas, and we “had” to treat ourselves to a gift after 4 months of “hard” traveling - so we spent 10 days in the Galapagos. Our 2 says in Ecuador turned into 20 but it was worth it.