Mini Vacay #1

So, I’m a little late to post about this past weekend (I’ve been going to bed early, taking naps, and snoozing my alarm at least 3x both Monday and Tuesday this week because it wore me out) but it’s too good to not share!

Friday was pretty normal, my host mom, sister and I just worked on homework and school work all afternoon but went to bed early (which means 11pm) because we had to be up early on Saturday.

Saturday’s alarm went off at 6:30am, we ate breakfast and we were on our way. My host mom told me to pack a bag and I had no idea what we were doing so I just packed a little bit of everything… (usually the language barrier isn’t a problem, but every once and awhile I feel like I’m missing something important and this was one of those times). We took a taxi to the bus stop and the bus to another place about 40 minutes away and then another taxi to our final destination – a soccer (fútbol) game for my brother Cristián! Even though Ecuador is usually about 60°F, the sun is INTENSE. We got ice cream to cool down (per usual) and when the game was over we started driving…

…and kept driving. And driving. And driving some more.

Thankfully, I got to sit up front so I could see the view because when it looks like this, it doesn’t bother me to drive for hours!

Our final destination, for the night, was Baños and I wish I would’ve realized what Baños is famous for because I REALLY wish I would told my family I wanted to do “extreme sports” as they call it here. Things like bungee jumping, swinging off a cliff, taking a canopy over the valley – lots of different things that someone with a fear of heights would not do. (Stay tuned because now it’s on my list of places to go back to!) 

We went to El Paelon del Diablo which is a huuuge waterfall!! Of course, I loved it. You could climb to the top (not without getting soaked) and to the bottom (also, not without getting soaked). 

There was a wobbly suspension bridge that my host mom wasn’t really a fan of but the hike to the waterfall and back was short and beautiful. So many little waterfalls and so much green – it’ll be one of the things I miss the most about this place.

We ate dinner at this little shack on top of a mountain and then explored Baños a bit. I tried taffy that they’re famous for and we went to a karaoke bar (should’ve seen that coming!) I sang Justin Bieber this time but decided that I’m going to learn a song in Spanish so I have a song to sing when we go out because I don’t like being the only one singing in English! (I’m not a good singer and then everyone always looks around trying to find the “English speaker”). 

Sunday morning I had the most “American-like” breakfast I’ve had in 2 weeks at our hostal! Scrambled eggs with ham, a fruit and yogurt parfait (slightly more exotic than I’m used to but much more delicious), and bread with butter and jam. I also got to drink 3 cups of coffee and my heart was as full as my stomach.

I should’ve realized that since I had such a comfortable breakfast, the rest of the day wah going to be extreeemely interesting. I ate Cuy (pronounced kwee) and something else that was made by indigenous people…

On Sunday we visited a water park in Puyo and I quickly gained an audience when I backflipped from the low dive and dove from the high dive as the only other people jumping off the diving boards were guys and they were usually scared to go off the high dive. Girls had to wear shower caps whenever we were in the pool – hopefully I can get some of the pictures from my host dad because he took a lot and I didn’t take any (seriously shocked at myself). It was cloudy the whole time we were there but I got burnt…even though I was wearing sunblock (the intense sun thing is NOT a joke, folks).

UPDATE: I got a picture from the waterpark! 

We ate some Caña (basically a sweet juice that you get from biting on the bark of a tree) and we were on our way! We went to Misahuali which is on the Napo River and it was AWESOME! There were monkeys just running around everywhere but you had to watch your belongings because they’d take it right from your hand! (Shoutout to the ring on my phone for making me feel safe to have mine out to capture the moment). I found out the name of the “hairy  raspberry” thing I ate awhile back, achiotillo, and turns out, monkeys love them too! That’s how we lured them onto our shoulders.

Later we took a boat ride to an indigenous village where I tried a special drink they make from Yuca, watch a traditional dance and see some of the places they live. A monkey stole my host mom’s earring while we were there and I held a boa….which as you can see from my face wasn’t quite as much fun as the monkey.

We grabbed some ice cream and headed for home since it was already 6pm on Sunday evening. Driving through the rainy mountains at night is not at the top of my list of things to do again. We stopped for dinner after about an hour and a half, asked the waitress how to get to Quito and she told us and finished with “you should be there in about 2 hours”…. TWO HOURS! WE HAD ALREADY BEEN DRIVING FOR ALMOST TWO HOURS! We ended up getting back around 11pm, unpacked, finished some homework and went to bed.

WHAT A WEEKEND! 

This coming weekend we have a wedding and I’m SO curious as to what it will be like. It’s with my host mom’s family who likes to have fun, dance and be loud so I’m sure it’ll be a grand time! I’m 

Ciao for now! Xoxo ♥

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