Reflections on Ecuador

20140610-204435-74675733.jpg Lucy We went fishing for trout for our lunch and I caught one but I only caught one in the second pool not the first one. We ate them for lunch, they were farmed trout and were delicious, I hooked mine in the eye. Here is a picture of the waterfalls nearby. 20140610-204809-74889610.jpg We went to the Galapagos Islands. We saw blue footed boobies which had blue feet. We also saw Frigate Birds who have red chests for mating. My favourite animal was the sea lion. I almost stepped on one. Our guide was called Carlos. He was funny and cheeky and he told us all about the animals. After been to the Galapagos I now want to be a scientist discovering the animals. Not like Charles Darwin though as he killed the bugs by pinning their wings and catching them and putting them in jars. 20140610-204910-74950911.jpg That is me snorkelling in the Galapagos. Alisha After crossing the border between Colombia and Ecuador we went to a big market. There was an animals market and a textiles market. Mummy and me each got a shawl. Mine was sea green and I had to bargain the price down as I only had $5 pocket money left. Mummy loves the colour of my scarf. 20140610-205026-75026215.jpg We went to the Galapagos and sailed around them in a catamaran. I shared a cabin with Daddy. We had the tidy cabin. We usually went snorkelling in the afternoon. I liked seeing all the tropical fish and I even saw a sea lion swimming under the water. One thing that I found funny was that on our last day there we could not go all the way to the lighthouse as there were too many birds on the path. We had to squeeze past them. When we passed a bush with a Frigate Bird in it I was a bit scared as it looked as though it had a sharp beak. 20140610-205112-75072212.jpg Gilly Our time in Ecuador has been very special, from markets to mountains on the mainland to the wonders of the Galapagos, it has been wonderful. In the mountain towns of Otavalo and Alausi the colourful lady's traditional costumes have been stunning. Wondering around the markets was a great experience with so much to see. After weeks of cloudy weather we were so excited to get the magnificent views of Cotopaxi two mornings in a row. It's not often that I jump out of bed and outside at 5.45am without so much as a cup of tea to wake me up. We made the most of the early starts though as the volcano was completely shrouded in mist again by 9.30. We had very high expectations for our trip to the Galapagos and it far exceeded them. Being a Biology teacher, I had been fascinated with their link to Darwin's theories of Evolution for years. So when we were passing through Ecuador, it seemed crazy not to take the chance to go. I think it is such a once in a lifetime trip that we wanted to do it properly, so we spent quite a lot of time researching the islands we should go to and how we should get there. I'm really pleased that we chose a small boat with a well-rated guide, so we got the most out of our visit. The girls spent the weeks beforehand learning about evolution, the islands and once they had watched the wonderful BBC series about the islands they were as hyped up as I was about going. As well as the abundance of unique flora, fauna and geographical phenomena that are particular only to the Galapagos. I think the part that struck us most was how relaxed the animals and birds were around people. There was a rule about having to be more than 2m away from the animals but at times we were almost tripping over them, they were that easy about our presence as they continued doing what they were doing. This sea lion was catching up on his sleep on a bench at the boat dock totally unconcerned about the presence of people. Steve Ecuador is a small country but consists of four very different diverse regions: the coast, the Andes, the Oriente (Amazon) and the Galapagos Islands. Although we spent nearly a month here we really only had time to explore two of them. We were not too bothered about missing out on the coast as we have spent a lot of time on beaches on this trip. We were though a bit disappointed not to make it to the Amazon and will have to make sure we get there in one of the countries we visit. We spent most of our time up in the Andes and thoroughly enjoyed it. The people were very friendly and often very colourfully dressed and when the weather cooperated the views were spectacular. Our time up at Cotopaxi was especially memorable. The Galapagos Islands were also great and it was nice to have a " mini holiday" in our trip where we were ferried around and cooked for. The guide,crew and group were great which combined with the amazing scenery and how close you could get to the wildlife made for a fantastic week. The underwater wildlife was also just as impressive as on top of the islands and made for a fantastic snorkelling experience. Ecuador is undergoing rapid development. We benefited from this in that the roads were mostly excellent and there were a lot less trucks on them than on Colombia. The development is been funded from oil revenues. This is not without issues as some of the oil is in pristine jungle and even while we were there the government authorised drilling in a new reserve on the Amazon. It is also focusing on developing its tourism and is an excellent country to visit with so many different things to see and do. 20140610-205501-75301779.jpg

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