Days Spent: 43
Bus Journeys: 23
Places Visited: 13
Favourite Beer: meh… Dave – Club Premium, M – Pilsener (La fiesta de todos)
Volcanos Seen: 0
Bad Arepas: 1
The Good: Varied landscapes / Loads to do / Great coast / Easy to travel / Compact / Not too touristy / Helpful people / Tranquilo / Cool accommodation / Lots of wildlife
The Less Good: Disinterested people / Not enough change (coins) / Coffee / No headphones / SPITTING / Not sharing the pavement / Reclining seats
Both – Mindo
Dave – Oh Ecuador, you beautiful bastard! Towns not as pretty as Colombia, people not as friendly, but it’s not by accident we spent 43 days there. There is so much to see and do, so many different landscapes across such a small space.
We saw: Big cities, small towns, cloud forest, volcanos, mountains, beaches, a train, waterfalls, lake in a volcano, wet carnival, hummingbirds, butterflies, Dañiel Jose Rodriguez… And other stuff
We really felt part of Ecuador! I don’t know if it was because of the low foreign visitor numbers or just because we spent so long there but it was rare that we shared space with non Latin American tourists, or communicated in English with anyone. The bus network was amazing and we could get anywhere we wanted with minimal hassle and in relative (one of us may not agree with this) comfort.
We stayed in all kinds of accomodation, in all kinds of climates. Climbed (walked up) a mountain and hung out on the beaches.
Ecuador is great!
M – Exactly as Dave said above, I love Ecuador. It’s beautiful, like really, really beautiful. We experienced so many different climates and saw an abundance of different landscapes.
The people of Ecuador were so laid-back, muy, muy tranquilo. They were so laid-back they barely move and will quite happily nap almost anywhere. Even when they are walking they are still barely moving, they are so slow! They are not great as sharing the pavement and often slowly shuffle along using all available space. They might move so slowly because they are so small. They are tiny, I quite regularly felt like a giant. On the whole Ecuadorians were a lot more reserved and modest compared to their northern neighbors. They sometimes seemed almost shy but sometimes just disinterested. Don’t get me wrong, we didn’t experience anything remotely negative from anyone we encountered they just seemed so disinterested/laid-back/tranquilo all the time.
Ecuadorians are very much into their politics, we were told on one walking tour that Ecuador’s national sport is kicking the president. There were political campaign posters everywhere we went, literally everywhere, be it a major city or small village there were posters up for various candidates. We saw a fair few political rallies as well.
For as beautiful as Ecuador is and how much I loved it, it did have some negatives. The people spit everywhere all the time. It’s so disgusting! They properly hock up a big’en and then just gob it anywhere, super gross guys and really not ok! The second they sit down, if the seat has the ability, they recline it. They don’t looked behind them, they just recline, BANG, and then they’re asleep! The same as Colombians they don’t use headphones and anything they are doing, be it watching a video or listening to some tunes, it’s done at full volume. Most of the longer buses show films but they always seemed to be brutal action films, at full volume whatever the audience. There could be tiny little’ens on the bus, it didn’t matter we were watching people’s heads being blown off!
The coffee, come on Ecuador, the coffee! Coffee is grown in Ecuador, they have a reputation, I buy Ecuadorian coffee at home! The coffee is terrible and it’s almost exclusively instant. Unfortunately Ecuador now export more instant coffee than the real deal so the instant is more readily available and cheaper.
All that being said I loved our time in Ecuador and it is an incredible place to visit.