¡Hola de Ecuador! Some may know, some may not, but I had the incredible opportunity to pick up my life and move it to South America for the summer! Ecuador to be precise. I am doing an environmental studies program through University of San Francisco Quito and the excitement is too much for a single blog post, so this is post one out of a three part series! My first two weeks in Ecuador have been like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Prior to leaving, anxiety was the highest I’ve experienced in a LONG time, so much to the point where I was stupidly regretting my decision (subconsciously aware that this was everything I could possibly ask for). I flew into Quito, Ecuador where I was greeted by the directors for my program and my amazing host family. The language barrier was a big concern for me, but google translate has definitely been a great friend of mine haha. My first two days in Quito consisted of orientation, introductions to the seven other students I’d be experiencing these seven weeks with, and a five hour tour of the BEAUTIFUL city.
The weekend of June 8th and 9th marked our first weekend of adventures.
Saturday we had the opportunity to visit the Intiñan Museum which rests on the equator!! We got to learn about some of the history surrounding the people who discovered where the equator lies and the indigenous tribes who lived in that exact same area. We also got to experience some cool activities that only work when you’re on the equator. EX: In the northern hemisphere, liquid drains counter-clockwise. In the Southern Hemisphere, liquid drains clockwise. BUT when you are directly on the equator, liquid drains directly down?! Crazy stuff.
On Sunday, we visited the adorable Otavalo market where hundreds of people go to sell their handicrafts! The absolute perfect place for unique, handmade souvenirs. Afterwards, we traveled to to Cuicocha Lake, a lake that rests in a dormant volcano! We hiked for roughly an hour (and we all died, but let’s just blame that on the altitude) and saw some of the most gorgeous plants and views!
The following week consisted of classes, so we will just skip to the weekend of June 15th and 16th!
On Saturday, we traveled to Volcán Antisana and hiked a trail that took us to a gorgeous view of the volcano!
After the hike, we traveled to Volcán Cotopaxi, the second highest active volcano in the world! We stayed in an adorable hostal called Tambopaxi for the night and prepped for the trecherous hike the following morning. Weather was rough. It was extremely windy, cold, and raining. Despite the conditions we were given, we hiked 16,500 ft. to where the glaciers on Cotopaxi began. The hike was rough, but the view was 110% worth it! It was such an amazing experience and I can easily say that my wanderlust was EXTREMELY triggered from that moment on!
After arriving back home in Cumbaya, Ecuador, preparation for our next adventure began immediately because Monday morning, we left at 6:00 AM to go completely off the grid in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest! Tiputini Biodiversity Station to be precise.
However, Tiputini most definitely deserves its own post, so I am signing off for now! I hope my triggered wanderlust has triggered yours just as much!
Keep your eyes peeled for my next post! ♥
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Till next time ツ