So the weird thing about Ecuador

September 6th

Is that it is so similar to the United States, but everyone speaks Spanish. For being just one country north of Peru, Ecuador couldn’t be more different. To start, they use the American dollar as their currency. The people are racially diverse and there are tons of foreigners here. The food is all Americanized, with KFC and McDonalds no less.
And to this point, the people, not so friendly. I’m not loving Quito.
Tomorrow, we escape this giant city and head to the “middle of the world,” and a tour of the Amazon. Sounds like a perfect way to end this South American adventure. Friday, I’m on the first flight back to the US, and in all sincerity, it cannot come soon enough. I am homesick, bagelsick, gymsick and more than anything, friendsick. I can’t wait to gab with my mom and my girlfriends and get back to my routine.

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Machu Picchu? Cannot wait to return. It was incredible in every sense. It is one of the most spiritual places I’ve ever visited and is a bit like seeing the ocean or the Grand Canyon for the first time. You just can’t believe what is before your eyes.
I was the first person on top of the mountain Monday morning and had about 2 minutes before the ruins beneath me were climbing with tourists. I cherished every second, taking photos, praying and feeling more in tune with the earth than I have in a long time. I was huffing and puffing by the time I reached the top, but with a cool mist rolling in (that turned into a miserable storm) and a light breeze on my back, my time with Ms. Machu was pretty much perfect.
Next time, I’ll hike the Inca Trail and skip Aguas Calientes.

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One of my many travel notes if you are planning on visiting South America — bring lots and lots of dollars. Each country likes to hit up the international travelers when they move on to the next spot. Both Peru and Ecuador charge $35 just to leave the airports and I’m pretty sure Bolivia does too, but since we crossed the border via bus, we missed it.
To put that $35 in perspective, most meals at restaurants cost $2 and my most expensive hostal/hotel room has been $15 per night. Their international travel fees are bogus and I’m sure do nothing more than feed the corruption that runs rampant in these governments.

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Enough with the negativity. Manana — rainforest! Friday — home!!
Life es bueno,
Kelli

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18 Responses

  1. Have a safe trip back….can’t wait to see photos.

  2. I’ve always wanted to visit Machu Picchu. I enjoyed reading about your experience and I can’t wait to see your photos!

  3. My mom’s neighbor grew up in Quito. Her parents were missionaries there. I have never spoken to her much about it, but I know she learned a lot of cool cooking tricks there. And she can make one mean bloody mary unlike anything you’ve ever had before!? I look forward to seeing all your pics & knowing you’re safely back on US soil 🙂

  4. It has been so much fun reading about your trip–what an adventure! Can’t wait to see the pix. Have a safe trip home!

  5. que bueno que te gust√≥ machu pichu! yo no conozco ni machupichu ni Ecuador… mmmm y lo del cambio de moneda fue hace como 2 a√±os, despues de una crisis… Chile tampoco se parece a Per√∫ y Bolivia, este √∫ltimo es claramente el mas “separado” de los avances econ√≥micos que han habido en sudam√©rica, para bien o para mal…

    Qu√© bueno que vuelves a tu rutina… te he extra√±ado… jijij, a big hug for you…

  6. Your trip to machu pichu sounds amazing — and I can’t wait to see the photos you took from the top. Good job beating the lazy tourists up the hill. All that running was for a good cause 😉

    I simply can’t wait to see you NEXT WEEK! Yes, my friend, Finny will be on your doorstep begging for La Pinata in no time at all.

    Travel extra very super safely. Love you!

  7. So sorry everthing isn’t as you’d hoped. You’ll be home soon – Julia x

  8. glad to know you’re coming home soon. travel safely.

  9. yuck yuck. oh how sad that those folks are so americanized. and not as nice as the Bolivians. that’s awesome that you had two minutes of machu pichu to yourself. lucky you. and man, $35 to leave an airport? that sounds weird. come home safe!

  10. que tengas un buen viaje al regreso de estados unidos.

  11. Happy Travels!

    We miss you too. Can’t wait to see all your photos. 🙂

  12. Can’t wait to hear your voice on US soil! Hope you are taking lots and lots of pictures!

  13. Can’t wait to see some pics of your South adventures! I enjoyed so very much reading your travel diary, and I wish you a nice come back home.

  14. safe journey! don’t get eaten by a pirranah!

  15. Have an awesome time in the Amazon and welcome back Stateside. Looking foward to seeing the pics…once you’ve slept for 30 straight hours. Have a safe flight home.

  16. Keiran recently has had a fascination about South America so when he wakes I will share some of your post with him. I look forward to your return as well and I have really enjoyed hearing about South America through your eyes. I want to travel there but I am unsure if I can eat any food. I loved reading that you were the first to arrive at Machu Picchu. I actually got goosebumps reading your words.

  17. Your time on the mt. sounds amazing and so grounding (funny getting more grounded on a mt., huh?) But glad you will be home soon…Enjoy the Amazon for me…another trip I would love to make someday.

  18. Jane Bennett September 11, 2006

    OH-MY-GOSH!!! I am SOOOO envious. I really want to hike the Inca trail to Machu Pichu. Lucky you to have seen it. Glad you are back safe and we are enjoying your pictures.

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