Safe and Sound in Ecuador

Hey world,

Sorry for my month-long hiatus. After those mandatory daily journal entries in Brazil, I was a little burnt out! I’ve spent the last month travelling in Ecuador. I’ll try to catch you up through photos. You can always find the more complete set of photos at my Flickr account.

To pick up where we left off, here is my journal entry from my first day in Ecuador:

Saturday, February 15

Last night, I said goodbye to my AZP group in Brazil and saw them off on their journey back to the US. I then found a Starbucks and waited a couple hours until I was allowed to pass through security (I was really early.) I departed on-time from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Panama City, Panama at 2:50am. Surprisingly to me, my ticket was first class! I have never felt so pampered.

I slept and read my book during a three-hour layover in Panama City before boarding another on-time flight to Quito, Ecuador. We arrived at 11:40am, just one minute ahead of our 11:41 scheduled arrival! I guess the airplane gods were on my side today.

I passed immigration and customs with no problem, picked up my bag, and found the driver holding my hostel’s sign. Last night at the airport, I had pre-arranged a reservation in Old Town, Quito and an airport-to-hostel pickup service. The cabbie was a really nice guy who let me stop by an ATM to pick up US dollars and told me about his 10 children.

I spent the afternoon doing laundry (in a machine, hallelujah), finishing many many many internship applications/e-mails/plans, and meeting my hostel-mates, all of whom are fricken awesome. I'm in a co-ed, six-bed dorm room. Right now I'm sitting on the rooftop by a campfire staring at the most gorgeous view of the city and mountains I have ever seen.

I got the $3.00 chicken masala dinner offered by the hostel, and now I'm off to bed. It's been a few weeks since I got more than 5 hours of sleep in a night, and around 48 hours since I slept in a bed at all. Hooray for sleeping in tomorrow!

The map at the entrance to my hostel. I feel more and more acquainted with the world, the more I travel.

The first of five steep flights of stairs leading to the hostel's reception.

Remy tending the garden pools inside the front door.