Due to time constraints my time in Ecuador was veeeeeery short compared to my time spent everywhere else. With this is mind I packed as much as I could into 10 days.
After my previously described bus trip of doom, I spent 2 days in a town called Baños. Baños is funny as the literal translation in English is toilet. However, it can also mean hot springs, which this town has a lot of. My main reason of going to Baños was to organise a trip into the jungle. However while I was there I also managed to squeeze in some time to visit one of the towns namesakes. This was hilarious as I was there alone, with about 100 Ecuadorians and about 15 other gringos squeezed in. I then had to play the no eye contact game, which is harder than it sounds when everyone is semi naked, so there are only so many other places you can look. Haha.I managed to win the game and leave unscathed and un-hit on after I was done soaking.
From Baños I took an overnight bus up to a random small town to meet up with my group for 5 days in the jungle. Sitting in the back of a truck with 2 fellow passengers, sitting on all our bags, we were transported to Cuyabeno national park - deep into primary rainforest Amazon. Stunning.
Similar to the jungle in Bolivia, we were transported in a boat along the river to take us to our jungle lodge. From here we spent 5 days doing all sorts of activities including bird watching, day and night rainforest walks, visiting a local shaman, anaconda hunting, piraña fishing, village visiting, and heaps more. We got to see sloths, monkeys, an anaconda, TOUCANS (goal for the trip completed!), other snakes, multiple cool butterflies, insects and other bugs, birds and much more. Out of everything we did there, one of my favorite activities was chilling in the hammocks, listening to the rainforest sounds and talking nonsense with some of the other peeps on my tour. I had a really great tour group and make some great friends on that trip =)
After 5 days we had to pry ourselves from the jungle and take a bus to Quito to continue on our journeys. I'm not going to lie, when I got to Quito I was fairly sure I was going to die. Everyone I met had been robbed in Quito, some of them multiple times. So, at 11pm I arrived in Quito, with no hostel reservation. Being a Friday night all the hostels were booked out....shit! While looking for a hostel we witnessed people smashing bottles, random acts of violence and a guy walking around with a wrench. Freaked out, but still in once piece a hostel was found and sleep was had.
The next day I met up with B and we went sight seeing around Quito.... hiding all of our valuables at all times. When we left Quito a few days later to head for Colombia we breathed a sigh of relief, we had made it out of Quito unscathed... If only we new what was around the corner for us in Colombia...