Friday, 10 July 2015

All you need is Ecuador

Ecuador is located on the west coast of South America, and as it's name alludes too, is smack bang on the Equator. Its neighbours are Columbia to the north and Peru to the south and east.

 A map just to help you out

The country can be divided into four geographical regions. The first geographic region we would visit would be La Sierra, framed by the majestic Andes, with volcanic peaks topping 20000ft. Running the length of Ecuador from Columbia to Peru, two volcanic ranges are separated by the 35 mile wide Central Valley (termed the "Avenue of the Volcanoes") in which Quito is situated. To the west of the Andes is the coastal region, La Costa, which is lowland and agricultural area. To the east is El Oriente, the upper Amazon region with its tropical rain forests. Finally, separated from the continent by 600 miles of ocean are the Galápagos Islands, made famous by the observations of Charles Darwin on his 1835 trip aboard The Beagle.

The diversity of these four distinct regions, and their associated wildlife I'm sure influenced their tourist board to create its slogan "All you need is Ecuador". It is our intention to visit each of these distinct geographical areas, if our dwindling funds will stretch to that, of course.

Travelling north we landed in Quito, the capital of Ecuador on Monday 8th June 2015. Our flight route took us over the Andes.

 Snow capped volcanic peaks near Quito

On leaving Peru Chris was suffering badly from breathing difficulties and man-flu. We spent the first few days holed up in our Quito hotel, which was exclusively decorated in an 'Inca' style. The 1940s Inca design, with a lift straight out of 'The Grand Hotel Budapest' was most quaint. We actually fell in love with the fake stone walls, Inca tributes and ornaments which would be more at home in an Indiana Jones film.

 A wonderful Inca style fireplace

A hammered bronze effect mural in the lobby

Even the plasterwork is made to look like carved stone

This temporary grounding did give us the opportunity to book a trip to the Amazon. One disaster we suffered was the malfunction of our trustworthy Cannon camera. We found a Cannon specialist but the findings confirmed our fears, and our faithful friend was consigned to the bottom of the rucksack. We therefore apologise for the drop in photo quality henceforth!

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