IKamper blog: Episode 11: Ecuador tour
Ecuador, the home of some of the world’s most unique features including the rare wildlife of the Galapago Islands, South America’s tallest volcano, Cotopaxi, and a huge monument marking 0°0’0’’ at the earth’s equator. We have good friends who live in Quito, Ecuador, so we were very excited to visit our friends and enjoy the luxuries of staying in a house for a couple weeks. First on the agenda was to check out the Cotopaxi volcano. As volcanoes and mountains are infamously known for, the weather can change within seconds and before we had even taken 5 steps, the clouds closed up, created a white ceiling of fog, and it began to hail. We welcomed the excuse to find a rock and rest, because even at the bottom, you could feel the high altitude effects.
Having friends who live in Ecuador, we had the inside scoop to the best local dishes, uncharted mountain trails, and a sneak peak into typical Ecuador life. We got right to work: Men headed for the mechanic and the women headed for the nail salon. Back in Costa Rica, on our way to visit Volcan Arenal, we veered down a wrong path which snowballed into a 2hr detour down a very scary steep mountain. The road eventually disappeared and instead we were left crawling down an empty river bed full of huge rocks and deep groves. One of those deep groves sent ‘VUELTA1’ nose diving and the front actuator (which controls our 4wd) smacked into a large rock and ruined the 4 wheel drive option. Fast forward to Ecuador and having an “in” with the Ecuadorian locals, our guy knew a guy who knew a guy and before we know it, we have a bunch of guys camped out in the Mechanic shop for a couple days working on bring “VUELTA1” back to life. And the ladies? After plenty of long days in the mechanic, quality girl talk, hair treatments, and painted nails were in order.
Once ‘VUELTA1’ was fixed good as new, it was time to hit the road again and experience the beautiful nature Ecuador has to offer. After assessing the budget, we opted for a visit to an island called “Isla de la Plata” (Silver Island) also referred to as “Poor Man’s Galapagos.” This ‘isla’ is home to many similar wildlife found only one other place in the world, Galapagos Island. We hiked, explored, snorkeled, and met the infamous blue-footed boobie. We continued beach-hopping and iKamping through their ‘Ruta del Sol’ down the coast as we made our way south.
Ecuador was fantastic from the top of Cotopaxi to the bottom of the ocean, but it was time to move on… more of South America awaits!