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Ecuador – Part 2

June 2018. Summer 2018. There were two Vietnamese girls who had a passion in traveling and exploring Latin America culture, decided to take a challenge to discover a part of the world where before, back in Vietnam, would they never imagine they could put their feet on. And let me tell you the story of those two Vietnamese girls in that trip. Exciting. Fun. Nervous. Sad. Thrilling. All kinds of emotions. I hope when reading these posts, you could also experience a part of Latin America countries, and who knows, you could – one day – explore Latin America and fall in love with them – just like I do.

2. Historical Quito [Continued]

I will take you to different corners of historical Quito again. You can see different sides of Ecuador, from art, music, buildings to a part their economy.

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A wandering date in Quito – with artists
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La Compania in the morning
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Eduardo kinsman art – You will see a lot of artworks from him in Ecuador. At first, I was scared by these art works – because of the naked and boned features in these pictures. But when I saw it longer, I felt the different meanings behind these pictures, so art – is an interesting area – you think you understand, but actually you dont understand. The more you see, the more you feel something in there.
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Ecuador streets with many pedestrians and lots of historical buildings
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Another style of art in Ecuador that you can see. It’s from the artists of Tigua region. These colorful paintings usually depict the villages in Ecuador with indigenous people under the volcanoes. These indigenous people’s faces are usually covered by the Panama hat, which made them more mysterious.
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And many street artists you can see on the street in historical Quito. These two – will work from days to days in the same spot. The husband (I guess) are blind, but still so hard-working everyday to show the music. You will see a lot of similar scenes like this in Ecuador. And sometimes, you will question again about equality, about poverty, about disparity between the poor and the rich. And again, thinking about it hurts me in some way.
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Ecuador roses are famous around the world. Big flowers with cheap price – only 1$ for a bouquet. https://www.ft.com/content/eb5114d6-d846-11e4-ba53-00144feab7de – a good-reading article about Ecuador flower industry.

3. Further Quito

La Mitad del Mundo

Stop there in historical Quito, I take you to a bit further from the center city, to the place why Ecuador named Ecuador (means Equator in Spanish). It’s called La Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World City)

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The yellow line is said the equator crossing, but in fact, the real equator lies about 240 meters north of the marked line. This monument which has the globe at the top, and inside there is a museum about the history of the monument as well as some interesting experiments about Geography and Physics – which I am not really good at. So forgive me, i do not understand those concepts there. But one thing to remember, you can stamp on your passport right at the front door of the monument.
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We happened to meet this dancing group – they danced enthusiastically with some Ecuadorian songs – I guess and even joined them for a dancing around the spot. It was actually one of the things you should not miss when you visit this place. And believe me, there was a girl in this group – the girl far to the left – she was so cute and lovely who kept sending heart shape to us everytime she saw us from afar.
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After the performance with them – and the girl I told you before – she was standing right next to me – still so lovely girl.

Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi volcano is one of the highest volcanoes in the world – and one of the must-see things when visiting Ecuador. If you love hiking, trekking and nature, this surely cannot be ignored.

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The view of Cotopaxi volcano from afar. We joined with the tour group to visit Cotopaxi and Quilotoa in one day. The first destination is Cotopaxi volcano – The road leads us to the top of volcano was very amazing. Our tour guide told us some stories about this volcano. It is famous for Condi and Andian birds. On the way to the top, you will see a lot of orange flowers on the ground which are called Chukirawa – a hiking flower. Cotopaxi means neck of the moon (not sure why it has this name). The latest explosion of this volcano was in 1877 (long time ago then)
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Even the rock is different.
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This flower – when you rubbed it – will have the smell of cocao, really amazing. And it’s called Baleriana.
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Jumping!!!!
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Our group that day: 2 from Argentina, 1 from Germany, 1 from France, 1 from Chile, 1 from Ecuador and 2 from Vietnam. How international this group was!!
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After driving to near the top of the volcano, the car will stop there for you to climb up to the top which it takes about 45 minutes to reach the top. If I could come here again, I would prepare myself for better health, better equipment, better clothes and better mindset. We didnt expect the hike would be this hard. The wind was so strong that it seemed like it could throw you far away. The wind brought together with the sands which made it more difficult to hike just 5 steps. And even with the elevation of 5,000 meters, the higher you were, the more difficult for you to breath. Only some steps, but I could feel like I couldnt breath anymore and I just had to give up. This was truly a shame.
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So excited before the hike!!
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But just give up… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ and take photo here – but at least, we could see the volcano very close to me ๐Ÿ˜›
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The road to Cotopaxi – a lot of horses and some milk cows also.

Quilotoa

One breathtaking site of Ecuador is Quilotoa – just simple amazing. When you stand there – at Quilotoa – you will ask yourself the Mother Earth is just so amazing to create a “maravilloso” place like that and you cannot just believe that is it really a real lake – or is it just photoshoped to have this amazing colour, sky and everything? To put in short, it is just beyond any of your imagination.

And even the way from Cotopaxi to Quilotoa, it was also really amazing. I could not take any photos, but believe me, you have to go for it, see it by your eyes and really, you feel like you cannot breath because of its beauty.

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I couldnt hike through this place, but I guess it will be very amazing to spend time hiking through this amazing place.
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Was I in heaven?
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And only 5 girls left for this trip to Quilotoa!
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Here we were told about the story of this Quilotoa. But sorry, I couldnt remember it. I should have written right after the trip.
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Trang Ekismo with special leaves – not sure about the benefits of the leaves, but I know it had special benefits and I still keep them in the US.
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On the way back – a canyon
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At the canyon – during the sunset – Just Amazing!

Otavalo market

Going around Quito is actually really easy. We went to this market – which is a very famous indigenous market where you can buy textiles and souvenirs. If I would suggest to buy things in this market are more diversed, but not everything was truly made by artisians and usually you have to bargain a lot. There was one in the center of Quito which is easy for you to choose and also they do not offer price too high.

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Cheap and beautiful – you should not miss the chance shopping in Ecuador.
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4. Banos

If you like adventure, Banos is a place you cannot miss. You can do any type of adventure activities, like hiking, rafting, canyoning, paragliding, zip lining… whatever you want – Banos will offer you.

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The tour at night to a mountain in Banos where you can see the whole view of the city. There was comedy show, there was fire camping. But all of these stuff are in Spanish. If I had another chance, I wouldnt go in this tour.  A fun thing was that we went on a bus with Latin music and flashing lighting.
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This is the bus – but in the morning
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A part of the waterfall
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Ziplining – If I had more money and courage, I would definitely try this
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Very amazing waterfall – the largest waterfall in Banos: Pailon del Diablo. To walk to that beautiful stairs, you have to walk cross a waterfall and wet yourself under the waterfall. So prepare with swimming suit or rain coat or you do not want to get wet.
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Our super “bแปฑa” tourguide!!
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You see the swing!! I definitely recommend you to try this one. Huhu, if I had more money, I would try this one for sure. It was really really really amazing. You can scream out and then you can see the whole view of Banos – which just simply really amazing.
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Jump jump jump! Jump again lah!
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A really fun local guy – who doesnt know any Spanish word and during the trip, somehow we only can talk with each other “Chachaii” which means “Cold” in Kitoa language.
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Swing at the end of the world!
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Tree house here is really beautiful.. A place worth visiting – with fresh atmosphere, romantic and peaceful scenery – suitable for whoever wants to escape the busy life.
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Our crazy group!!
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Our crazy crazy crazy tour guides who are too fun for us :))

In part 2, I have shown you the other beauty of Ecuador. In next part, we would discover Food heaven in this amazing country. Or what I mean, I still have another part to write ๐Ÿ˜›

[To be continued]

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