After Banos we took a fairly short bus ride closer to the jungle to a city called Puyo. Here there are many tours that take you deeper into the jungle. The weather went from cool to humid and wet upon our arrival. As we crossed a rickety old suspension bridge over the Tena river we found our home for a day. I would read in my hammock and two resident parrots would play right above me and this extroverted turtle would cruise by every so often. Lots of hummingbirds too. There was a beautiful walk right alongside the river where we felt like we were right in the thick of the rainforest, saw wild monkeys and all. We also visited a monkey reserve where we got to play with the monkeys. They were just running around and very friendly. As you can see from the picture they loved their friends – the dogs.
Next was a short bus ride to Macas. Here we stayed at a couple’s home. He was from Ecuador and she was from Texas. Super nice home where our room overlooked a river and mountains. He was a bird guide so the grounds they had their home on were just beautiful. They also had a gigantic black lab named Blackberry-got some good leaning and love from him. We were pretty low key here as we knew the next day we had an eight hour bus ride to Cuenca. Needless to say, that bus ride sucked! No food and no bathrooms. If you really had to go you had to tell the bus driver to stop and just go right there. Luckily the people from Macas were so sweet and packed us a lunch knowing what was ahead of us (we had no idea) and we will forever be grateful for those peanut butter and honey sandwiches. We made it but will not do another ride like that unless a bathroom is on board.
Keith is going to blog about Cuenca separately but my two cents…..LOVE it. Great city with a bit of a European feel to me. Lots of churches, cobblestone streets and museums. One of the things that was fun about this city too is we are staying in a 100 year old mansion and many of folk people here are American. Lots of folks are buying retirement homes here….guess its hopping for that just like Costa Rica was years back. We met people from Texas, California and Boston and partied with them last night and it was great to socialize. You know me-gotta have that social butterfly come out every once in awhile! Tomorrow we make our way down to the Peruvian border. I believe we will be departing Ecuador around Saturday. It’s hard to believe that our Ecuadorian journey is coming to an end. I have really enjoyed this country and was surprised how charmed I was. The scenery was just gorgeous with the combination of beach, mountains, rolling hills, volcanoes and rain forests all in one country. It will be a new challenge utilizing new money as Ecuador uses the dollar. I also hear as we make our way South the language will be more and more challenging as they talk faster and more slang. Big five stars to Ecuador-it was one gigantic success story! Sad to say goodbye but on to adventure the next country. Talk to you in Peru!