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I´m Michelle and I am traveling in Latin America. I have always wanted to travel here and I finally left my home in Boston, MA in July 2013. I have been traveling since then, working here and there and continuously realizing that the world is filled with opportunities for exploration. I hope to travel for a long time but I always find a cozy place to stay for some time. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions I am more than happy to take you up on them. Live long, travel far, love often.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Baños, ECUADOR: Cascadas y Puentes.

Us ladies arrived in Baños, Ecuador last Sunday and we were pleased to be accompanied by our new friends, Gill and Juan Pabs. We quickly came to feel how nice and relaxing Baños is, what with waterfalls off in the distance and the green mountains surrounding the town. Very beautiful. On our first night in we took it easy with some massages and then moved on to some more adventurous activities.
Una Cascada, or waterfall which led into a hot spring in which people bathed.

 Me, in front of la cascada.

Going en la chiva for our tour of the cascades.

Talking a gondola, type thing, over the river.

to the waterfall!

Me, Maria, Juan Pabs, and Gillian from Utah/New Zealand.

To the right, is where we went zip lining from, super man style. Very fun!

El rostro de Jesus.

Waterfall, we saw many on our day trip. All quite breathtaking. 

Gill holding a beetle on a leaf, he was just lounging around in the nature.


Flora.

Map of Ecaudor. TO the left is the coast, to the middle is where abouts we were in Quito and then in Baños, and then towards the right is the forest and jungle. 

Cock-a-doodle-doo!

Parrot.

"Don't go chasing waterfalls...."

Laughy taffy!

Our favorite karaoke bar in Baños, La Abuela.

Mmmm, delicious cappuccino from our favorite Crepe place. 

Maria getting ready to jump off of the bridge.

Nice form, Ri!

Down she went!

Me, looking not so calm about it all before I jumped.

Ohhh boy....

Bad form, but good effort.

Down I made it. 

And, I was hurting for days after this terrible jump. Next time I will remember to fly like an eagle, and not look down!


Quito, ECUADOR: La Mitad del Mundo y el mercado en Otavalo

When we arrived in Ecuador we knew that we would have to go to the exact location of the Middle of the World. Balance some eggs and such. Well, we were also soo lucky enough to be accompanied by our Colombian tour guide, Juanpi! (Juan Pablo). He was soo eager to come along with us that we gladly accepted, and I was relieved to take a break from translating for my unilingual sidekick.


Walking towards the middle of the world.


Our guide, Juanpi. We let him take a short smoke break.

Middle of the world.


Then the real middle of the world...just a block away from the "Museum" of the middle of the world.

Trying to balance in the middle of the world, it was a bit of a challenge. 

Balancing an egg, also quite hard to do, but doable. 
Maria got it!

The animal market in Otavalo. Many animals for sale.


A lake we visited after, very pretty/


Me! After a long day of Market shopping hanging out by the lake.


Quito, ECUADOR: La Ciudad y el volcàn COTOPAXI

We arrived in Quito after our 36 hour bus trip on Tuesday of last week. We soon came to realize that our hostel, The Secret Garden, was the place to be. On our first day there we took a walking tour of the city with a German couple and our tour guide Gabbi. She was very informative and quick to laugh at Maria and I's sometimes funny, sometimes not soo funny jokes.
Our hostel, very good place to hang at the bar all the way on the 5th floor.

"Cheerleaders" in the center of the city gathering, dressed in traditional garments.

The queen of Ecuador the German couple and us.

Watch out, Maria!

Ceramic statue made by local artist.

statua of three men getting their freak on, made by an indigenous tribe from Ecuador. They believed that sexual relations brought them closer to the gods and heavens. 

Peruvian band man.

Maria and I in front of a church, it was very "gold" inside. 

Our view from the top of our hostel of Quito.

Quito at night.

We signed up for a couple of tours through Carpedm tours which was located in our hostel. WE went to a volcano named Cotopaxi. Believe it or not, I made it to the top, well the refuge at the top. It was a beautiful national park and great for outdoors activities. 

How high up the volcano is, which is 16,00 ft up.

Where we began.

Look, as the clouds sweep through the valley.

Cotopaxi.



Ready and raring to climb, look, I am wearing my cargo pants, and a new $5 hat made from Alpaca. 



Maria and I at the refuge, which was 15,953 ft up. 

Hiking back down.

Then, like we hadn't worked hard enough we went for a 20 km bike ride.

The gang!

Wild, wild horses.