Tag Archives | Ecuador

Modern Day Life in the Amazon Jungle

“We’ve seen more of the world in one day than she has in her whole life,” said Sam, disbelievingly, as we trudged back through the humid Amazon jungle. We’d been out on a day’s hike to reach a secluded waterfall, and the young Ecuadorian girl skipping along beside us had acted as our guide for […]

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The Spanish Challenge: Achieve Fluency Before Leaving South America

Six months ago, I relocated to Ecuador, a Spanish speaking country, with little to no Spanish speaking skills of my own. I moved in with a host family, started volunteering as an English teacher at a local high school, and attempted the task of learning Spanish. Half a year later and I’m sad to say […]

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Snorkelling with Sharks at San Cristóbal

“Tiburones! Tiburones abajo!” My heart sank. Only an hour before, I’d learnt that this was the Spanish word for sharks. Plural. And now I was about to swim over a whole school of them. “Los tiburones están aquí!!” I got the distinct impression our snorkelling guide was about to have a heart attack if I […]

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Six Days for $900: Doing the Galapagos on a Budget

“How cheap can we really be in the Galapagos?!” Sherri’s voice carried quickly in the early morning air, as a mother walking her son to school looked back over her shoulder at us. Along the road, cars filled with diving gear and men in board shorts passed by. We were waiting for our tour guide to […]

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Colour, Chaos and Crazy Graffiti: Travelling the Age Gap

“Do you feel older than us?” asked Mhairi, as we sat in a cosy cafe on a Wednesday afternoon, discussing our travelling plans for the months ahead. I didn’t know how to answer for a minute. It’s a pretty loaded question to be honest, particularly when you’ve chosen to spend six months of your life […]

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Eating All the Food in Ecuador

As is often the way when travelling, my daily lifestyle in Cuenca tends to revolve around food. More specifically, the time of day and my location in the city dictates what exactly I’ll be eating. So there’s a strong likelihood that a bowl of fruit salad will be sat in front of me at 10:20 […]

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A Fiesta of Fireworks at School Founder’s Day

It’s been two months since I started working at Collegio Miguel Merchan as a voluntary English teacher. In that timeframe, there a few things I’ve become certain of. Firstly, teaching is not as easy as I thought. Secondly, there are elements of the Ecuadorian school system that I can never hope to understand. And finally? […]

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Cuenca to Cusco and Back Again: the Pitfalls of Planning a Trip to Peru

I stood in the small office, studiously trying to avoid the unflinching gaze of a prostrate Jesus. Under his crucified frame, a nun was peering at a computer screen, clicking idly through her Facebook page. “So…is it ok if I go to Peru next week?” I shifted uncomfortably as the nun looked me up and […]

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Learning the Ropes at the Rodeo

“Hola Piña! Como vas?!” I turned around for the fifth time in half an hour to see a group of girls eagerly clambering down the stone bleachers towards us. In front of me, the tall figure of ‘Piña’ – otherwise known as Jose, and still further known as my friend Sherri’s host brother – stretched […]

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An Enlightening Easter in Montañita

“It’s basically Ecuador’s equivalent of Zante!” The words echoed through my head at 7am, as we bundled bags and bodies into the bus for a seven hour ride to Montañita. The tiny coastal town, encompassing just a handful of streets and a long stretch of beach, is a mecca for travellers, hippies and surfers, both […]

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