Part I: The Rainforest
Quito Travel Blog› entry 44 of 54 › view all entries
January 7th, 2007 – by: hudonnoodles
Anyways, just to give you an update. On the plane ride to Ecuador we had a huge delay in Texas because of a hyrdolics problem, however, we arrived at our hostel by 1:30am and I was in bed by 2:00am for a 6:00am wake up call. On the plane ride over I finished reading Confessions of an Economic Hitman. I suggest everyone read this book. It is wicked interesting and gave me a lot of insight (and factual) information on just how detrimental some of the large United States corporations are in developing countries, like Ecuador. The most interesting part about reading this book was the drive through Quito, Ecuador AFTER. It was completely true and gave me a different perspective into the many gas stations, car dealerships and hotels in an otherwise poor country.
Now for the rainforest. We had an 11 hour drive up to this small Quichua community north of Quito. We arrived after dark and had a 45 minute hike in the rainforest with our day packs just to get to the village. It was muddy and VERY steep. But I survived. The entire stay in the village included strenuous hikes that involved learning about the medicinal purposes of different bugs and plants while learning more about the culture through talks with the guides. Eco-Tourism is a huge part of their culture now. There are definitely pros and cons that go along with this because while they are constantly having visitors, they are making money and preserving a culture in an otherwise changing environment.
Not only that, but in terms of the actual rainforest...it was awe-inspiring. The hikes were long, gruelling and exhausting. But at the end of the week a few of the Quechua men commented about my athleticism and endurance in the hikes. I felt really great about that because I made an extended effort to really push myself and get both the physical, mental and intellectual value out of the hikes and talks.
I have about 2 minutes left on my internet time. So I need to cut this short.
Right now Im about 40 minutes outside of Quito at a really nice and old hotelienda.
Tomorrow morning we will be leaving for the Cloudforest, but we get a bit of a break from the bugs and ¨roughing¨ tonight.
Much love, Jen
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