Final Thoughts on Ecuador

Reading time ~2 minutes

After 18 days in Ecuador here are some final observations we had:

  • Since the year 2000, Ecuador has been using the US dollar as its national currency. This is great for avoiding foreign transaction fees and doing conversions in your head (hint: multiply by 1).
  • We took our first few long bus trips here and noticed several things:
    • These bus rides are all on coach buses, most with reclining seats, air conditioning, and bathrooms (but not all, so plan ahead - some of us learned the hard way).
    • If it’s a long ride, there will be dubbed movies. For our rides in Ecuador, they tended to be either kungfu or Adam Sandler films, usually with the volume far too loud.
    • Salesmen selling practically anything under the sun have surprising success with their captive audiences. The worst vendor was selling perfume and stinking up the entire bus, while the weirdest was a vendor selling books ranging from children’s coloring books to DIY kama sutra. I guess something for everyone, eh?
    • Food vendors are our favorites, and if you’re lucky you’ll hit the jackpot with things like delicious empanadas or some freshly sliced fruit. However, we’ve also learned that not all buses have good or even any vendors and you should always come prepared as though you won’t get fed, no matter how long the ride.
  • Speaking of buses, we didn’t see any chicken buses in Ecuador. So far the only time we’ve seen the repurposed yellow school buses have been in Guatemala.
  • Our standards for beer are changing. When things are now “decent” that means a success! At home mediocre beers were crap, but we will celebrate anything other than flavored water.
  • The Galápagos are really expensive. We wanted to go, but with roundtrip flights alone being $500/per person (not to mention all the expenses once there), we couldn’t justify it when that same amount will hopefully last us much longer in southeast Asia. We have been told that there are some islands dubbed the “poor man’s Galápagos,” so we might check those out instead.
  • Garbage trucks play music just like ice cream trucks at home. We actually only heard this in Baños, but it was still pretty awesome.
  • Our collective Spanish is improving! Vesper can speak and understand most of the time pretty well, and Laura somehow conveniently can pick up enough words when he doesn’t understand (or isn’t listening?) to fill in the gaps.

Fast facts:

  • Favorite city: Quito
  • Favorite food: grilled street kebabs
  • Favorite beer: Iguana IPA by Camino Del Sol
  • Favorite experience: Los Monos!

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