Sunday, August 7, 2016

Ecuador: Our Day in the Amazon

The next day (27th) involved quite a bit of driving and was long, but when Marco realized how important it was to us to spend at least some time in the Amazon he adjusted our schedule a bit to make it happen. We spent all morning driving, were able to hike back through the rainforest to a beautiful waterfall. While we were enjoying our time at the waterfall it started to rain and it looked magical. It was definitely a moment when I looked around and felt so grateful for where I was. The hike back was even more tricky than the hike there because due to the rain the path was a little river and very slippery. We all wiped out multiple times...like flat on your back falls haha. I was very thankful I had decided to leave the real camera in the car where it was safe and dry! The kids absolutely loved the natural water slide. It totally tore our clothes up but was so cool! We had to try and change back into dry clothes and get to the car while staying dry which was an adventure in itself but we made it and drove back to Tena for some food before we continued on our route to Riobamba. The restaurant (Restaurante Chuquitos) had a view of the two rivers meeting up and the kids loved the food (well Preston and Ella I should say who got shrimp and LOVED them, Addie was the least fan of Ecuador food). And then we drove and drove to Riobamba, or as Marco called it, Friobamba, haha. It was crazy the difference in temperature when we arrived! Our hotel, Hacienda Abraspungo, was so great! We absolutely loved our room set up at this hotel because we were all in the same big room but there were two separate bedrooms, a little entry and one of the best bathrooms we encountered during our travels. Sadly it was 9pm when we arrived and we had to be up in the dark to eat breakfast at 5am and hit the road the next morning. We definitely wished we were there long enough to enjoy the pretty grounds in the daylight!
breakfast at the hotel in Banos before hitting the road
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It's so hard to get pictures while driving but at times I just can't help myself for trying to capture how beautiful the countryside is!
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We made it! As soon as we got out of the car we were bombarded by nature! Butterflies everywhere, crazy caterpillars and even cute pets that the kids freaked out about because they were so excited to pet them :-).
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And then we could see the big falls! The water was cold but all the kids braved it long enough to try to swim to Marco and get closer to them (you will see Addie fall off the wall in the video and she was done after that).
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you can see the "water slide" to the right in this shot...so much beauty all around us!
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When we had walked back down to where we started there was a little pool you could swim in that had a rope swing as well. The kids all tried it out a couple times before we changed and warmed up.
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we all passed out at some point on the last leg of the drive :-)
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every tunnel we went in (which was a lot those first few days) Preston liked to put his sunglasses on so it was super dark :-)
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Pit stop in Banos for bathrooms and snacks meant we had an opportunity to try the taffy I had heard they were known for. It tasted just ok but it was cool to see everyone making it. Another instance of a row of shops all selling the exact same things ;-).
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It was a happy site to see our hotel!
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the kids' room and then our room
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