To make a long story short, I left Quito and first went to the Ecuadorian coast, then back up into the Andes, and finally to the beautiful center of Vilcabamba. Next it was off to Peru for a quick stop in the far north for some spicy, street vendor cebiche al pescado, a 22 hour bus ride to the capital of Lima, and then another 24 hours to Cusco. Cusco, as you probably know, was the capital of the Inca empire and now the jump-off point for the ridiculously popular gringo mecca of Macchu Pichu. I forewent this Disneyland of South America for the Sacred Inca Valley and some less known (read: way cheaper) Incan sites–which I found quite spectacular.
Following are some snapshots from the journey, which has mainly included hitchhiking to unknown destinations, sleeping in tents, couchsurfing, long long bus rides, and lots of Spanglish haggling. Really, not the worst way to spend a summer….
|We stayed with a local family who welcomed us to use their kitchen and share comida, a lovely experience and great example of the how open Ecuadorian culture can be|
|lunch at the mirador, and a perfect picture capturing the food I ate for about 2 weeks straight from Ecuador to Peru|
|(*note: it was very very cold, hence the non-smile)|
Well, my backpacking has come to an end (for now). Today I purchased my tickets onwards to Chile, and leave for Santiago in a few days. I am moving there with a few potential teaching jobs (and a positive attitude), hoping to make it work. Chile and Argentina have been my South American goals since the get-go, so I am really excited for this next chapter.
Missing everybody back home, and who knows, could be seeing you all very soon! Wish me luck, besos a todas.