A Travellerspoint blog

Carnival

What a week

sunny 35 °C
View Crossing the Equator on kearlkozby's travel map.

First of all, I have to apologize for how long this entry is going to be. I tried to no avail to break up the stories I have accumulated on my week of personal travel with three others. Ecuador has so much to offer and each day can be written like its own little tall tale.

The four of us, David (having just gotten out of the hospital no more than seven hours earlier), Katie, Nick, and I, on Thursday, took a bus that crossed the entire country of Ecuador, the equator, and some of the largest banana plantations in the world in order to arrive at our destination of Esmeraldas. We inquired about the length of time it would take for such a journey and all the estimates ranged from twelve to thirteen hours. But those were favorable estimates for a week after rains on the Andean slopes that caused more than half of the roads to be closed due to mudslides. It took us seventeen hours. Arriving with the sun directly overhead, beating down on us, encouraged us to quickly find a hotel rather than bake while napping in the park plaza. We stayed the night in the beach town of Esmeraldas called Las Palmas. The scene was more or less as depressing as one can get for an equatorial beach. Esmeraldas is home to the pipeline that traverses over the Andes and down into the Oriente Amazonian rainforest where they pump up more than 50% of the countries revenue in "black gold." The horizon was littered with oil tankers each going to all the different parts of the world. In the actual town of Esmeraldas we explored what seem to be more like a Caribbean town, finding music stores for which to come back to. We also ran into a Tía store for some much need groceries and water, buying our first bundle of Club Social crackers for David's diet. We kept Club Social in business with the amount that we bought over the course of the week. We found nothing better for a weak stomach. The following night, after living the life in our air-conditioned room, we headed southwest along the coast to Atacames. In Atacames, we hopped on the ecotaxi, a motorcycle attached with a carriage in front (to obstruct the vision of the driver), until we arrived at the beach where already the stands bordering the beach were blasting their reggaeton. We had reservation through Narcisa so as to have a place during a very busy Carnival in this French Quarter style party strip but on first look we knew it wasn't worth $15 a night. Inside a barbershop, overlooking a bar without a window, and no toilet seat on the toilet helped convince us to move on and find a different place to stay. After a few rejections because of the high prices, we came upon Hostal Jennifer, which was actually in the guidebook. They gave us a bargain price of $12 a night if we signed for three consecutive nights. We took it for the four hammocks and mildly quieter atmosphere. The rest of the day was spent looking for a bathing suit and some flip-flops and then body surfing on the waves of a beach much more acceptable than that in Las Palmas. Each passing day added hundreds and hundreds of more people arrived at the beach, littering it, literally, with people. We took in one night of the party, and that was all I could really handle. We stopped into our first bar-hut looking for some flavorful mixed drinks but I made the wrong choice. Before thinking it through I had ordered "la cucaracha" for its name, meaning "the cockroach." I was not on the top of my game. I got a bowl of tequila and coco flavor literally on fire. I realized later I was supposed to drink it while on fire, but the surprise of it caused me to blow it out like it was an unintentional fire. It was the strongest drink I've ever tasted, and hope to ever taste. Katie, after seeing my reaction to it, wanted to give it a try and immediately spewed it all over me. Only after a few sips, chased down with David's coke, I gave up on the drink and we danced a little to the reggaeton being played. We chose the right bar to be at because I got myself on Ecuadorian television. Afterwards, we took a little time to try and cool off before trying another place where I chose not to make the same mistake again with guessing at a mixed drink and ordered simply "tropical drink." It tasted like pineapple juice and nothing more. A little upsetting. The culture on the beach was quite interesting indeed. Lots of wandering people without choosing a place to sit and dance perhaps. All of the discobars and things in an actual building were for the most part empty. And without bathrooms, drunken guys lined the surf to relieve themselves. Quite an interesting time. The party never really stopped either. The music only subsided when the sun rose again, but only for a few hours before you could hear the bass beats of reggaeton to call breakfast. The following day, David had a reaction to eggs that he ate for breakfast and his health turned very sour. We got close to taking him to the hospital or finding him a way back to Cuenca. It didn't take long for someone to get sick. That night he got to feeling better but none of us really wanted to take part in the activities over night and spent most of the time lounging in the hammocks sharing stories. I indulged in some ice cream in the bottom half of a pineapple, called piña hawaiiana. I was already missing it by the time I finished.

After wearing ourselves down with the high powered experience of Atacames, we headed south down the coast to arrive eventually at Canoa, a small beach town known for it's large beaches and little population. We got an unexpected treat on the bus rides though. It was probably one of my favorite days on the entire trip. We started on a late morning out of Atacames and caught a bus to Mensaje where we could another bus, and then another to arrive at Perdenales where at last we could get a bus to Canoa. The bus rides drove through scenic seaside vistas where out of the green hills of tropical flora came a beautiful view of the Pacific. But most of the enjoyment hailed from the people that we saw. The first bus had a late blooming drunk. He very well could have been up all night, but he was drunker than ever and carrying a bottle of Pilsener. It didn't take long for him to pass out. No one really made a move to help or punish him, only looks and laughs. When we jumped out to catch the next bus, sir drinks-a-lot got the boot. Our next bus pulled up almost immediately. The town we were in, if you can even called one, was a crossroads that housed no more than ten building, all home to vendors of you name it for the buses that drive through. The driver made a pit stop here so we had plenty of waiting time in the center of the road, enough time for Sir drinks-a-lot to purchase a new bottle of Pilsener to spill when he passes out a second time. But David and I sought the seats up front away from the commotion he was bound to cause. The sight to have on this bus was the ayudante, who took the money, provided the music, and hurried the traffic in and out of the bus. He was lost in the culture of the late eighties and early nineties. We listened to essentially the soundtrack to Rocky. We also heard some "Eye of the Tiger" and "Highway to the Dangerzone." Not only was his musical tastes from the late eighties and early nineties but he looked like he came straight out of Fresh Prince of Bel Air. The white rimmed bug-eyed glasses was just icing on the cake. The bus change to go to Perdenales was even more abrupt than the previous one. We hopped of the bus midway down the street to get into a extended open-air hummer-like bus, more common in the north coast of Ecuador. It was only a 50km drive so we figured it would not take more than an hour and a half but the road conditions pushed back our expectations and it took more like two and a half hours. That's a whopping 13km/hr, that's equivalent to less than 10 miles/hr. The road was more like a jungle four-wheel drive road than a coastal highway. There were small indigenous communities built up every ten minutes or so, each bearing three or four kids looking to celebrate Carnival. Like everywhere in Ecuador, there are speed bumps at the most unnecessary points. Unfortunately they were right in the heart of every little community. Prime position for the kids to hurl buckets of water on to everyone stuck in the bus. I got absolutely soaked by the time we pulled into Perdenales. It didn't really matter because the splash mobile came to greet us. This was true anywhere you were around the time of Carnival, certainly true in Cuenca. There would be a crowd of teenagers in the back of a slow moving pickup truck with a huge vat of water for a large supply of these raids on the innocent. We nearly made it the entire two hour wait without being hit, but on the walk to the the bus station, we were spotted and thoroughly drenched. On the bus we got the best American culture, the movie "the Marine." It was your classic stereotypical American film with action scenes every ten minutes, starting in the first two minutes, with the main character in Iraq, killing hundreds of terrorists in the most absurd ways. I was pretty embarrassed to be sitting there in the bus front row, and secretly hoped that no one paid any attention. The volume shorted out midway on the drive, and possibly the most peculiar thing was to see more than one person concerned about turning it up again. One thing is for sure, Ecuadorians love their absurd action. Here's a quick list of some of the movies I've seen on buses: The Fast and the Furious, The Scorpion King, The Medallion, and the Terminator.

Anyway, we finally got into Canoa in the dark, dusty town. Tired and had no idea where to go, we scoped out the places in the lonely planet guide. Everyone was way over priced for a hut with a mosquito net. What we did find was the best room in Canoa for a mere $8 a night. What a score! The fifth story, right on the beach with a cool breeze looking straight at the setting sun. It was a little like heaven. And what more, but Canoa had pancakes to feed our craving in the morning. The next day we spent the day in the corner of a very pristine beach where crabs still lived in their burrowed holes moving back and forth to their homes with any movement and the surf was spotless. We really were living the life. Everyone was near perfect health. Of course that had to change overnight. I got a little over zealous with the good food that we found here and ordered veggie spaghetti, with uncooked vegetables. The onions, which I was told not to eat before going to the coast, were potent. I woke up at 4 in the morning to unbearable pains in my stomach, throwing up, and diarrhea. It was the most sick I think I have ever felt. I had to get an injection and take some crazy amount of pills just to avoid getting an IV. Phew. The next morning I was able to get out of bed to take the long trip down the coast to Montañita. Montañita is more or less a surfer town, caulk full of gringos. We made a similar fantastic find here as we did in Canoa, we scored an $8 room high in a building over looking the bog/swamp near the ocean, just about the best you could find in this far too ritzy coast town. I had to avoid eating the fantastic international food though. I missed my last chance of getting Pad Thai until I return the states more than likely. And then the following morning, Saturday, we found the best pancake place in the world. Oh I was jealous. Eating beans and rice and snacking on crackers to stave off my hunger was my diet for three days. The next morning I felt 100% and had some of those pancakes to die for. Banana an chocolate. Ohhh so good.

The bus back to Cuenca was pretty uneventful. We passed through Guayaquil, surging with people. The bus depot was a three story high bus stop with over 200 terminals! From there we went up the unbelievably steep Andes, fishtailing the turns in the pouring rain, just missing the possibilities of bus plunge. I was finally able to breath by the time we reached Cajas national park, but then I lost it again. The views were breath-taking. Pristine lakes, mountain peaks showing bare rock cliffs, and not a tree in sight to block the view of the sunset and then moonlit scenery. I have to go back! I would stay weeks or months there if I could. Absolutely beautiful, like nothing I've seen before. I got back into Cuenca at 8:30 on Sunday, only to wake up again less than eleven hours later for school once again.

Posted by kearlkozby 09:27 Archived in Ecuador Tagged tourist_sites Comments (1)

Carnival is Coming

Feeling better during a rainy weekend

rain 26 °C

After a long night of basically torrential downpour, I asked my sister if this was an unusual occurance, and her answer was "the rains come for Carnival." I progressively got better of the course of the week and as I entered the weekend was feeling almost fully back up to speed.

Friday night I made sure of it by sleeping well over twelve hours in the course of naps and sleep. So come Saturday, with nothing to do, I made my way downtown alone on a hope to find something to entertain myself with the absence of half the group on a large camping trip and the other half seemingly sick. I took the fourteen bus, which is the one that takes me from my house to school, on the continued route to find out just where it turns back around to head east again. After thirty minutes I found out that the furthest stop is at a huge market called feria libre. There I heard about a huge clothes market on Wednesdays that I think I will take advantage of on future occasions. But this Saturday, I also wanted to explore the park nearby my house before the rains started. The park is definitely the biggest of Cuenca, spanning the full distance between its two major rivers until they come to an unremarkable juncture when they cross paths. The park however was loaded with people on their weekend, enjoying the multitude of soccer fields, playgrounds, a pedal boat pond, and plenty of other places to either take in the sun or enjoy the shade of the tall eucalyptus trees. It is a place I hope to take advantage of later, if the rivers don't rise to swallow the park whole. Saturday night I got a call from Peter, who invited me to join him for a movie. I saw "When a Stranger Calls," which for a horror was not the worst blockbuster movie ever made.

Sunday, I got another call, an invitation to go to the market, which I thought would be a good way to get out of going to Sig Sig in the third episode of Zach as a third party to parental dating. So I took the offer and found myself going back to Guaylaceo and Chordoleg for the second time in three weeks to see the fiesta in the river and also the market full of fresh fruit with Morgan and Rachel. There, I had my fair share of mango, as it was only $.20/mango. But of course, as if I had GPS tagging on me, I managed to find myself where my host mom and her boyfriend were. They caught me red-handed walking among the throng of thousands of visitors for market day. I also did a more expansive tour of the jewelry shops of Chordoleg, the consequence of accepting to go to the a pair of girls to market day. So after thirty-five nauseating hours they finally gave into the requests to return home. Unfortunately at that exact moment came the rain. And so every single visitor of market day made the exact same decision as we did. After waiting a good thirty minutes in stand-still traffic right next to the bus station, hoping for the opportune time to just out and run for cover, we realized a growing hunger. The three of us went back into the market and got hit by another water bomb, while it was raining no less!! These kids take the game to new limits. I am going to have to stock pile for Esmeraldas I think for at least a respectable vendetta. At any rate, when we finally did take the bus back, it took two hours rather than one, and drained what energy I had from the ripe mangoes.

On Monday, we had a field trip with our anthropology class to Sig Sig in order to see Inca and Cañari ruins, but my day started out with a good twist. I planned out what seemed to me more than ample amount of time to arrive at school at the scheduled 8am departure, only that I made one mistake, a mistake I won't make again. Instead of taking the bus at the regular bus stop, I thought I would catch the bus empty before it seemingly goes around the corner and is always full. Instead, what I did was find myself going over the hills into towns in the opposite direction my supposed destination. I kept reassuring myself that the bus would just turn around and it wasn't worth jumping off and paying another fare to catch the same line going in the correct direction. Only after twenty minutes of falsely calming my growing anxiety did I turn to ask when in fact the bus returned towards Cuenca. The fashionably dressed cholo cuencana said "mmm, ten more minutes? This bus goes to one more town." I looked down at my watch. 750. I jumped of the moving bus and made my way with a added haste in my pace to scale the hill back to the town of Valle where I could catch the bus back in town. Then my I tried to call to inform everyone of my situation. Out of minutes. Ultimately, I was half an hour late, holding up the bus headed for Sig Sig, whose seats were already full. I squeezed into the seat accompanied with Xenia, the large lassie-breed dog of our anthropology professor, Lynn. After repressing the strong feeling of guilt, I spent the rest of the day enjoying the sites of Sig Sig and the country surrounding. I walked my first, but not last Incan road, carved below the natural grade of the slopes in the hills, and saw many other unusual and unexplained building built before the Spanish arrival. Even repeating for emphasis the beauty of the vistas does not do the scenic views any justice. I have come to the conclusion that, at least for the western hemisphere, you have not experienced mountains until you have seen the Andes.

Now I am in the heart of a three day week of school before my early departure for Esmeraldas. I am heading off Thursday night at six in order to arrive in Esmeraldas at six, twelve hours later. My energy is booming again with the excitement about an opportunity to experience South America outside of the fairly structured program of the overseas department. I have ten days to soak in, or reflect (hopefully) as much sun as I can on the beaches of northern Ecuador.

Posted by kearlkozby 11:43 Archived in Ecuador Tagged preparation Comments (2)

Ecuador on the Inside

What I wasn't expecting for another two months

sunny 30 °C

Well, I think I have parasites or amoeba in my intestines. It isn't a pleasant experience. I don't really know what to fault for it as I have had far too many new foods and drinks in the past weeks to really claim that any one thing caused it. The pain started about three days ago and hasn't really let up. It hits me strong when I have any type of sugary delicacy. How unfortunate, as it was the birthday for one of my classmates only yesterday and there has been interesting foods at every destination. Outside of what is festering inside me, life hasn't changed much as expected while in school. I am beginning to enjoy my conservation biology course a lot more now that we are starting into the curriculum. It has pretty much defined what I have studied in the past year or so, from biological environmentalism to even ecological economics. My anthropology class is quite interesting. We are learning about some of the pre-Incan history of our area. The reading is dense but quite rewarding, as is the case with most historically based classes I feel. Tomorrow is a festival of food... hurray... Everyone in the group is making one to two Ecuadorian dishes with their family for a big feast during our morning and lunch tomorrow. I would be more ecstatic if I were feeling better. I only hope that it is a parasite so that I can get some antibiotics that are more readily available to deal with the situation. Dealing with amoeba is a different method all together. It's fortunate that so many people here have traveled and know how to deal with parasites and amoeba, as they have had them before. I hope by next time, I will be up and healthy, readying myself for the unique experiences that await in Esmeraldas.

Posted by kearlkozby 08:36 Archived in Ecuador Tagged health_and_medicine Comments (2)

A Weekend On the Coast

More of a culture shock

sunny 29 °C

This week I went to the coast with my host mom and her boyfriend, Ricardo, on episode two of Zach as third party to parental dating. This however was a much more extended drive as we descended out of the Andes which calls for a much longer drive that the distance would suggest. But of course the trip was absolutely gorgeous. We stayed at the home of Ricardo's sister. The home is situated in Pasaje, the banana crop country. There were three brothers and it was pretty entertaining to be around kids younger than me, because I have never been an older brother to anyone. I think I will be satisfied with being younger, though. Too much call for your attention when you are the older sibling, but I think I have three new fans of my life here in Ecuador. At any rate, we went to the port of Machala, which is the banana capital of the world. Huge, HUGE barges were in the port that were full of bananas, and apparently they don't even ship like half of their banana crop because of bruises or imperfections of any sort. Only the perfect bananas are exported. But after seeing the extent of the crops in all my driving in the coastal land, I can believe it. They were around every bend. It was like going a constant grove of banana trees, narrowing highways and encroaching on the villages. Machala was pretty clean for the most part, outside of the port water which was littered with everything imaginable. That night I was "hooked up" with a "date" with the next door neighbor, in what seems to be quite common. It was more of a game for the parents to stir up relationships amongst their children. So I got led into it believing that I was going to get some salsa lessons. It is hard to describe with words what it was like being pampered by my parents for a date, but I think their incessant questioning on my interest in my date and a raise of the eyebrows when two children of the opposite sex were in the room gives you some idea of their behavior. But the three of us, Martín, my date, and I, all dressed for a prom, crammed ourselves in a car with the middle brother, Domingo, and Ricardo on a trip to find a discobar in Machala. When we finally decided upon one, after forty minutes of driving in circles around the equivalent to 6th street in Austin (I swear Ecuadorians can take the longest time to make a decision), we filled out into the throng of liquored Machalans out in the streets. We were given a little over an hour for our dates (as Martín paired up with my date's friend) until our safest ride home, a waiting father, would leave. Instead of salsa, we came to a discobar playing reggaeton. After an hour, I needed a drink. The following morning was more or less a slow one. It was falsely assumed that we would have an early morning trip to the beach. At around one, we arrived to more or less the "pristine" beach to the north of Machala. The culture was no less peculiar, but I can't give a current comparison to that of the states as I have avoided an effort to enjoy the ocean in recent years. The water was quite warm and loaded in silt and sediment from the closeby river. It is comparable to the Texas coast, however the water is much warmer still. I strayed away from spending my time neck deep in the ocean as everyone else tended to do. Instead I enjoyed a still different culture around me. There were vendors selling live baby shark, live crab, live shrimp, you get the idea. Everything still alive. I feasted on a banana cuisine, one of many types they had. This one in particular was cooked until charred on the outside, cut open, reveiling a soft inside, and then stuffed with queso. I was a little tenative at the idea of cheese with a banana, but I was pleasantly supprised by the lack of flavor from the banana. And of course it was cheap. The whole experience on the beach cost nothing more than $4, feeding the whole group with the banana con queso, drinks, and parking. It marked the end of my stay in Pasaje and the southern coast of Ecuador. I brought home with me my souvenir, sun burnt feet, what's new? But perhaps the most culturally and interesting part of the trip came in the drives to and from Cuenca. The culture shock was quite intense compared to what I have been prone to seeing here. Near our residence in Pasaje was a canal, entirely polluted with unsupervised children scrounging around for entertainment; in the high Andean valleys, I observed Qichua children, who still speak the Incan language, drinking alongside cows in troughs. Equally powerful were the geological and ecological areas we traversed as we ascended into the Andes. The Andes begin abruptly from the coastal flat land marshes up to four thousand meters. There were three ecological niches before we reached the summit of our drive as well. As we climbed out of the banana plantations, we entered what is called the dry tropical forests, which have naturally growing banana plants and high towering trees. Quite abruptly, as we curved around a significantly tall peak, were the dry mountains. No vegetation grows here, there is only the browns and grays of exposed rock that is steeper than any mountains I have seen. Here the tributaries leading into the brown river far below travel greater distances vertically than they do horizontally. And then at last we reach what is the cloud forest. At this time it was getting dark and the fog was so dense you could not see the pavement that your car drove on. It was unbelievably frightening and like a complete dream, driving as if in the clouds of a dream. Then we broke clear of the clouds, right as we reached the summit of our pass, and there was the full moon in a completely clear night. It was the brightest night I have seen since New Mexico last month, when we drove in the snow without having to use headlights. Coming out of the clouds and into this vast light of the moon was something like coming upon the pearly gates. Around us were yet higher peaks reaching further up into the heavens, blanketed in the fog that we escaped. It was quite an experience all around. I have another nine days in which I plan to make another local trip during the weekend, until I have a week of individual travel during Carnival. I am going to be going across the country to Esmeraldas by bus starting Friday night! I am, to say the least, estatic about the trip!

Posted by kearlkozby 14:50 Archived in Ecuador Tagged automotive Comments (0)

Not a Perfect Paradise

A couple of reality checks in Cuenca

semi-overcast 29 °C

I have been keeping these encounters under the table since arriving in South America just so that anyone reading can know that I am still safely in one piece, but now that you are aware of my safety, I wanted to share some of my quick and intermittent confrontations with the darker side of Cuenca. Going back to the last night that Katie was here in Cuenca, last Tuesday, our group had our first experience with thievery. We were having a fantastic dinner at a Columbian restaurant that I think I previously mentioned. We were all pretty absorbed in our own conversations but with a little bit of examination of our atmosphere I spotted two pretty sketchy characters. They appeared not to be devoted to a dinner in this restaurant, and one of the two men seemed to concentrate his attention on our group. It was really our own fault for he even had an appearance that should provoke some cautious behavior. But at any rate when we left the restaurant one of our group members had their backpack stolen during the time we had dinner. The group came to the conclusion that it must have been the wiry-haired man who left prematurely from the restaurant. Wednesday, was caulk full of encounters. Over the noon hours, I decided to skip lunch back home and make an effort to get things done around the city. I went to the post office which is stationed only four blocks from school in order to drop of some letters I had accumulated. After exiting the post office, having felt successful of my transaction, I had an encounter with a quite physical beggar. This man spotted me from across the street as I left the post office and took the effort to hassle me for money. He stepped in front of me and gave the motions of every beggar pulling his had out of his pocket, palm up. But this was different than the other encounters because he impeded my travel. The sidewalk, first of all, was narrow, sandwiched between a high wall and the busy traffic of the street. My directions of escape were simply straight forward or backward, and I wanted to give him no opportunity for him to steal anything from my backpack, so I made a motion to the mute beggar that I was not going to give him any money, and went for my first option of walking by him. But he pushed me back and up against the wall, and again indicated his intentions only this time more aggressively desiring my donation. Again I tried to walk by but he blocked my passage. I just took that to mean I can do the same so I pushed him aside and walked by. That was it, but it makes me a little more wary of even the dangers on the same block as the post office and now I understand the absurd security measures they've taken at the post office. Then further on in the day I saw the same wiry-haired criminal from the night before in front of me on my walk home from school. We stared each other down and I kept my eyes trained on him even as I passed, and he tried to break the aggressive tension with an "Hola." It is common, now that I have found myself in some predicaments and taken a more aggressive stance when confronting others, that these characters do not like to maintain that aggression and try to break it by becoming friendly. But the look on his face conveyed to me that he was clearly the thief from the prior night. And then my last little scare came last night. For the past two nights, I have been testing the waters of curfew, and walking closer and closer to 8pm. It gets dark here around 715, and significantly dark on the last half of my walk from school. But I have always been wary of this and kept vigilant while walking by the hospital and the dark abyss that is the park during the day. But last night, gave me more reason to be concerned about the night walks. I approached the front gate of the hospital which marks roughly the halfway mark on my walk home, and there was a man standing at the gate peering in, which is not entirely uncommon, as many people look to be more suspicious than they are, but as I approached he turned towards me and I got a clear look into his face. He said to me, "Ayudame! Ayudame!" ("help me! help me!). His nose was broken and flowing from was fresh blood that you could clearly seen in the faint light from the bridge lights I had already past. It appeared that he had had a tussle with someone and was punched squarely in the nose. Of course I wanted nothing to do with him, so I passed him by, but the night life on the last half of my walk can be clearly represented by him. I've been much more wary of the cars here as well, mainly because of "bombas de agua" which can fly when you least expect it. Those are water balloons that everyone throws as a game primarily during Carnival, but not limited to it. Eggs, buckets of water, and balloons filled with pig's blood are apparently added to the weaponry during Carnival, when no one is spared. I don't really look forward to that, but I guess it is all in the wild anarchy of that week.

Anyway, I just wanted to relay some of the stories that clearly make this experience much more interesting. On a lighter note, I am going to be going to the beach this weekend with my host mom and her boyfriend (another awkward date that I will be a part of, but I couldn't resist a free trip to the beach). I have also decided on my plans for Carnival, which is now in two weeks. I am going with three others to Esmeraldas and other coastal towns further north than the huge city of Guayaquil. I'll keep you posted on the events of the coming weeks, but Carnival is where my attention is being spent. I expect a well-rounded trip with Afro-American music, the Pacific Ocean, the Equatorial Sun, and the dirty city of Esmeraldas.

Posted by kearlkozby 10:43 Archived in Ecuador Tagged tips_and_tricks Comments (0)

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