Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Playing the Tourist
I'm back in Ecuador having fun traveling around with my parents. We spent last week on the beach in Puerto Lopez, near Isla de La Plata (the silver island). The island is known for its blue footed boobies as well as being a playground for the humback whales. The island is about 25 k from the beach and it was a very bumpy ride in a pretty small boat. There was a little Ecuadorian girl sitting across from me who laughed the whole time (while not exclaiming "yee haw!"). One whale came very close to the boat and you could even see it swimming under the water. There was also a mom and her baby, and the baby kept breeching and playing around. On the island we did a three mile hike through hunderds of booby birds at various states of maturation. The ones that were molting looked a little sad. There was also a sea lion playing in the surf as well as several other types of birds. The snorkeling around the island wasn't real interesting but it was nice taking a dip after the hike. While in town we saw a soccer game being played on the beach and enjoyed going to the market and eating very ripe bananas and pineapple. The president of Ecuador, Rafeal Correa, also might have been there while we were there. I say might because we didn't acutally see him. There was a big motorcade that went through town, and later there were a bounch of security people around a restaurant. We tried to peek in but I didn't see anyone that looked like him although the locals all said he was there. who knows? I don't know if I'll make another trip to the beach while in Ecuador, the bus ride was a bit too long for my taste.
The past couple of days we've been in Quito, wandering around old town and the various churches. The bicentenial of Quito is happening right now, commemerating August 10th, 1809 when a group of Ecuadorians took control of Quito from the Spaniards. Although this takeover only lasted 25 days, I guess it was considered important enough to consider it the founding date of Quito. In one of the plazas there was a military band playing and several speakers talking about the event as well as the battles when Ecuador actually gained independence. Tomorrow we head to my town and then we go to the jungle. More pics to follow!