YFU Switzerland

School trip

Hey everyone,

Yes, I’m still alive 🙂

Last week I was on a school trip with my class. As I wrote already we’ve got holidays for 3 months. My class will split up when school starts again, so they decided to make a tour with an organisation that organizes tours in Ecuador. In the end we were just about 25 people, including my german friend Mia, who I could bring.

We left Portoviejo by bus (the tour included a private bus for the whole week) on tuesday evening.

Day 1

Our first stop was in Baños, a town in the highlands, but close to the “Oriente” (the rainforest part of Ecuador). The climate there is really great. In the mornings and evening it’s cool, but during the day it’s warm enough to wear a t – shirt. The town is really popular among tourists because there are many activities to do and the nature there is very beautiful.

We arrived in the morning (I barely slept in the bus, so I was quite tired). We checked in at the hotel, I’d share room with Mia and my two best ecuadorian friends, Viky and Emily. After breakfast we had a Baños city tour by our guide, Carlitos. Baños is really nice and very touristic, you see souvenir shops everywhere.

A typical shop in Baños. I liked the woman's hat.

A typical shop in Baños. I liked the woman’s hat.

The "Iglesia de la Virgen de Agua Santa"

The “Iglesia de la Virgen de Agua Santa”

The church from the inside

The church from the inside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baños is known for it’s thermic baths (that’s why it’s called Baños) and the story of the “Virgen de Agua Santa” (The virgin of the healthy water). That’s why there is a very nice church in the centre of Baños, dedicated to her.

Later we took a bus drive to the “cascada de manto novia” (the waterfall of the girlfriend). There we could do some fun things.

Getting into the "extrasafe" cabin.

Getting into the “extrasafe” cabin.

Crossing the beautiful valley

Crossing the beautiful valley

The beautiful landscape in Baños.

The beautiful landscape in Baños.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A selfie with the guide

A selfie with the guide

And there we go

And there we go

 

 

Mia and I did Canopy. That’s an activity where you slide from one side to another crossing the valley, hanging on a cable rope. I was kind of scared, because it is high, but it was really fun. Here’s a video to it, if anyone would like to see.

 

In the evening, after dinner we drove to a sightseeing point. It was beautiful there and there were many people. Women sold hot tea and food. The atmosphere was great.

Mia and me

Mia and me

Baños at night

Baños at night

Emily, Mia, me and Viky (from left to right).

Emily, Mia, me and Viky (from left to right).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2:

After breakfast we drove to Puyo, a city 1 hour away, that’s located in the Amazon area. There we went to a waterpark what was fun. Even though I didn’t go swimming. In the afternoon we drove to “el pailón del diablo”. That’s a very famous waterfall in Baños.

It was impressing to see and hear those incredible masses of water coming down every second. The water there is very clean, so we could actually drink it. We had a problem with the bus, so in the end we had to catch another bus to get back home again 😀 That was a funny adventure.

The stairs made into the mountain.

The stairs made into the mountain.

A little waterfall we saw on our way down.

A little waterfall we saw on our way down.

La cascada el pailón del diablo

La cascada el pailón del diablo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course we couldn't miss taking some fotos.

Of course we couldn’t miss taking some photos.

The waterfall made it feel as if we were standing under a rain cloud

The waterfall made it feel as if we were standing under a rain cloud

 

 

It was our last day in Baños, on day 3 we left for Quito. So here are some more pictures of it. I loved Baños! The atmosphere there is so calm and friendly and the nature is really amazing. If you’d ever go to Ecuador, I strongly recommend visiting Baños! You can do Mountainbiking and horseriding there too. 🙂

 

 

With my 3 best friends here in Ecuador

With my 3 best friends here in Ecuador

A group photo from everyone who was there.

A group photo from everyone who was there.

A street in Baños

A street in Baños

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3:

On the swing at the end of the world.

On the swing at the end of the world.

This was a Friday. We left early to visit the “casa del arbol”. There is a big swing there, where you can take really great photos when there’s a good view. Sadly we weren’t that lucky. It was misty and everything was white and grey. I still took a photo, but it doesn’t look that great.

The vulcan Tungurahua, that’s really close to la casa del arbol was active at that time, so we heard its angry thunder while swinging. It was a great experience. Swinging into the white mist over an abyss, accompanied by the sound of a raging vulcan.

 

We then got into the bus again and drove abou 3 hours to Quito, the capital of Ecuador. There we went to a mall to eat lunch and visit an ice – skating hall. Originally it was planned we’d go to visit the vulcano park. But through bad time management and rain we couldn’t do that. I was really sad about that. We still got a short old town tour in the dark night. Not really what I had hoped for. Also it was really cold in Quito and later in the bus. That night we drove to Atacames, a city at the coast. I barely slept.

 

Day 4:

Beach day! Atacames is a beautiful beach place. We chilled at the beach and the pool at the hotel, ate good sea food and just had a great day. It was really fun there and the beach feeling was present everywhere. I even saw some white tourists. I really liked that day. It was a lot of fun with my friends and classmates. In the night we had a little “party” at the beach. It was awesome 😀

The beautiful sea in Atacames.

The beautiful sea in Atacames.

After some water adventure

After some water adventure

"La fiesta blanca" in the night

“La fiesta blanca” in the night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5:

This was our very last day together. In the afternoon after a late breakfast we drove about 3 hours to Canoa. That is a beach town with many argentinian tourists. There we made a bonfire and said goodbye. It got a little emotional, because it would be the last day my class would be united like this. At about 10 o’clock in the evening we arrived in Portoviejo. Mia stayed at my house that night to sleep.

Canoa beach

Canoa beach

Mia, me and some friends from my class

Mia, me and some friends from my class

Enjoying the sunset with Emily

Enjoying the sunset with Emily

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All together I have nothing more to say than: This was one of the best week in my whole exchange year!

It was so beautiful to see more of this amazing country and getting to know my ecuadorian friends (plus the german one 😉 ) better.

I’m pretty sure this week will have a big impact on the 3,5 months that are left over from my exchange year. I think this was the moment I really fell in love with the beautiful Ecuador. I’m happy and that’s all I’ve asked for all these 6 months I’ve often felt like total crap.

 

I’m very thankful I got to experience all this!

 

Lots of love

Annette

Ps: Sorry this became a monster blog post again