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South America
-- Ecuador --

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      I blew through Ecuador this time, traveling every day in a push to get to Colombia and look around before my flight out. I refused to take overnight buses because I can't sleep on them and you can't see anything. In these countries you want to see it all as it's so green and pretty--I do, anyway.
      I tried to see some new places this time so I went to Vilcabamba, Cuenca (finally renovated), Latacunga, and Tulcan. It was too much time on the bus, though, as the roads are awful and the drivers not much better.
      Ecuador, along with Panama, uses the US dollar as its currency, but not thinking in dollars, when I go to a guest house and am told a room is $5, I think to myself, "Let's see, how many (Peruvian) soles is that?"

      This was literally just across the border, less than 30 meters. I have never seen anything like this. The cat would let the monkey climb all over him. Amazing.

      I had hardly seen green since I left Argentina as it's all desert. I had met travelers in Peru and Bolivia who were heading southward and they would ask me, "When will I see green again?" The other photo is of an Israeli traveler's leg.

      These two photos are from Vilcabamba, a place gaining in popularity with foreigners for its vibe, climate and small size. I liked it, too, but found it a little too small to linger long. As I am wont to do, I stayed in the cheapest place in town ($5) and found this contraption as the shower. It is quite common in South America, actually, though it looks like an imminent electrocution.

      The bus driver and his assistant noshing on fritada.

      The scenery is fantastic for the entire length of the country, I can attest. It is intensely farmed where possible.

      Leaving Ecuador. Border towns are always scummy and potentially dangerous places for theft, but this wasn't bad.

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Brazil Paraguay Argentina Chile Bolivia Peru Ecuador Colombia

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