As of today I only have 6 weeks left here. That’s a pretty crazy thing to think about. I’ve known that I wanted to study abroad since I was in high school and to think that’s it’s coming to a close very quickly, well that’s just a strange thought. This incredible, wild, eye opening experience is going to wind down soon and I don’t know how to feel about it. Luckily I still have 6 weeks to enjoy this country and to continue to learn as much as I can from every encounter with the people and culture. So here’s to 6 more weeks of living an Ecuadorian life!
This weekend my friends and I headed to the coast. This time we went to a town called Puerto López that is about 8 hours away by bus. The first day we pretty much just hung out at the beach (in the shade of course because last time we went to the beach we learned our lesson about sunburns…), ate good food, and swam in the Pacific. It was nice to relax and get away from life in the city.
The next day we went to an island called Isla de la Plata. We took an hour long boat ride to the island and then went on a two hour hike. The hike wasn’t difficult, however I do think that I sweat more on that hike than I ever have in my whole life. The sun in Ecuador is no joke. On the hike we saw a few different types of birds, tropical flowers, and amazing views of the clear blue ocean. It was truly paradise. After the hike we got back on the boat to go snorkeling. The only other time I had snorkeled was in the glorious Geneva Lake in Wisconsin, which I don’t know if it counts because you can’t see a thing in that lake. Snorkeling here was way better (sorry Wisconsin). The water was so blue, tropical fish swam right next to me, and we were right above a coral reef which was pretty cool. After a while we got back in the boat to head back to Puerto López. The rest of the night was spent getting dinner, enjoying the beach a bit more, and hanging out in the hostel.
On our final day we went to a beach that was about 15 minutes away from where we were staying. The beach is called Playa de los Frailes and is located inside a national park. There was barely anybody at the beach which was weird because it was so beautiful. Right away we all ran into the water and some of us were taken aback (literally) more than others. Two of my friends and I got caught where the waves break and may have had an experience doing some somersaults underwater… but we got out just fine and figured out the better places to be in the water. After that we spent so much time jumping over waves and soaking in our last hours in the ocean that we could. We brought our lunches and had a little picnic on the beach, definitely felt like a family vacation. Later in the day we took a walk along the shore and climbed around on some rock formations at the end of the beach. Eventually we had to leave the beach to get back to town and grab dinner before going back to Quito on a night bus.
Overall it was such a fun weekend that was filled with equal parts adventure and relaxation. I’m not much of a beach person, honestly I’d rather be exploring a city or doing more hiking, but the beach was a nice break and being in the sun was incredibly good (I did get sunburnt again F.Y.I., but I can only reapply sunscreen so many times, ya know?). I love these weekends that we have to travel and experience different parts of the country. It’s definitely one of the best parts about being in Ecuador.
Soon I’ll be going to the Galapagos Islands which I’m psyched for and I can’t wait for all that the island has to offer. This weekend I’ll be in Quito and as of right now I don’t really have a ton of plans, which is kind of refreshing. Study abroad has been packed with traveling and activities (that I love), but it will be good to slow down and to not feel obligated to be somewhere or to fill my time. I can rest and enjoy a weekend in my city. 6 weeks left? Time to soak it all in.