My 4 Days In Ecuador

Ecuador was AMAZING! 

Day one I went and visited a Cacao Plantation where my group and I saw the process of how chocolate was made from figuring out how to tell when the cacao plant was ripe to opening it with a machete to drying the beans and then seeing the factory processing the cacao seeds in order to turn them into chocolate and then tasting the chocolate of course! We also got to see Ecuadorian squirrels (with really long bushy tails!) and eat mangos from the mango trees (which was my favorite part)!!

Day two was my favorite day in Ecuador! We went to a Hacienda (Hacienda Rodeo Grande) about an hour from where our bus arrived, and it smelled just like my home of Jackson Hole, Wyoming! The sweetness of the air mixed with horses brought me right back to home in the fall time or spring time! Here at the Hacienda some of us went tubing on the river and the others went horseback riding! I of course went horseback riding :) We rode along the river and through the different plants and trees located on the Hacienda. It was beautiful and relaxing! My favorite part of the trip to be honest!
My other favorite part of this day was visiting a banana plantation. As we walked into the banana forest, it was as if we were entering into the movie "A Bug's Life." I felt like an ant in the forest! It was so cool to see all the bananas on the banana train being pulled from one end of the forest to the entrance in order to be put in the big tub of water for washing and then on the assembly line in order to get their brand sticker and put into crates to be exported! Also SO yummy as we got to try some bananas on the way back to the ship! 

Day three my friend Anna and I went into Guayaquil and ventured first into the Iguana park. I guess I never realized how much I do not like Iguanas (as the photo below shows, which was by accident I really didn't mean to look so disgusted it's just that it started walking towards me when Anna took the photo and I got nervous!). We then ventured around and I had some of the best coffee I've had on this voyage. Fun fact: Ecuador is the number one producer of bananas in the world and they also produce their own coffee but it's mostly used internally and when they export it, a lot of it is sold as the other country's coffee. For example, Ecuador exports coffee to Columbia and Columbia sells it as a part of their produced coffee. We also went to the Ferris wheel and got to see all of Guayaquil. Lastly we saw the little Christmas village they put up on the boardwalk near the Ferris wheel, it was so nice to see that Christmas is starting because with out snow it really doesn't feel like we are even in December!

Day four I rested on the ship so nothing too exciting :) 

Being back on the ship I have to admit I miss my new Ecuadorian friend - Shiram - who was living right across the hall from me :( But she and I are going to stay friends and I'm excited to go back to Ecuador and visit her! (photo of Shiram and I attached - hugging at breakfast... I made her take a photo with me even though both of us had just woken up and not had enough coffee yet hahaha). 

Well, we are coming up on our last port before San Diego! On December 9th we'll be in Costa Rica :) I have planned a lot for Costa Rica since it's our last port and then I'll have plenty of time to rest since we have 8 days at sea before San Diego! 

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