Buenos días from Ecuador!
I’m on the road right now and internet has been a little shabby, but I wanted to get something out there for this week to let you know how things are going.
So far Ecuador has been one of my most interesting trips. There are things I like and things I don’t, but it’s a world of extremes. What’s really struck me as odd is the pre-conceptions I had about Ecuador before arriving in Quito. Through all the travel sources I generally follow, Ecuador is portrayed as a simple and beautiful place. While it may be beautiful, simple might be misleading.
What I find most interesting is how Ecuador is often portrayed as a great place for retirement. It seems to me that nothing could be more misleading. Sure, Ecuador is a beautiful land with great landscape, architecture, and culture. It’s also very cheap and on the US Dollar, but that’s where the retirement benefits seem to end. The infrastructure is broken at best and I don’t know how anything could get done around here without a basic level of Spanish. Security is very pocketed throughout most of the places I’ve been so far, meaning you might be in a secure neighborhood one minute but don’t cross the wrong street.
Why point this all out? Well, a lot of people visit my site looking for information on countries they are thinking about retiring in and there’s been a lot of push lately for retiring in Ecuador. There are still plenty of places to see and things to do, but as of right now I feel like this might not be the retirement haven it’s been sold as.
Of course, if you’re young and looking for an adventure, maybe Ecuador is right up your alley. I again caution that it could be quite difficult without a basic level of Spanish and you should take extreme caution, more than normal, and do your homework before arriving.
I’ll be writing more on Ecuador once I’m settled back in Colombia or have more time and reliable internet here. Just know that I’m in Ecuador now and if you have any questions or recommendations, let me know. Like I mentioned, internet is sloppy here so be patient if you contact me or comment.
So far on my trip I’ve visited Quito, Santo Domingo de los Colorados, Esmeraldas, and several of the beach towns around Esmeraldas. I’m currently in a small beach town called Atacames and it’s been one of the most relaxing stops so far.
A couple of short clips for your entertainment
I imagine that if this playground were in the US there would be a line of lawyers sitting around waiting for an injury to sue on.
This kid was singing for donations on the bus from Santo Domingo de los Colorados to Esmeraldas, Ecuador. Sorry the video isn’t great, but the kid was funny.