The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, has visited Madrid to pay tribute to last years ETA bomb victims and to his countrymen who are currently living in Spain.

Upon arrival Correa carried out a floral offering in Terminal Four, where two Ecuadorian citizens' died in the attack by the Basque terrorist organization ETA on December 30 of last year.

The sensation is comparable to pushing through a crowd in a busy circus tent. You have your arms up covering your chest with your arms locked together making a giant fist with both knuckles.

Crossing the border on foot is a nerve jangling experience by any experienced traveller. The reason perhaps is that you are at your most vulnerable. You are surrounded by a group of people that include police, hagglers and robbers. All of whom can give you butterflies by alone, but bunched together makes an hour's border crossing a bit of a nightmare.

Perhaps the best way to summarise this small, under funded adventure touring company was neatly put by one guest as, ´A lovely family, a surprise around every corner, but be prepared for a little disorganisation.` There is no doubt that many travellers will be put off by the chaotic and unpredictable nature of the tour. Some may even be asking for their money back by the time they meet the lead guide, a mumbling, smelly man with gold teeth called Luis. Others will become impatient with his lack of communication of exactly where you are being driven to or what you are expected to pay for on top of the original fee. But underneath this shabby, and frankly unprofessional, exterior lies a tour operator with real character and purpose, unlike other more commercial operators in Tena.

Otavalo Feature

The alarm clock sounds. Its 6am, far too early for my love of sleeping. The chilled blue air pours through the crack in the window just above my bed, fueling my desire to remain in cozy hibernation just fifteen more minutes. Then, I think of my kiddies, and the dismal beds in which they are waking up, or the lack there of, and my feet touch the floor. Another morning expanding over the hills and mountains surrounding Otavalo, Ecuador. Another day of volunteer work at the little school in Urcusiki, the tiny mountain community forty minutes up questionable roads, just past the main gate of Cotacatchis nature reserve.

At Moving Ecuador, we have compiled a large calendar of events to help you stay in touch with what is happening throughout Ecuador. Whether you are looking for a large festival, or a small festivity, you will find it all posted on our easy to navigate cultural calendar.

Looking for something more local? Check out our list of things to do during your stay in Quito. Quito is a bustling city, filled with fun and educational things to do on any given day. Below, you will find a list of our favorite things to do in Quito!

Costa Rica

Dani Left for Costa Rica yesterday. Its sad to see her go. Feel like my group of friends is slowly dwindling. We had an amazing send off, though it wasn't quite what we had originally planned.

Met early for drinks and appetizers at the fireside, one of my favorite martini bars. a few hours, gin martinis, purple haze's, cosmos, peach ladies and this really amazing smoked goat cheese appetizer later, we were ready to hit the town.

I wasn't really looking forward to going out last night. We had been invited to a party on a boat to watch the Canada Day fire works, but col didn't get off work til 930 and the boat was leaving at 9. Haley had been in charge of making alternative plans, but cancelled last minute in favor of hanging out with her newest boyfriend, so as of 5 we were officially planless....

But it was canada day. We had all bought new things to wear, and drinks to drink and spent way too much time getting ready so we decided to make the best of it.

Chelsea Bar

Chelsea Bar creates an ambience to set up any classic night in Quito. Upon entering, you can either take a seat outside on one of the outdoor tables, or adventure inside where you will find a plethora of comfy chairs and classy tables to sit at.

Chelsea boast over 25,000 songs, all hand selected by the in house DJH, all complete with their music videos which you can see on one of the eight screens, including an overhead projector which can expand to 6 feet across.

Perhaps I should have expected this sooner or later. As a journalist and writer, my job is to go into the deepest regions of Ecuador and discover the reality of how people live.

It is needless to say a hunger I have for the world around me. One certainty that has been with me for a very long time and one that will be present indefinitely.

Pelota Nacional

Want to try something a little different during your stay in Ecuador? Get your heart rate up with a game of Pelota Nacional. Pelota Nacional is a popular ball game native to Ecuador. Literally translated, the name means National Ball, an appropriate title considering its Ecuadorian origins.

The game originated in Ecuador over 500 years ago. 5 centuries later, the game is still played all across Ecuador and in other South American countries like Brazil.

The weekend felt especially long.

Kings is being difficult. While I know they have made exceptions for people in the past they are insistant on not letting me write my thesis and complete my first workshop while in ecuador. This means putting off graduation a year. It also means I can't use the remainder of my trust or access health care as of the last day of August. I'm upset. I don't understand why the school is being so difficult. They were so happy when I told them about my internship in Ecuador. The dean said herself that this is the type of internship you get post graduation. And yet they wont budge. Sarah and I even made a call to Carleton to see about switching, but not enough of our credits will switch over so it would take just as long....although part of me wants to switch anyway out of anger.

Sarah is going to call the dean again tonight. Just because she wont budge doesnt mean we arent going to stop trying. If all it does is annoy her its still worth it.

Last night we went to salsa lessons at club caliente. A big group of my friends finally agreed to come out and try it. met the owner who invited us to the VIP party on friday night. Also found out that they know how to make the drink I fell in love with in cuba. They didnt have any coconut milk in to make it quite right, but the owner assured me they would have it in next time I came. its amazing what heels, a dress and a tropical drink can do for a persons mood.

 

Well, uni is over forever now and i am out in the big wide world!Haven't moved out of portsmouth yet, which is where i have been at uni for the past three years, and it feels all strange and empty with all the students gone!I will be moving out on the 30th of June, back to my mums place in Norwich. I am going to miss uni a lot, but I have so much to look forward to at the moment, what with my trip to Ecuador in Spetember and the whole summer stretching ahead. Apparently its going to be a hot summer this year in England- Yippee! I am very excited to be spending the summer with my little sister who is two and my mum who i am very close to and my 15 year old brother as i dont get to see them a lot when i am studying, especially since this was my last year, so i had a lot of work to do.

I am so excited about coming to Ecaudor it almost feels like a dream!I haven't done a lot of preperation yet, apart from the mental sort, which is what i am best at, haha. I am currently in the university library looking at flight prices to get an idea and make sure i get the best deal when it comes to it. As most of the students have gone home for summer its like a ghost library!

Wel i look forward to meeting everyone, will try to keep my blog up to date as much as possible,

besos

carys

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