Is that it is so similar to the United States, but everyone speaks Spanish. For being just one country north of Peru, Ecuador couldn’t be more different. To start, they use the American dollar as their currency. The people are racially diverse and there are tons of foreigners here. The food is all Americanized, with KFC and McDonalds no less.
And to this point, the people, not so friendly. I’m not loving Quito.
Tomorrow, we escape this giant city and head to the “middle of the world,” and a tour of the Amazon. Sounds like a perfect way to end this South American adventure. Friday, I’m on the first flight back to the US, and in all sincerity, it cannot come soon enough. I am homesick, bagelsick, gymsick and more than anything, friendsick. I can’t wait to gab with my mom and my girlfriends and get back to my routine.

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Machu Picchu? Cannot wait to return. It was incredible in every sense. It is one of the most spiritual places I’ve ever visited and is a bit like seeing the ocean or the Grand Canyon for the first time. You just can’t believe what is before your eyes.
I was the first person on top of the mountain Monday morning and had about 2 minutes before the ruins beneath me were climbing with tourists. I cherished every second, taking photos, praying and feeling more in tune with the earth than I have in a long time. I was huffing and puffing by the time I reached the top, but with a cool mist rolling in (that turned into a miserable storm) and a light breeze on my back, my time with Ms. Machu was pretty much perfect.
Next time, I’ll hike the Inca Trail and skip Aguas Calientes.

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One of my many travel notes if you are planning on visiting South America — bring lots and lots of dollars. Each country likes to hit up the international travelers when they move on to the next spot. Both Peru and Ecuador charge $35 just to leave the airports and I’m pretty sure Bolivia does too, but since we crossed the border via bus, we missed it.
To put that $35 in perspective, most meals at restaurants cost $2 and my most expensive hostal/hotel room has been $15 per night. Their international travel fees are bogus and I’m sure do nothing more than feed the corruption that runs rampant in these governments.

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Enough with the negativity. Manana — rainforest! Friday — home!!
Life es bueno,
Kelli