It’s official, this weekend I paid the deposit and in six months time I am heading off to Ecuador – for ten weeks! Last month my therapist and I decided that I needed to take a gap year, so come May (the month my course ends) I’m going to have as much FUN as possible. The first adventure to enter my diary is a ten week trip to Ecuador with a company called The Leap. Here’s a brief outline of what I’ll get up to whilst I’m half way across the world:
Week One – Quito, Ecuador’s Capital City
Quito is 2,850 metres above sea level which makes it the highest capital city in the world. Most of us on the trip will be coming from England, a country where in some places you can step out your front door and have your feet in the sea (alas I do not reside in one of these places). This means, however, that our bodies will need some time to adjust. So our first few days will be spent getting over our jet lag and trying not to get dehydrated. We also start our Spanish lessons.
Weeks One – Four – Agato
For three weeks we will live with the rural Agato community. The families there are kind enough to take us in, look after us and introduce us to their way of life (I have an inkling Guinea Pig will be on the menu). Whilst we are there we will help to improve the village infrastructure by doing a range of things from building and harvesting to helping in the day care centre and teaching. The Spanish lessons continue…
Weeks Four – Five – Lowland Jungle
This is the part of the trip I am most excited for. We spend two weeks living with the Tsachila Tribe, yes you guys, an actual tribe! Sleeping in huts, bathing in the river and lots of rice (eating of rice, not bathing in it). Here, we will be helping on the Tsachila’s cacao plantation, preserving buildings, cultivating their botanical garden and learning about their culture. It says a lot about me, and about the number of books I read, that I am most excited about bathing in the river… Before we go we are advised to find out as much about the tribe as we can so you’re bound to be hearing a lot about the Tsachila people.
Week Six – Adventure Week
White water rafting, kayaking, mountain biking – every thing Sasha hates and everything I love.
Weeks Seven – Nine – The Galapagos, San Cristobal
After a brief pitstop in Quito we are up in the air and on our way to the Galapagos Islands where we will live and work at the conservation project Hacienda Tranquila. We will help to repair environmental damage, provide clean water to the locals and take special needs children horse riding. By the year 2020 Hacienda Tranquila plan to bring the Giant Tortoise to live in the indigenous forest, so whilst we are there we will help prepare the land to provide a home for these amazing creatures.
Week Ten – Amazon Rainforest
I am terrified of spiders! But hey ho, I have a feeling our stay at the Gaia Amazon Centre will be worth a few mini heart attacks, especially as we get to go on a canoe river tour. (I’m a bit in love with rivers)
If I survive the spiders and other creepy crawlies I will be flying back home at the end of week ten. After I’ve slept for a month I will catch you guys up on everything that happened out in Ecuador. So stick around, I have a feeling things are about to get interesting.