In the first morning, on the road from the boarder, I recognized in Ecuador my previous images of South America. Images informed by a photograph of indigenous Peruvian women wearing bright clothes and men’s felt hats, the callow-lilies in Diego Riveira’s paintings, and descriptions of the landscape gleaned from Isabel Allende’s books and Pablo Neruda’s poems.
Landscape-wise, Ecuador is actually quite a good representation of South America, despite being one of the smallest countries. There are three distinct areas, the coastal beaches, the Andes down the middle, and the beginnings of the Amazon in the east. It was the perfect holiday destination as we managed to cover all three areas in only two weeks while maintaining a relaxed pace. And with Colombia functioning as my home, Ecuador provided my introduction to the South American travel I had imagined.