The best thing about the Ecuadoran dentist’s office was the smooth mix of ’90s power ballads.

Aaron and I spent this week preparing to leave. Okay, it was just me. I like to be punctual. That’s not true either. What I mean is, I hate forgetting stuff. I hate packing in a hurry and forgetting my toothbrush, or magazine, or laptop.

I’ve never left a laptop anywhere, but I have forgotten to bring memory cards to places I’m shooting, and I have missed flights because I didn’t double-check the ticket.

Speaking of which, let me double check.

Yes, on Saturday morning we depart Ecuador for Iquitos, Perú, via Panama City inexplicably.

Using mileage on our Chase United Explorer (which is not a sponsor, but call me!) credit cards, we’ll be flying in style – first class, baby.

Oh yeah.

 

Baller like a purple passionflower.
Baller like a purple passionflower.

So I’ve spent the week getting ready. I prepped some mail to send home (which was outrageously expensive), did laundry, said goodbye to my new friends, packed, took any photos that needed taking, and went to the dentist.

I didn’t take any pictures of the dentist, but the clean and modern clinic was staffed by exceedingly friendly ladies. A filling and two replacements plus a cleaning cost $95. Plus Michael Bolton. Feeling like a new woman over here.

Two nights ago I had my last beachside yoga class with Gina, the American healer mama; Louisa, the Swedish expatriate who’s working on her freedom; and Marketa, the Czech exporter whose half-Ecuadorian daughter, Emma, is just about the most darling thing walking this here earth.

 

Marketa, Louisa, and Gina take yoga poses on the beach.
Marketa, Louisa, and Gina take yoga poses on the beach.

I had one last location to shoot for a story I hope to pitch about this town, and Aaron and I brought pizza for Clay and his family last night.

Today we’ll take a five or six hour bus ride to Guayaquil.

New adventures await in the Amazon jungle.

An update on our itinerary from here onward – we’ll spend three weeks in the Amazon and then fly to La Paz, Bolivia, for five weeks in Bolivia. Then we’ll head to Patagonia in Chile and spend one month hiking around, including a 10-day backpacking trek over Christmas and the New Year.

From there we head back to Santiago, Chile, and make our way slowly back up to Bolivia to visit famous salt flats. We’ll head to Barranquilla, Colombia, to enjoy Carnaval on the Caribbean coast.

We’ll go back to Bogota and then make our way back to Ecuador for our March 31 flight home, spending time either in the Ecuadorian Andes, or the Amazon. (Suggestions for things to do or good stories in any of these places are welcome.)

 

Ciao, Bahia!
Ciao, Bahia!

See you in Perú!

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Written by Ada Kase (Kulesza)

Ada Kase is a freelance journalist and photographer from Philadelphia. AJKTravels is her personal travel blog documenting her adventures with her husband, journalist Aaron Kase.

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