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Travelling Classroom

Ecuador

The Spanish school where I’m studying offer ‘travelling classroom’ programs where you can travel with a teacher. There are various touristy activities to explore the local area, and then 4 hours of Spanish lessons each day. I took 2 weeks – 1 week staying at a lodge in the Amazon jungle, and 1 week on the beaches of the pacific coast.

Week 1 – ‘Jungle Steve’
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Suchipakari jungle lodge

Activities included..

.. a guided walk through the jungle with an explanation of herbal plants, fruits and insects
Did you know that live termites can be rubbed on the skin as antiseptic? I prefer Savlon.

Waterfalls
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Termites
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Leaf cutter ant highway
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Mmmm – chocolate
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My teacher- wading through an Amazonian river
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.. a visit to a local community. Surprisingly modernised, but still with some of their own traditions and all bilingual, speaking the native Kichua as well as Spanish. Apparently the local guys drink a fermented yuca drink all day long which is about as strong as beer. It’s traditionally fermented using the saliva of the Kichua women, although I was promised that they used a type of sweet potatoe instead for the stuff I tried. Still, fermented yoghurt drink in the Amazon.... not sure how I managed to avoid being very ill.

Rainforest living:
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Chicha preparation:
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UK government spending review: Gove’s proposed classroom design
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.. a trip to an animal sanctuary, which aims to rehabilitate ex-pets or injured wild animals ready for release back in to the jungle if possible.
There’s a checkpoint on the way out of the jungle to make sure that you’re not smuggling any animals, which apparently used to be very common.

Jetting down the river in a motorised canoe & once again feeling like I'm on the set of a David Attenborough documentary:
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Toucan!
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Parrots
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Capi Bara
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Turtle party!
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"he he he.. I’m so cunning.. they can’t see me..”
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It's a hard life
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Jungle pig
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"if i look cute, maybe they’ll give me more food"
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Younger Kindon sisters look away now!
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.. and of course 4 hours per day of Spanish classes

At the lodge – my jungle classroom
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H-H-H-Hammock time!
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Fancy driving your 4x4 truck across here?
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Week 2 - ‘La Ruta del Sol’
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‘La Ruta del Sol’ translates as the ‘route of sunshine’, or ‘sunshine path’. As well as stunning mountains, the Galapagos Islands and Amazonian jungle, Ecuador is lucky enough to have a long coastline of beautiful Pacific beaches.

Silver sands of Perdenales
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Canoa beach
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Sunset - Canoa
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Who needs Monaco when you have Bahia?
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We did a couple of tours from Puerto Lopez – one to the local national park, and one to the community of Agua Blanca in the bosque seco ecosystem (‘dry forest’). We visited a community there that lives off the produce of farming and give tours of their land, history and culture. They also have a natural mineral pool which is most welcome in the heat.

Bosque Seco:
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Traditional funeral cask in the museo
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Squirrel. If this type of squirrel gets to Europe then the grey squirrels will get a taste of their own medicine – it looks like a grey squirrel on steroids
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Bosque Seco - me and my teacher in the natural mineral baths (complete with natural mineral face packs scooped up from the bottom of the pool)
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‘Los Frailes’ – pristine beach within the national park
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Sunsets - Puerto Lopez:
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Exactly why we shouldn’t litter! You might kill a very strange very ugly sea creature

Posted by Stevie_A 19:36 Archived in Ecuador

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Comments

I really enjoyed this! I am planning a trip to Ecuador, trying to decide between the beaches and Amazon. I still want to do both but not sure I have the time.

So now, what I want tofind out is how do I find a teacher.

by kathidi

I recommend Yanapuma (just put 'Yanapuma Quito' in to google). I did 2 of their fixed packages - 'Ruta del Sol' and 'Suchipakari', but you can also make your own. Enjoy! and any other questions let me know. :-)

by Stevie_A

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