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“Ecuador”

We spent 3 nights in Baños, Ecuador. One of those days was spent in Puyo, which is just over an hour away. Another day, Conor went horseback riding with the girls (dreams come true!!!), we went out for lunch and on a little hike and then in the evening, we went to the baths. Baños is so pretty. It's a small town nestled in a valley and surrounded by beautiful mountains. Candy is quite the thing there. We saw so many stands selling candy! Of course we bought some. 

I forgot to post this sweet photos of my girls at our hosteria in Puerto Lopez. Love, love, love these sweethearts!

The next rescue center we visited (Paseos Los Monos) had primarily monkeys but other animals as well. Again, it was another loop that we walked to see what we could see. It was really great! The whole loop, we were accompanied by a coatí, which is related to raccoons. She followed us and rooted around in the ground for snacks as we went. She was so friendly that a couple of times I almost step on her because she was underfoot. Something about having this little creature walk along with us made the visit extra special.

The place had a nursery for baby animals fed with bottles. There were 3 monkeys and a baby coatí. One of the monkeys was 14 months old and especially playful. Maeve was laughing so hard and it was the cutest thing ever! I loved watching Maeve point to all the animals. Safe to say, every member of our family enjoyed this day!

Our first full day in Baños took us to Puyo, which is the gateway to the Amazon. And that’s as close as we got to the Amazon. An issue with vaccinations, plus having a baby prevented us from going all the way into the Jungle. It’s an experience that I would like to have some future trip for sure.

Anyways, off to Puyo which was incredible! The drive took us all along a valley and a vast river. So many waterfalls as well! The animal rescue center, Yana Cocha, we went to first was really beautiful. It would be so fun to return as a volunteer for a couple of weeks. There were so many different plants and flowers. The vegetation was unreal. Thinking back on it reminds me of the Garden of Eden. We walked two loops (in the rain!!) and saw a lot of monkeys. Oh gosh, they are cute and Holly and Greta want one as a pet. And every time they told someone that they want one as a pet, Conor and I cringed because this is an animal rescue center and some of the monkeys were rescued from being pets. 

One creature we saw that I had never heard of before is the Zorro Vinagre or the jungle dog. Apparently this is the only one in Ecuador in captivity and it was pretty special to see it. We had a great time! 

When we were done we went into town to get Almuerzo (lunch), which was very traditional. Soup followed by chicken, rice, beans, a bit of salad and juice. It hit the spot

On our long drive, we stopped at the Guayaquil temple. It was Sunday and the grounds were closed, but it was really fun to see! I’ve never been to a temple that has accompanying patron housing. Holly and Greta love temples. I hope they always have as much enthusiasm for temples as they do now!

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