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AWAKEN Travel Experience – Exploring Part I

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AWAKEN Travel Experience – Exploring Part I

In this two splitted post I will share with you my travel experience with AWAKEN Ecuador. We have been in 14 days at different places in Ecuador, e.g. the jungle, on volcanos and another breathtaking places. All about to get to know the country and more about yourself. I could live for 100% through jumping over my own limits. We too often hold ourselfs back and need sometimes the right kick, like jumping from a bridge (more about this in the next post). With the Travel Program of Awaken it was possible to do activities full of adrenalin and get to know crazy places.

During the trip I was with a team of three further participants, the CEO and further supporters of Awaken. Every participant was from Germany, of course :D, and because of such a small group the whole experience became more individual. Our base of Awaken was in Quito. The capital is located around 2800 m above sealevel and the higher you get, the lower the air density gets. I was not concious about it before because I wanted to get to know Ecuador without any expectations. The base lies about 3000 m and in the first days I had to deal with the low air density. I was wondering why I was so exhausted after five steps upstairs 😀


What is AWAKEN-Ecuador about?

When you feel the moment in your life where you understand you have to change something and you want to develop yourself, then Awaken might help you with achieving your aims. Explore yourself anew or volunteer with children in Quito while traveling the other days to the jungle, volcanos or to the beaches of Ecuador. Also you can improve your Spanish or learn that hot language.

The additional workshops are based on emotional intelligence, positive psychology, neurolinguistic programming, systemtical thinking and experimntal learning.


Travel Experience

Day 1 – Exploring Quito

The capital looks from above like a tube. You can look from east to west, but you can not see the south from the north and the other way around. The most buildings have many levels but in the part of Centro Histórico only 2-3. It was our first destination and we visited the Basílica del Voto Nacional. We climbed up to 35 m to have a nice view above the city. The church is always under construction and if not, it would mean the end of the world (Attention: Myth!).

During these days it was carneval in Quito and we could see the parade from the top of the church. At every corner you also could buy “Carioca”, a kind of foam to mess around. After we got attacked a couple of times we bought some bottles ourself for defense. This became crazy but it was much fun 😀 With the other participants and another supporter of Awaken, human that did not know before, we built an amazing team.

For the sunset we drove up the mountain of Panecillo to see the Virgen de el Panecillo. From there you have an amazing view above the city. The virgin looks in north direction and supervises this part. Because her back is turned to south this area is said to be more dangerous and ugly.

We had a nice finish with a hot chocolate and cheese! Sounds disgusting but with the right cheese it is yummy. The view with the chocolate of cheese and Quito at night delivered great pictures.


Day 2 – Papallacta and the hotsprings

From Quito to Papallacta above the mountains of 4000 m to the Termas Papallacta Hotel Spa. Before we jumped into the nearby hot springs, we walked up the Rio Papallacta. Up there a war with the foam bottles broke out. We picked up some bottles before in Quito but look 😀

After the sunset over 3300 m it gets cold and it was time for the hot springs. In the close surroundings you can find some volcanos that result in very hot lava water. There are different pools and we changed a lot between hot and cold. We got the “cold shower” at the nearby river. Damn that was cold 😀


Day 3 – Barefoot through the jungle

Finally we stepped into the jungle. Later I needed to improvise a little bit because I had no idea what I should expect. I felt close to the nature that I did not use any insect protection. It worked very well so far (: Our destination was the Gran Canyon Mindayaco in the deep jungle. Monika, a local woman living in the jungle, guided us. The jungle was very wet and slippy that I decided to walk without shoes. In the end the better idea because I could realise the environment much better and I felt more non-slip. On the way we found some nice crawling animals.

To have more adventure a part of the way leaded over a root from a tree 5 m down. Of course I took this way 😉 Unfortunately there is no photo…

Also to the pool of the Gran Canyon leaded an adventurous way. In the beginning we needed to swim before be had to jump from a 10 m cliff. Nobody told us about this before 😀 I think 4 m was my highest jump so far. So it needed some effort to jump but I stopped thinking and jumped. You can watch the jump in the video at the end (: I am wearing some red/white pants.


Day 4 – In a cage 4 meters under water

The next dare was through a cave, the Jumandy Cave, with very small passages where only one person fits. For people with claustrophobia could this be a problem. They should talk to the people from the cave how tight in can be and if they can skip this part. We got some rain boots and it is a good advice to wear some swimming pants because water flows through the cave. The total duration in the cave was around 45 minutes.

Our first stop was a small pool in the cave and you could jump into. At an other place we switched off our head lamps to enjoy the silence in the dark. The sounds around us was interesting and you could not see your hand 5 cm in front of your head. Image you have to find a way out in such a darkness. Before we saw the daylight again we had the chance to jump into a 4 m deep pool with a diameter of less than 1 m. That was just creepy ^^.

Following the cave we headed over to the monkey island Puerto Misahualli. We saw the first monkey after our arrival directly.


Freilaufender Affe


Day 5 – Dangerous jungle

On the area of your accomodation I had the chance to see some capuchin monkeys for my very first time in the wild finally. This moment was to unbelievable pretty that I could have started to cry…^^ These awesome animals how the climbed the trees…

Capuchin monkeys!

On the same day we took a boat 1 hour up the river Napo, to get deeper in to the jungle. We had a local guide, the Leo, with us. He knews like everything about every plant and knew how to make useful things out of them or how to use them for medical purposes.

I like the material of the house from the thermites because it is a very good insect protection. The stuff glues very good. Than there was the dragon tree that bleeds. The liquid can be useful as creme what you can see when you rub it on your skin.

The river Arajuno leads into the river Napo and is full of gold. We had the chance to watch a community washing gold and we could try it ourself. A very exhausting and time taking work. But it is the daily cash the people can make and they wash a few grams per days.

At another community we could use a blowgun made out of bamboo to shot self made narrows. This long blowgun is also used by spies of the communities to protect the river. People that passes by without a permit will be shot and the narrows can go up to 40 m!


Day 6 – Rescued animals and caymans

Before we headed back to Quito, we visited the amaZoonico animals rescue station. There we saw various monkeys, birds and other animals with four feet, which are hard to see in wild life, because the animlas leave if the human settles their home.

Following this we checked out some caymans at a pond. Our guide tried to catch one and he succeded almost. Here a small video how he fed the small biter.


Before eating lunch we had to catch a fish with a self made fishing rod. Unfortunately we did not catch anything because of the annoying boats and the fishes were very smart either.


Then we had back to Quito to get new energy for the last week.

And now the jump and further recordings of the first week. If you feel like having such a great experience as well, do not hesitate to contact me (:


Welcome to the Jungle!

• E X P L O R I N G •Travel around Ecuador with Awaken! Join one of our exploring focus trips to make your summer unforgettable!June 10 – July 8 OR August 5 – September 2What are you waiting for? Welcome to the Jungle – Guns n’ Roses

Gepostet von Awaken am Sonntag, 4. März 2018

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