We decided to take a slow boat from Manaus to Tabatinga in the Brazilian Amazon. In a nutshell, our days consisted of eating beans and rice, searching for animals that we never saw, introducing our girls to our neighbors, three young girls and a grandpa, napping in our hammock beds, eating more rice and beans, talking with the women who work on the boat, and enjoying the unreal sunrises and sunsets.
We took our girls to the beautiful Colombian coast to get some very healthy fried plantains, coconut pancakes, and arepas. We watched the sunset together from the castle walls that surround the old city, and we discovered dancers in a local park performing traditional dances, complete with costumes and live music. It reminded us all of the time the girls showed off their dances performing for us at their school’s anniversary.
We decided to go paragliding on our last day in Medellín with two of our friends from college. Unfortunately the seat was too big to strap them in, so they had to watch from below this time. While the weather was great for the first who went, the second two got caught in wind and ended up in a nauseating cycle of spinning. Highlights were the 360-degree views over the whole city, reminiscent of the aerial shots from our new favorite Netflix series, Narcos. We even saw Pablo Escobar’s house from the air.
Las Lajas, Ipiales
About 45 minutes away from the Colombia-Ecuador border lies a beautiful church tucked into the side of the mountain. It still is unclear why one decided to build a church in such a precarious position, but legend has it that the Virgin Mary appeared to a deaf-mute girl and her mother at the spot where the church stands today. Later, when the girl died, her mother returned to the same spot and prayed to the Virgin Mary and her daughter was brought back to life. We also met another school of girls that were there on a field trip who were thrilled to meet our own chicas dinámicas!
Mitad del Mundo, Quito
We weren’t originally planning on it, but after some begging from the girls, we decided to take them to the Mitad del Mundo, or the Middle of the World. Here lies the equator, and we were able to stand on both hemispheres at once! The girls wanted to play, so we had a little soccer game and were doing tricks around between both hemispheres. We even got some strangers to join in! The myth of the land is that at the equator, you weigh exactly 1kg less than you usually do. That put our girls around 0 kg, which they found amusing!
The most extreme of extreme sports happened in Baños, which is surprising to hear, considering we had already jumped from a plane. However, puenting is similar to bungee jumping, only it is more similar to a pendulum rather than a bungee cord. The girls weren’t allowed to do it with us because they were too small, so they cheered us on while we took the leap. The hardest part was getting our legs to work after looking down to the rapids below. But, with our girls watching us, we couldn’t let them down. We both took the leap and snapped a shot with them at the bottom of the jump!
Casa de Arbol, Baños
Baños was full of surprises, and the last escapade with our girls was to swing at the “End of the World.” This swing, located at the Casa de Arbol, or Tree House, is built at an angle that makes it look like you’re swinging off a cliff. The photos alone were enough to sell us on the idea, and we trekked up with our girls and waited over 70 minutes in line just to get a photo in the clouds. It was awesome, and although the girls almost fell, they still loved it!
-Alika and Lydia and our adventurous chicas dinámicas