The First, Last Days

Holly Callahan
February 6, 2015

Tomorrow is my last day in Quito and marks four weeks that I have been abroad. This morning I took my final exam and finished editing my final paper for my Techniques of Marine Research I class. Surprisingly, I think my class ended up being the most difficult of all of them this module!

My last days in Quito have honestly been spent indoors, writing and reviewing. It has been a great learning experience to write a research proposal that could actually be used. Thinking about funding and location viability adds an different level of thought that I haven’t had to use in my previous courses.

I mentioned last blog about going to the Teleferico here in Quito.

Quito_City_Teleferico_Holly Callahan

It is in Quito and takes you near the top of Pichincha volcano.

Quito_Quito_Teleferico_Holly Callahan

The views of the city are impressive. It is wild to look over a such long and densely populated city.

Quito_City_View from Teleferico_Holly Callahan

It looks, in some places, like the buildings are lava, flowing down the hills.

Quito_Teleferico_Me_Holly Callahan

It is possible to ride horses and donkeys at the top, but we went on a Wednesday and there weren’t enough for all of us.

Last weekend pretty much all of the GAIAS (Galapagos Extension Program) students went to Los Banos. It is a beautiful town nestled between mountains and under a huge, active volcano.

Quito_Banos_Town_Holly Callahan

The town has tons of adventure possibilities. River rafting, parasailing and bridge jumping to name a few. 

Quito_Banos_Morning_Holly Callahan

A friend of mine and I decided to wake up at 6 am Saturday morning and hike to La Casa de Arbol. It was a challenging hike, but it felt good to work our muscles (even if it was through mud and rain).

Quito_Banos_Casa de Arbol_Holly Callahan

When we got to the top, this is what we saw. It looks pretty nondescript but you can take photos on the swing that look pretty cool.

Quito_Banos_Swing_Holly Callahan

While we were there a bus of school children came and were very interested in us. It was fun to try to speak spanish with them! After, the owner of the land brought us into a back room to show us the history of the last volcanic eruption (and to awkwardly try to kiss us both goodbye on the mouth, thank goodness for the quick head turn!).

Quito_Banos_Waterfall_Holly Callahan

We stayed in a hostel right under this waterfall and next to a hot springs pool. None of us went in the pool because it didn’t look very sanitary and was populated with old ladies in swim caps.

This week I saw mostly this:

Quito_USFQ_School_Holly Callahan

It is studying abroad after all!

I am not sure what is on the agenda tonight and tomorrow. I would like to go to Cotopaxi, if possible and I need to repack all of my things. Somehow they expanded and look more ominous now than they did in San Diego.

I am excited to go to the Galapagos and experience life there. I am nervous though, because currently the Islands are in a state of emergency because they are down to one supply ship for all of the islands, when normally they have 7. Therefore, food prices are double the normal (which is usually double Quito prices). I look forward to swimming in the ocean, running around San Cristobal and exploring what the Galapagos have to offer.

My next class starts on Monday and it is Strategic Planning for Natural Resource Management. It isn’t in the marine ecology tack, but I am excited to expand my knowledge of possible career opportunities.

My next post will be from the Galapagos!

More Blogs From This Author

fallback blogs
Holly Callahan,


Returning home after a semester abroad on the Galapagos Islands.

View All Blogs

Holly Callahan

<p>Hello! My name is Holly and I love nature and the ocean. For four months I will be studying Marine Ecology in the Galapagos Islands. I can&#39;t wait study, live and explore one of the most beautiful and wild places in the world. Adventure awaits!</p>

Home University:
Seattle University
Biological Sciences
Explore Blogs