Published: February 16th 2008February 16th 2008
Hi everyone. Thanks for all your messages, they are so much fun to receive, sorry we cant reply individually but keep sending!
On our return from Galapagos we explored the city of Quito in more depth. It is a great place with an old town (pretty) and a new town (lively). We visited the equator at La Mitad del Mundo where Pen balanced an egg on a nail (less gravity at the equator because the world is squashed - yeah honest) also you weigh a pound less at the equator! We climbed Ruhu Pinchincha volcano (4680m) at the top of the Quito TelerifiQo, climbed El Panecillo monument and a very tall belfry (Basilica) which had the dodgiest ladders you have ever stepped on- no health and safety here!
Next we headed to Cotopaxi (a very high active volcano just south of Quito) where Penny climbed to the glacier line at 5000m (Darryl elected for a sit down fifty metres short)! After climbing Cotopaxi we visited a traditional indian home (hut made of straw and mud) complete with guinea pigs and many scruffy children! We stayed the night at a fantastic old Indian farmhouse where we learnd to milk a cow (Daz
was very good - see photo).
The next day we hiked for 4 hours around a stunning volcanic crater lake - Lake Quilotoa - which was an amazing 360 degree panaramic view for the whole hike. Certainly this is one of the most beautiful experiences on our trip so far. We met Julie and Martin, students from Belgium, who kept us company for the day which was good fun.
The following day we took a bus to Otovalo where we scaled several peaks (all more than 3500m elevation) in another 5 hour hiking extravaganza (repeatedly getting lost in the clouds and losing the barely visible path....) We declined a 10km walk back to the hostal and after the first 2 km hitched in the back of a pick-up truck again!
Darryl discovered yet another hammock at the hostal (he has an uncanny skill for spotting them). Today we visited Otavalo market where Darryl had to stop Penny from buying the entire market. For textiles it was quite amazing. Even Darryl enjoyed the shopping. Rucksack space limited us to gloves, hats, earrings and a tablecloth. We will be doing a lot more climbing so need warm clothes. We have trekked for
Darryl Milking a Cow
Tigua Farm, near Quilatoa
about 15 hours over the last four days so our lungs and legs are getting stronger. We are at altitude in Otavalo so it is pretty cold but views from our hostal are stunning and log fires make it all worthwhile. We have met a lot of ecuadorians now and we love them. They are warm, friendly and hospitable! We will be sad to leave Ecuador, there is so much to see and do and the scenery is amazing.
Next stop Peru - bargain flight to Lima via Guayaquil.
For some reason photos will not load so will add them tomorrow!
There are more photos below