Blogs from Historical Center, Quito, North, Ecuador, South America

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South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center February 19th 2014

Hello everyone! So I arrived safely after my rather long 24 hour journey to Quito, the capital of Ecuador. I arrived to my hotel around 1:30 in the morning. This morning, I woke up around 8 and had breakfast overlooking the historical centre of Quito. I then felt rather lazy so went back to my room for a little while. When I eventually got round to leaving, I had a look around the city centre and saw some of the beautiful churches. I then took a four hour trip South to the Black Sheep Inn, an Eco lodge in Chugchillàn. Good tip from Fi and Dunc- thanks guys! It's amazing here. Once I was settled in, I met the guys who were sharing my bunkhouse and we went for a walk to see some of the ... read more
Quito
Quito
Quito

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center December 31st 2013

It will be a life threatening event to ever go and participate in Dutch traffic again. My fright reaction has fallen behind in comparison to my brothers and sisters in evolution anyway (or actually, it has over-evolved: it can only be evoked by acute life danger that´s directly visible), but after two weeks in Quito, I´ve also become honk-immune. One has to be, or else you´d need tranquilizers every time you go out on the street. So by now I´ve learned the basics of the Ecuadorian honk language and I´d like to share my new knowledge with people in countries where you pay 130 euros if you honk when there´s no direct danger. I have to admit though: there´s always direct danger here, so maybe it´s not as mad as it seems :). Here are the ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center December 31st 2013

¨Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.¨ - Preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) - ¨If you´d have been born in a family of the market, would you be doing what you´re doing now?¨ Eightteen European and Northern American heads shake firmly. ¨Why not?¨ Well, probably we wouldn´t even understand the concept ¨foreign country¨. And even if we would, we probably couldn´t be less interested because you don´t need ¨foreign country¨ to survive. And that is the most important daily activity here: to survive. And there we are: eightteen gringos and gringas from the Rich World, each of us with a (pre-)academic education, with enough money to fly to ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center December 31st 2013

Twice I had almost turned around. The first time it was because of the taxi driver: obviously a special case of ADHD. Everytime he couldn´t accelerate, steer or change gears (oh yeah, or honk of course!), he turned the volume of the radio randomly up and down. Loud, quietly. Loud. Aaaand quietly again. Loud. Sigh, quietly. Besides, there was a local program on and Friday afternoon was ¨bad jokes continuously¨-time. Our driver found everything said hilarious, but his good mood didn´t reach any further than the front window. Honking, swaying, pushing in, and pointing at his forehead he made his way through the Friday traffic in Quito. And when occasionally he didn´t touch the radio for more than a minute, the volume was always left at an annoying level of 12+, where 8 indicated the limit ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center December 31st 2013

To the tune Row, row, row your boat; ¨Tell me what you do, early in the morning. Everyday I brush my teeth, early in the morning.¨ Easy one, the songs and chants for kids module of the teaching english course last May in Seville. It took us about five minutes to make the song and then we could have sung for half an hour about morning routines: ¨Everyday I wake up, I take a shower, I´m getting dressed, I have some bread, I brush my teeth, I pack my bag, I hug my mom, I go to school… early in the morning.¨ While singing we could mimic the activities that we were mentioning. Yeah, we were sure: this was going to be a hit for the kids. My new three to five year old friends from ... read more

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South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center October 30th 2013

My alarm wakes me up at half past three, one hour and a half after I went to bed. As usual my planning has been a disaster. The travelgear I ordered on the internet wouldn't have arrived before today if I wouldn't have picked it up myself yesterday, my bank cards seemed to have arrived just in time but they still had to be activated by taking out money at an ATM in Holland (only then I realized that I didn't put any money on my new account yet, just too late to transfer money to it before the banks closed), I had to get some dollars and my malaria pills... at eleven at night I started to pack my bag and three hours later I was almost ready to go. After a shower there's an ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center October 30th 2013

1. It's so seriously cold here at night, that I've got five blankets and one sheet on my bed, and I use them all. We're at 2800 meters here and my fingers are frozen in the morning when I didn't put my hands underneath the sheets. Even my Dutch thermostat has to be adjusted to these temperatures! During the day it's nice though, between 17 (sun gone) and 25 (sun out) degrees. The only thing is that you're getting pretty busy putting on and taking off your jumper all the time... The height is not so much of a problem otherwise, although it really feels like I´ve run a marathon when I arrive at my house about twohundred meters uphill :) 2. You can have breakfast with a sandwich and coffee for one dollar here. For ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center October 30th 2013

"Do you have these in 39?" I put the shoe that I hold in my right hand in the air. Between all the hearts, bows, flowers, gold, silver and glistening little stones I found a pair of shoes that you could call "normal". To compensate that normality though (I'm sure that "normal" will be out of fashion for a few more decades here in Ecuador), most simple models are painted in orange, light green or in any other spectacular variant. I look questionning at the salesgirl while I try not to look to desperate. She shakes her head: "Solo hasta las 38." Hmmm, which ones do you have in 39? She hesitates before she points at the three most horrible shoes on the shelf, all combinations of the decorations and colors I mentioned earlier. No thanks. ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center October 29th 2013

Most remarkably, Quito sits up high at 2850 meters (almost 9,000 feet) above sea level in a valley bordered by mountains. This position means Quito is spread out over 50 kilometers from north to south, but only eight kilometers wide. There is a mix of old and new in this city of 1.6 million. The Centro historico (historic center) is a trip back into colonial times, with narrow cobblestone streets, ornate plazas, and old, but spectacular churches. The newer part of town, called New Town, nicknamed unimaginably, gringolandia, is more cosmopolitan, like the magazine. The area has a lively cultural scene, active nightlife, and newer hotels, and from what I read, the best restaurants in Ecuador. Most of the people live in barrios or shantytowns, up the slopes of the mountains, or north and south of ... read more
Lost?
We can always pray

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center October 28th 2013

This is my fifth country have visited in South America, previously having visited to Brazil, Peru, Chile, and Argentina. They have all been great experiences, but each quite different from the others. This trip to Ecuador will also be goofy and stranger than strange. My best travel buddy Mike and I are meeting my Lithuanian friend from Cape Town, South Africa. That ought to make for some interesting times. When people ask why Ecuador and Columbia, the answer might be as follows. Ecuador is a very under appreciated country. It has many cultures and indigenous people. Columbia has cleaned up their act after decades of drugs and violence. Anyone who has lived there has proclaimed it to be the most beautiful place in all of the Americas. We shall see. What do we know about Ecuador ... read more




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