Published: October 25th 2009October 24th 2009
The border town of Tulcan was built on a hill, cobblestones and all and when it's pouring down rain the water gushes down like a torrential stream to the bottom, the taxi we were on was caught one too many times in this deluge and we got a bit worried but the driver got us through safe and dropped us off at the bus terminal .85 cents per person but he did not give us a change for the 2 dollars we gave him, he quickly sped off, 3 people were shouting our destination, Quito, Quito!! the most aggressive person won us, bus leaves in 10 minutes! One porter dude took John's pack right away down the stairs to the bus, I told him to follow the dude and I'll pay for the fare, $4.50 per person. The inside of the bus is wet and water dripping from the roof! They remedied it by putting scotch tape to seal them did not work of course. the bus ride was about 6 hours, we keep stopping for fares, it was dark when we made it to the new North terminal in Quito, we got quoted $8 for the fare to the new
town. Checked in at El Taxo hostel recommended by Elliot. We got our own room with bath for $8, bargain. The German and Aussie girls we met in San Agustin are here, they told us how they "almost" got mugged yesterday. Had Indian food for dinner, finished the cigar that Cristina gave us and off to bed.
The following morning is a bit overcast, we headed to the old town , we took the trolley that costs us only .50 cents. It was crowded so we have to keep an eye on our things. We had a couple hours of walking around town, admiring the architectures and just people watching, then off to the Catedral, this mammoth bldg in the old town, we paid to go up the top, was here last 5 years ago, good to be back. i did not make it all the way to the top, but John did, just dont like heights. We tried to find the hostel Secret Garden where i stayed last time I was here but i got disoriented so we took the next trolley back to the new town. John booked his Galapagos trip then we went out to find
dinner, chinese this time. Bob, a dude from Hobart, Tasmania, staying in the hostel asked me if i want to join them tomorrow for a day trip to the Mitad del Mundo monument. I decided to check out Blue House hostel cause they have wifi which i need so badly to do some online banking, John and I had a few beers while using their wifi and then we headed back to our hostel, me deciding to move there tomorrow.
Early morning wake up, I took the taxi with John, they dropped me off at the Blue House while John went to the airport for Galapagos. Christian, a satff at Blue House gave me a map of the city and recommended the teleferico to see the city from the Volcan Pichincha mountain range, I went using public transport, i got there then while waiting for the free shuttle bus at the bus stop I noticed a sign that says it is shut, under maintenance, crap! But since I am already here i went up anyway but nothing much really to see so I walked back to the bottom of the hill and asked a lady vendor where to wait
for the bus back to town. 10 minutes later it came, I saw the trolley stop Seminario mayor at the bottom of the hill so i got off and took the train all the way to the end line La Ofelia. It was like 16 stops, from there i took a bus to Mitad del Mundo .15 cents from the bus terminal itself. it was another maybe 30 minutes, there was 2 other gringo in the bus, we all got left at the entrance of the monument, it was a huge complex, with planetarium, insectarium etc. I only paid to enter the complex, $2. Walked around took fotos, this is my 4th trip to the equator, 1st time here though.
I tried to find the "true" equator as Cristina told me to, I asked around people who work there and even the vendors, they said this is the one and only!! After lunch of mote and chicharron, very salty! I left the complex disappointed as no one would point to me the exact place, got tired of looking for it i literally scoured the area but nada! took the bus back ,but now it costs .40cents! Arriving at the
hostel, new people came in the afternoon and our room soon got filled up,a coupe of Irish dudes who just arrived from Cali, a Dutch dude coming from the jungle excursion and 2 English blokes. It is friday night so the town is buzzing, the hostel is in the thick of things thank god its not that noisy, played with the resident dog Pinky then went out for some dinner, found this Mongolian restaurant all you can eat buffet, nothing to write home about, my bill came up to $10 with drinks and taxes, not worth it, dont come there!
Chatted with the Dutch dude before bed.
Early morning departure to Latacunga, reception called a taxi for me, he quoted $12 to the south terminal!! I clarified it with him, i only want to go to the bus terminal not to Latacunga by taxi! He explained it is very far from the centre is why. The new terminal is very nice, swanky place teeming with police. I found the booth for Latacunga, $4 only straight to the terminal! cheaper than what i paid for a taxi ride to get to the bus terminal arghh!!
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