Quito – Equador
Or San Francisco de Quito, to give it it’s full name.
Considering the latest stool report, it is perhaps fortuitous that we are staying in the Hotel Hilton Colon tonight. Feels somehow appropriate. Also, turns out they do have wi-fi after all, so just time for a quick few minutes on the blog before turning in.
Not too sure what to make of Quito. Flying into the airport, Quito itself looks to be a large urban sprawl across rolling green countryside. The city appears, on the surface, to be clean and orderly, but there are certain signs that all might not be as it appears.
For example, in the airport immigration lounge, there is a large sign stating that it is illegal to import children for pornography and prostitution. On the streets outside the hotel, a young gentleman thrusts a pamphlet into my hand inviting me to a new erotic bar that is opening just round the corner. In the hotel room, the blurb says “don’t go out at night, it’s too dangerous”.
Mmm, think we might give the erotic bar a miss, I mean it’s not as though this is Krung Thep
is it ?
Weather wise, considering we are more or less bang on the Equator, it’s not that hot. This is no doubt because Quito itself is quite high (2,800 metres making it the second-highest administrative capital city in the world after La Paz, Bolivia). We are told it will be hot at the Galapagos Islands however.
We seem to be getting more and more Latin as we move up South America. Chile was an interesting mix of indigenous Indians and Spanish conquistadors. Not very much spicy Latin music (plenty of Irish!). Peru on the other hand appeared to have a higher percentage of indigenous people. Some Latin and plenty of pan pipes. Equador, the people have their own unique characteristics, though again, largely indigenous. Music is spicing up too.
So, not too bothered then that we aren’t sticking around (though I may be doing them a disservice as appearances can be deceptive).
We met the Galapagos representative and some of the other people that will be joining us on the trip. We’re actually only out on the islands for 4 days (3 nights), some of the others are staying on the boat for a whole
week. Mr. Galapagos tells us that 50% of the wildlife is underwater and we will be doing lots of snorkelling. He says we will find that the wild life isn’t as wild as we might think, and it is quite common to go swimming with sea-lions, turtles and sharks. (‘Scuse me, did he say sharks?)
Anyway, up at 5:00am tomorrow and will be out of touch until the end of March. Promises to be an interesting few days. (Sharks?)
Night night. (He didn't say sharks did he? Hello? Hello? Someone tell me he didn't say sharks please!)
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