Blogs from Quito, North, Ecuador, South America - page 2


South America » Ecuador » North » Quito March 28th 2014

After a week in paradise, it was back to reality with an almighty, ground shaking, seismic bang; we had arrived in Quito. With a painstaking 90 minute, traffic ridden taxi journey to get from the airport to the city centre, we were fortunate to be able to share a taxi with a couple we met on our boat in Galapagos. Tired and with serious Galapagos blues, we dumped our bags down in our six man dorm and ventured out to buy some food for dinner. Staying in the 'Old Town', we had been assured it was safe enough to walk around at night. However, walking the five minutes to the shops and back still felt a little more than sketchy. Feeling as skint as a couple of locals tramps, we opted for a multi pack of ... read more
I don't think so...not quite right!
The wrong 'centre of the earth' GPS
Gem at the real centre of the earth

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito March 15th 2014

DAYS 24- 6. We arrived one day early before the start of our trip. What a contrast having been as low as 55 degrees south at Ushuaia, whereas Quito is on the equator at 0 degrees or more than 6000kms north. The altitude certainly takes your breath away and we needed to slow down to get used to it. Quito sits at an altitude of 2,850 m under the gaze of Volcan Pichincha and is known to be one of the most attractive cities in South America and we agree although the volcano was mostly in light cloud today. The city is long and thin as it stretches along a central valley formed by the east and west ranges of the Andes. While intending to have a quiet day to further acclimitize we teamed up with ... read more
Middle Earth
Market Day at Otavala
Market Day at Otavala

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito March 13th 2014

DAY 22 With no firm plans for the day we had a latish breakfast before setting out to soak-up the atmosphere in warm sun. Just what we needed for recovering ills! Pretty happy to get past the outlets with only a minor purchase plus some other essentials for up north. Later found a nice coffee shop & as Argentineans like to do the owner started chatting & it turns out she is a pharmacist & was able to translate names for our exhausted drug requirements with the local brand names & directed us to a shop a few doors away. This was a godsend as previously a pharmacist did not seem to be a requirement in a shop, as most drugs seem to be available over the counter, & therefore you mainly deal with a limited/non-english ... read more

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

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito January 28th 2014

27 January 2014 – Monday – Quito, Ecuador A strange start to the morning: a very brief visit to the South American Explorers Club building where the ‘President’ tried to recruit us for all kinds of tours, even a tour to the local prison. His sales monologue was uncomfortable and weird and a little bit creepy so we informed him that we were only in Quito for a couple more days and left the building. Next followed an attempt to have a coffee and use the toilet at the Juan Valdez cafe without handing over our passports. We also went to the nearby Cafe Libro but they don’t open until noontime. So we returned to our apartment where Joan whipped up an egg and bacon omelette. We went to the Botanic Gardens and spent a couple ... read more
Quito Botanic Garden 017
Quito Botanic Garden 010
Quito Botanic Garden 017


South America » Ecuador » North » Quito January 27th 2014

Oswaldo Guayasamin is an extraordinary painter and sculptor from Ecuador. We had never heard of him prior to arriving in Otavalo. He was an ardently, politically controversial artist during his lifetime and we suspect that his unconventional politics played a major role in limiting his visibility in the West. The American government criticized his far-left leaning support of Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution and communism in general. They also strongly condemned an image he painted of a Nazi in a helmet labelled ‘CIA’. His unique and striking images are nearly omnipresent in Ecuador (very like Botero in Colombia): they adorn t-shirts, posters, mugs, ceramics, key rings, and many other items sold in the markets and gift shops. I purchased a t-shirt with a musical image and asked the lady who was this ‘Guayasamin’. She spoke ... read more
Quito Oswaldo Guayasamin and Omama Cafe 008
Quito Oswaldo Guayasamin and Omama Cafe 021
Quito Oswaldo Guayasamin and Omama Cafe 024

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito January 26th 2014

25 January 2014 – Saturday – Quito, Ecuador Today we visited the historical centre of Quito. In 1978, along with the historical centre of Krakow, Poland, was the first city in the world to receive World Heritage Site status from UNESCO. In 2013, Quito was nominated for the prestigious "World Travel Awards" in the category of "leading South American Destinations". Quito has the largest, least-altered, and best-preserved historic centre in South America. It is considered one of the most important historic areas in Latin America. There are about 130 monumental buildings (which hosts a variety of pictorial art and sculpture, mostly of religious inspired in a multi-faceted range of schools and styles) and 5,000 properties registered in the municipal inventory of heritage properties. Although a multi-million dollar regeneration program has claimed to leave the historical cent ... read more
Quito Historical Center 014
Quito Historical Center 017
Quito Historical Center 018

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito January 25th 2014

24 January 2014 – Friday – Otavalo to Quito, Ecuador We had a leisurely morning in Otavalo packing and preparing to travel further south. The boisterous French had taken over the hotel and it was time to move on. We had planned to stay three nights in Otavalo and ended up staying five instead. At this rate we will only get to Buenos Aires in time to catch our flight back to Europe. Our improvised (and so far jazz-less) journey is a combination of vague forward planning (but not too far forward) based on guidebook reading and internet searches and discussions about possibilities with the people we meet en-route. (We probably would not have stopped in Tulcan nor staying in Otavalo if not for the persuasive enthusiasm of Harry in San Agustin.) We are finding 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

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