Published: March 14th 2007
March 14th 2007
Hey hey everyone!
Greetings from way way up in Ecuador. The last couple weeks have been spent taking in all we can in the highlands of North and Central Ecuador.
Our first stop was Otavalo, famous for its indigenous crafts and the resulting markets. We spent a day exploring the surrounding countryside watching how the indigenous people made reed mats, spun wool and weaved all sorts of clothing. One the following Saturday, pretty much half the town turns into a huge craft market to sell there hard work. This huge market originates in a central plaza and radiates outwards into all the surrounding streets, not to mention the food and animal markets that were in other locations. After lingering, browsing and bartering some, we decided to move on so we cruised down to Quito, the capital of Ecuador.
Ecuador is another large Latin American city similar to many we have already seen but we had lots of fun checking out the sights and the sounds of this town. It is nestled up in a mountain valley at almost 3000 meters so the weather was really wacky when we were there. Clouds were moving in and out and
Center of the Globe.
It was easy to get in, but hard to get out...
all around. Coolest thing we did by far was explore a 200 year old cathedral that is still under construction. I guess they need all the money they can to finish it, so for 2 bucks you could climb anywhere you wanted on this huge building including climbing right up to the spire at the top of the clock tower. Sweet! And the views were well worth it too. We also met up with some fellow Canadianse friends we met in Panama (Lincoln and Calena) and went on down to the center of the world so we could jump back and forth from each hemisphere. That got boring after a while so we went back into the city for some beers…
We ran into another friend (Ross) we also met in Panama and he convinced us to come explore this area called the Quilatoa Loop in the rural highlands south of Quito. We spent four days in a gorgeous area that was crowned with a huge crater lake! Check out the photos of this area as it was beautiful. For anyone who is passing through the area, the Black Sheep Hostel is WELL worth the money. A million dollar
This ones for JORDAN
Lamas, Frisby Golf and Senery...Really, what more can you ask for in Paradise?
view from the crapper and can you believe it, Frisbee golf! In Ecuador! One other thing worth mentioning is that we have now truly experienced the true meaning of taking the ¨milk run.¨ The day we left we decided to skip the 4am for the bus and wait for the milk truck as it passed by on its daily collection run. Two hours late, it finally showed up and then proceeded to pile on a new Guinness World Record for most weight into one half-ton truck (Toyota´s are one TOUGH truck):
- 31 locals
- 2 45gallon milk drums
- 7 40lbs propane cylinders
- 4 gringos and their big backpacks
Needless to say 2 1/2 hours later (and a whopping 20 km), we got there in true ´local style´! We had some sweet photos but we somehow lost them. :(
From there we cruised down to Baños for a few days and checked out this cool little town nesteled under an active volcano. It is like a Ecuadorian Whistler - with every andventure sport under the sun being marketed there. We rented bikes one day and biked 60 km downhill out of the Andes into the edge
of the Jungle to a town called Puyos. I would have to say you pass at least 15 beautiful waterfalls on the way down. Another day, Ben couldn´t resist renting his favourite dirtbike in the world (XR Power!) and cruised up and down and all around the surrounding mountains and countryside. After the mandatory soak in the numerous hotsprings around Baños (Baños means ´Baths´ in Spanish), it was off to Guyaquil to catch a flight out to….
The Galapagos Islands (coming soon to a screen near you).
There are more photos below