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Published: April 12th 2011
We landed back in Quito after saying goodbye to the "Enchanted Isles", and although the wildlife was less tame in the city, the temperature was welcomed after the relentless heat of the Galapagos!
We headed south, through the mountains of central Ecuador stopping in a few towns and villages and an amazing National Park en-route. We have had an amazing time in Ecuador and have enjoyed many memorable moments that have left us pondering over a variety of topics?
This is one of the most treasured possessions of any traveller in Ecuador! No matter what you purchase, the chances of the vendor having change for any bill is tremendously unlikely! Even buying small items like a bread bun or a banana which costs only a few pennies you would still have a fleetingly small chance of getting change from a one dollar bill!
All small change must be hoarded and must not be given to anyone!
On one occasion, a museum couldn´t give us change so they charged us student rate! It worked out good for us!
The Ecuadorian rainforest game of 'las gafas' or 'the goggles'! Oh how Dave (a.k.a. Norbert) will
Looking down onto Baños
After an early morning hike in the mountains.
"O.K., so I,ve been goggled in some strange places, meaning that I had to do a push-up. In the future I will try to have my 'block' on..." The oddest of games as there is never a winner, and you can,t ever finish the game either? Ever!
Anyone curious yet? Anyone wanna play???
The bus drivers are crazy! They drive like maniacs! This is of course a generalisation, but it seems to be 90 percent true! We have observed that most bus drivers are young and that Ecuador has a very high amount of bus accidents - so we assume that's why there are few older drivers??? And no matter how full the bus is, there's always room for one more person! Or two or twenty! Or fifty! Then if you do have a seat to sit on, someone may be sitting on you as they stand and try to obtain some form of sane balance during the curvy ride.
...And the music on the buses (all buses) play the same tunes over and over on a maddening loop! We don´t even know what the song is called, and we´re afraid to ask, in fear of
them selling us the C.D.! They can be quite persuasive!
The tune is, however, in all fairness, interspersed with cheesy R-rated movies and 1980´s shoot em ups.
However, one thing still remains mysterious to us about bus travel!? We read an article the other week about a young American boy who is challenging Einsteins theory of relativity... Here is a question for him. Howcome a bus travelling supersonically through Ecuador and Peru takes 5 hours to cover a meagre distance of only 200kms? Answer that one smartypants!
FRUITS AND MARKETS.
Olfactory overload at the fish markets! Theresa fights with nausea each time we walk through the meat and fish department......nasty stench!
Lucuma, tacso, pacae, babako, guanabana, tuna (cactus pears) and many others are some of the wierd and wonderful fruits we've been eating! It seems amazing that everytime we hit a local market we are baffled as to what fruit they´re selling!? Yeah, umm , er, do we need to cook these? Could we have some of those things please? Do we really get that many passion fruit for a dollar?!
There once was a man who opened a toffee store. His business was doing very well
In case Tungurahua erupts!
In Baños. It erupted in December of 2010! Three months before our visit.
when one day another man got the idea to set up another toffee store.
"This is a great opportunity for me", he thought, "there are lots of people in his store buying toffee from him, so if I set up next door and sell the same things, I should do O.K"
He set up a business!
One day a third potential entrepreneur thought a similar business opportunity was to be had! He set up next door to the second guy - thinking that if these two business are doing well selling toffees in this location, I should be able to earn a decent living here too..
One day there was a fourth guy..... One day there was a fiftieth guy...
In Baños, Ecuador there are about a hundred toffee stores next door to each other on the same street!
We have been enjoying a few shows over here on the odd occasion that we watch a T.V. Friends is a great show to watch with Spanish sub-titles, as is The Big Bang Theory. Some familiar movies that have been dubbed into spanish are fun too as we know the story and can generally follow it.. Bugs Bunny however,
Ecuador's highest peak, a mighty volcano, towers over Riobamba
when dubbed, just doesn´t work... (With the aforementioned rabbit munching on a carrot) Errr, que tal amigo?
...Our last day in Ecuador was spent on a bus. We twisted along a serpentine road, hurtled down elephantine hills and, if you will excuse the use of another faunal adjective, raced through a mammoth valley into Piura, Peru which is in the dessert! And there was no monetary change there either!?
In Chiclayo, Peru we ate at a restaurant formerly known as 'Super Bumm'! However, they have recently changed the name to 'El Boom'... Couldn't they have been more creative! For Example, 'Calipygian Caliente', or perhaps, 'Buttocks Bonito'!
Our time in Chiclayo also coincided with the Peruvian national election. It made for an interesting 'electric atmosphere' in the town! Prohibition had been introduced (no sale of alcohol) for the weekend, and the whole town was strewn with banners and posters of political propaganda... as opposed to a real goose, which is a proper gander.
When the voting was over, we headed on a luxury coach to The Peruvian capital of Lima.
The bus ride was amazing! With only twelve seats on the deck of a full size coach we could
The Ingapirca ruins.
Near the town of Cañar.
fully recline our seats! We had food served to us just like on a plane. We even played bingo on the bus! It was super smooth and quiet, with a clean and fully functioning bathroom (con papel higienico). Blankets and pillows too...
..."It is the strangest, saddest city thou can'st see, for Lima has the white veil, and there is a higher horror in this whiteness of her woe." A quote from Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, describing the ever-present fog (La Garua) that looms over the city of Lima between April and October. Taxi's clearly hadn't been invented in Melville's era, otherwise old Herm would have quoted the perpetual 'honking' of horns. "Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep, ad infinitum."
Dave - who still has a piece of sea-urchin in his finger from snorkelling.
Theresa - "why's there never enough toilet paper in the rooms."
Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep.
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