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Published: August 9th 2007
An interesting couple of days just passed...
Firstly i´m happy to say that I´m off to the Galapagos tomorrow for 6 days in total, the first two days on the main island, then picking up a liveaboard (luxury class!!) tour for the last four days. Needless to say this is costing me an arm and a leg, in fact an arm and two legs more like!!
Secondly, I sort of got over my illness yesterday enough to go for what turned out to be a fun day out to Mitad del Mundo, the ´middle of the world´ 20km north of Quito. Well it was all very touristy, but i got to straddle the equator and the photo to prove it. I didn´t notice any strange effects as I did it and I forgot to go to the bathroom and find out what way round the water drains down the sink, darn!! After that I took another bus (another 15cents) up to the crater rim (called Pululahua) just up the road. Alas by that time in the day the clouds had come in and I got only the merest glimpse of the bottom of the crater (where people happily live),
so started trudging down. Only a few metres down the road, a lime green VW camper van stopped and some spanish was garbled at me... after a second hearing I realised they were offering me a lift back to Quito. Well I figured no-one in a VW campervan would be out to rob anyone, so I gladly accepted.
So in the end I spend all afternoon, firstly at a nice seafood restaurant (i went for deep fried prawns, as risk free as possible) and into a chilly evening (Quiteños always carry a jumper i learnt!) at a bar in the centre of town with the occupants, three Quiteños, all cousins. The guy was incredibly funny, and had my spanish been up to it, i´m sure í´d have appreciated it even more. As it turns out, he also happens to be a Salsa teacher, so I have a standing invite to join them all at a Salsateca when I get back from the Galapagos.
So there´s a nice positive story, and here comes the other side of Quito (a side which I´m sure a number of tourists experience). As I was wandering back from the agency where I booked
my Galapagos tour minding my own business in the sun, quite suddenly a guy taps me on the back and says, "look, you´ve got crap all down the back of your trousers". And sure enough I did, gross, and for one horrible moment I envisaged that my diarrhoea had somehow got the better of me in a loose moment. Of course it hadn´t (phew), god knows what the substance was (i´ll be boil washing the trousers no fear ). But as he says this he gets out some tissues and starts wiping my leg, then, the start of the clever bit, he continues "Look it´s on your bag too". I take off my rucksack and sure enough there's more there. The good samaritan takes it upon himself to start wiping my rucksack down, and before I know it my bags been placed (alarm bells starting to ring at this point) in a corner against the wall with him in between me and it, and then there´s another ´good samaritan´ on the scene, and he´s proffering more toilet paper at me, I take it with thanks, then think I´ve got some in my bag,
I´ll just get it out. As I reach for the bag, it´s mysteriously moved further along the road by the original offender, and the 2nd is pointing at the sky to tell me where this mysterious goo substance is coming from. I´m distracted by this, but only for a second - in this time I´m vaguely aware that another person has stopped and placed another rucksack next to mine, and I´m thinking ´weird´. At this point I grab for my bag, suddenly it´s clear to me whats going on. Before I know it, all the good samaritans are gone. I´m there with my bag (thankfully unopened), a handful of toilet tissue, and goo down the back of my trousers. Be warned!
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