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October 3rd 2011
Published: October 4th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

Saturday 1st October

Our hostel has picked us up from the airport!! We had a feeling they were going to, and there they did. Its a little place in the heart of the Old City and on the oldest street in Quito. Kenya and her Mum Gloria have made us feel really welcome. The hostel rooms actually surround the restaurant downstairs so its pretty noisy. When the TV is on down there, its blaring, and if the music is one its blaring too.

Sunday 2nd October

The roads in the old city are closed to cars today so its all pedestrians and push bikes. Its so charming. We climbed to the top of the the Basilica this morning. What an amazing view of the city!! It has the tallest church towers in South America, and while it is still
technically unfinished, local legend has it that if it were finished, the end of the world would come.
There is an elevator at the side of the Basilica or you can walk the steps and ladders as we did, to the top.
There are hundreds of people shopping or gathering in the squares to watch clowns and comics. I
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think we are going out the the Equator tomorrow. Apparently you can weigh yourself on the other side of the equator and weigh an entire kilo less! Who doesnt want that!! Just as well too. I saw a girl today selling sheets of pork crackling in clear plastic bags the size of garbage bags! Of COURSE I bought some!!:-)
Funny thing. We were walking back to our street this afternoon and we see a girl in white
leggings, black strappy sandals and a boob tube with hideous makeup and as we do when we see things like this, one of us will say "Sellin' it?" and the other will confirm " OH sellin it for sure!"
As we move further down the street, we ascertain that they are sellin it for sure, but who would be buyin' it??? These girls are huge LOL. Shane reckons that spanking the monkey in this country is under rated! LOL

Shane says: Underrated is not the true term. How could you fork out money for that? Anyway $40 bucks later. haha. No really, it wasn't a sight one looks forward to.

Sharls says: Yeah right. Shane has now grown a beard. Thats

The Crypts beneath the Basilica
not a sight one looks forward to either!

Shane says: As one gets older one needs to look distinguished.

Sharls Says: Ah, and when's that going to happen? It looks like a 1920's hair brush with all these old lady white hairs sticking out of it. Victor, you are very unattractive man. LOL

3rd October

This morning we are both jumping from one side of the equator to the other! Yep, Latitude 00.00'.00 is about 30 kms from Quito, which also means centre of the world, and has done since the 15th century. North, South, North, South- Its quite a sensation!
Ecuadors big claim to fame is being on the equator.
We can visually see water running down a sink hole in opposite directions on either side of the equatorial line and when placed in the centre, there is no current at all. It runs straight down the hole! Most people can balance an egg on the top of a nail too! I am not one of these people :-( We both tried and failed.
Have seen the actually shrunken head of a 12 yr old boy as well as that of a Sloth. We have seen them before throughout Borneo and South America but didnt know how they were done until today. Can't wait to share LOL. The skin is peeled back from the skull in its entirety, leaving just face, scalp and lips etc. Then the skin is placed in a pot of secret herbs, (of which there are 12) and boiled for about 40 mins, and then dried. The skin is then filled with hot stones until it resembles a head again. Its that easy! KFC anyone?
The practice still takes place these days but only with animals.
We have cruised into the LAN office today and secured our flights to Iguazu Falls on the 12th October. We will hopefully stay there for 3 nights and then head to Buenos Aires for 5 nights before moving on to Uraguay. We might! We are a little over Ecuador. Its quite expensive and the food is really ordinary. Honestly, its gotten to the point where I look at a picture of food at a restaurant and lose my appetite. Everything is fried and served with rice or fried eggs- everything!! So its back to Argentina we go!

Off to the Amazon tomorrow, so taking a small plane to Lago Agrio, and then up river to the lodge there. We did get an email today advising that there hasnt been any rain so if there isnt any tonight we will have to trek in. Soooo looking forward to that - not!
We will have the opportunity to visit with some of the local jungle people and meet with the village Shaman, who will explain village custom and share some knowledge of herbs and secret poltices! Cant wait.
Sixto has been warned not to pee in the river in case he catches a Candiru fish. The Candiru or Vampire Fish or Penis Fish, is attracted by the smell of urine and the smaller species are known for an alleged tendency to invade and parasitise the human urethra. Then
they grow!!! Fun huh LOL
Over and out for now xxxx

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Because I could!

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