Quito, Ecuador

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January 10th 2019
Published: January 10th 2019
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Our first real foray into South America begins in Quito.

We have a very comfortable, inexpensive Airbnb here for 6 weeks.

As we did in Malaga last year, we plan to use Quito as our home base to take side trips to various sights in Equator.

Next up, Galapagos Islands.

Additional photos below
Photos: 35, Displayed: 22



We are spared the tropical heat of the equator as Quito is at 9 300 feet, giving it a refreshing climate. It took me almost a week to adjust to the thinner air.
Surprise welcomeSurprise welcome
Surprise welcome

We were delighted to be greeted in Quito by old Aussie mates Paul, Paddy, Bill & Noi. They will be travelling independently from us but we still managed a few fun filled days together.
Quito digsQuito digs
Quito digs

Our Airbnb home for the next 6 weeks. Very comfortable with a great view over the city.

There are hundreds of Venezuelan refugees in Quito. Many beg or try to sell small items. They are not aggressive.
New Year's EveNew Year's Eve
New Year's Eve

Proved to be very entertaining. Single men dress as women and harass cars at intersections and demand a coin to let traffic pass. At midnight in addition to fireworks, effigies of least favourite politicians are burned in the street.
Mitad del MundoMitad del Mundo
Mitad del Mundo

Our first outing was to the Equator which runs through the north end of Quito. The guided tour of exhibits and demonstration of physics was outstanding.
Head Shrinkers!Head Shrinkers!
Head Shrinkers!

Up until the 1960s this Amazon tribe practised the "art" of head shrinking...to both honour dead relatives and display defeated enemies.
Lost your head?Lost your head?
Lost your head?

The one inside the case is the real thing. Bones, brain etc. removed. All stitched up to prevent the soul from escaping.
Amazon fashion statementAmazon fashion statement
Amazon fashion statement

We hope to NOT meet this gentleman on our Amazon trip early next month.
Walking the lineWalking the line
Walking the line

It was impossible to walk the exact line of the equator with eyes closed...bizarre but true!
Down the plug holeDown the plug hole
Down the plug hole

This remarkable demonstration showed how by just moving the tub 5 feet north or south of the equator, the water went down opposite directions.

This enormous statue of Mary dominates the Quito skyline.
Old TownOld Town
Old Town

In the distance is the statue of Mary.
Franciscan ChurchFranciscan Church
Franciscan Church

Having investigated so many cathedrals in Spain & Italy last year we had to take a look at the opulent interior of this church that took 150 years to build...its interior covered in 24 carat gold.
Street dancersStreet dancers
Street dancers

The buskers and hawkers come out in force for Saturday, market day.
Street massageStreet massage
Street massage

The masseuse lost some of his charm when he hauled a smartphone out of his loincloth.

A little tricky to read, but more expensive to haul your large dog up the gondola than it cost us to ride. We were surprised how many dogs were at the top.

For a spectacular view over Quito and its surrounding volcanos this ride up to an elevation of 13 500' or 4100m take the teleferiqo.
At the topAt the top
At the top

Cool, rugged scenery to the west of Quito. We found the thin air a challenge.
Botanical GardensBotanical Gardens
Botanical Gardens

Close by to our apartment is the most popular park in Quito, Carolina, with many attractions, including these beautiful gardens.

A great display of Amazonian pitcher plants.

11th January 2019

Fun fun fun
Looks like a fabulous holiday. Lovely to catch up with Paul and Paddy too.

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