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Published: August 5th 2011
After an incredible week of adventure and paradise it was time to return to the real world of crowded, bustling Quito. This morning we were supposed to eat breakfast at 7:30 and then go to the airport at 9. Well, 9 o´clock came and went and we were still all sitting on a bench with no Oswaldo in sight. When he finally came back from arranging our flight we found out we weren´t leaving until 11:45. So we had free time until 11 which basically consisted of us sitting around waiting to go. But we did find a nice little cafe and I had a delicious hot chocolate. When we finally left our flight was on time and had no complications. Once in Quito we returned to the Sierra Madre, our very first hotel, before going out for one last dinner as a group. Tonight was sad, a few tears shed from some, as we said goodbye to about half our group who were flying to Lima tomorrow to continue an Intrepid trip to Machu Picchu. There are now 6 of us left in Quito and we will stick together tomorrow to do some more exploring of the city.
The main tourist attraction in Quito is, of course, the equator line, la Mitad del Mundo. So the 6 of us took taxis first to the monument, which is actually not the real equator, to get some pictures on the line before going to the ´real´equator a little further up the hill that has a museum and a some interactive activities. We all tried to balance an egg on a nail (I succeeded for a second!), we watched water swirl down a drain in different directions depending on which side of the equator we were on, we tried walking straight on the equator line with our eyes closed, and we tested how our strength is less on the line than off of it. Most of them are just tricks, but our guide still shared a lot of information about Ecuador and it´s cultures with us which was very interesting.
Next we went to the Teleferico, a cable car up the side of a mountain by the city. From the top you can see how far Quito stretches in all directions, it is a very long city. Just looking at the size from up there I cannot imagine living here and trying to find my way around. There is also a trail leading up from the main observation point that we decided to try. Before we reached the steep part two of our group had to leave to catch their flight to Lima to join the others, so more goodbyes were said. With 4 of us left we continued up what seemed to be a fairly easy climb. Hah, it was anything but. The affect on us and our lungs from the altitud was incredible and we all had to rest for a few seconds every once in a while. But after a while I was feeling more acclimated to it so 2 of us stayed behind while another woman and I headed to what we thought was the ´top.´ On the way we met a group of guys coming down who informed us it was about a 4 hour hike to the top of a volcano and we wouldn´t make it with our limited water. So we set our goal to the next hill and simply enjoyed the view from there.
After we got back to the city we went in search of an internet cafe. Lucky us because right when we found it it started pouring with thunder and lightening. The rain lasted about an hour and didn´t let up that entire time, it was crazy! But it stopped right when we were leaving the internet place to go in search of food. After dinner we had another goodbye before another woman (one of the Swiss women, Nadja) and I went back to our new hostel, The Secret Garden, located in the old city. Straight to bed for us and no alarm clock set for the morning!
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