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Published: December 23rd 2011
So, the Galapagos trip was over and it was time to get back to Quito. This wasn’t bad news though as we had yet to really see what we wanted to in Quito, and decided to take the remaining days we had before our flight to Lima to try see these very things.
When we arrived back in the new town, it was Sunday evening, and we decided to have a stroll about to see if we could see anybody from the Galapagos tour and maybe have a couple drinks with them. Just as we had given up, and decided to grab something to eat, we stumbled upon Abby and Andy from the trip, and joined them. They had some rather bad news. As it was Sunday, Quito stopped serving alcohol after 4pm…. It was 4:15pm!
The reason for this apparently is due to the ‘issues’ that Quito have on a Sunday with drink related crimes, petty theft, and other more serious incidents…why these only happen on a Sunday is unexplained, but either way, we were not getting a beer this evening! So, we all instead partook in a nice coffee and a chat, and showed the world that
just because we were English, it didn’t mean we couldn’t live without a beer for one night!
The next day we decided to hit the old town as we were told it was very picturesque in places, and worth a good few hours of our time. Today was Monday, and at 11am they had the changing of the guards in the main plaza, so this had to be seen. Watching the changing of the guards was an interesting experience, although it wasn’t the most riveting thing we had seen thus far…good to see how patriotic the Ecuadorians are though. Whilst watching it I did come over a tad sweaty and giddy, and this reminded us that being up this high wasn’t to be sniffed at! After this we walked around the town taking in the sights, and eventually found our way to one of the largest churches I think we have seen. The church itself was fairly average apart from it’s size, but the interest we had in it came from being able to climb very high up onto the church towers for a very agreeable fee.
We had heard that the climb was ‘treacherous’, however, once we
got in, the first three levels were just normal stairs that you would find in a multi-story car park or something…easy. Then we came across a rickety bridge that runs over the top of the churches ceiling, and it was here that things started to get a little more scary. By the end of the wobbly bridge, we were greeted with a very steep ladder to climb…this was first of many in order to reach the top of the towers, and one that needed to be taken with care. After this, there were no less than 7 more ladders / thin spiral staircases to face, most of which were near vertical, and being up that high, was pretty damn scary indeed. Well, it was to us anyway, as it seems that local Ecuadorians have no fear of heights what-so-ever, and spent their time whizzing up the ladders and sitting on the edge of crazy drops to the ground… Donna and I could barely watch at times! By the time we finally reached the top, we were glad we made the effort, as we were greeted with a fantastic view of Quito, which really was quite stunning, plus we got some
well needed exercise which was well overdue!
Previously unknown to us, this coming week was to host Quito’s foundation celebrations, and therefore there were festivities all over the place (We really do have a knack of hunting out these parties it seems!) So, after a lazy day, we agreed that we had adjusted enough to the altitude, and decided to watch the parade from ‘The corner pub’ (cheers Abby and Andy!) and do what we do best…..get smashed. The parade was actually very good, and lasted ages, so it gave us plenty of time to sink a few frothy ones and enjoy the party with the locals.
The next day was to be our last in Quito, and therefore we agreed that we should head down to Mitad Del Mundo (Middle of the world), and stand on the Equator line. It is a pretty cheesy thing to do, however something that if this close, is a sin not to see. So, we hopped on a public bus, and were on our way. Twice we were told by a lovely local lady to keep hold of our belongings, presumably as thieves prowl the buses, and so taking this advice
we squeezed the bags we had with us with all our might, and tried to look inconspicuous…..not easy considering I am at least a foot taller than most people here! So, after a fairly lengthy ride, we finally arrived with all our belongings still present, and made our way into the entrance of Mitad del Mundo. We took some ridiculously sad photos as all terrible tourists should, and congratulated each other on getting to the middle of the earth.
Sadly, this was not entirely accurate though. A few years after they had built this huge monument, and area to visit to enjoy and take cheesy photos, GPS was invented, and this unfortunately pulled up the fact that the monument wasn’t actually directly on the Equator line, but was in fact a little off! Since we had come this far, we decided that after the monument we should make the small walk round the corner to the official Equator line, and take the obligatory snaps on the actual line that is the Middle of the world...what a cock up!
Well, our time in Ecuador was finally up after this, and that evening we headed for the airport in order
to get to our next country of the trip….Peru.
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