Ecuadorian Adventures


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South America » Ecuador » North » Quito
July 5th 2006
Published: July 6th 2006
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Now where did i leave off? It's been an adventurous week! I arrived in Quito on the 25th of June. landed at the Secret Garden hostal, more of a 4 floor concrete jungle, but cool vibe and GREAT food. spent more on the food than the accomodations.

Quito is a city built into the side of a mountain. gorgeous setting, and perfect weather. But man, Quito sprawl gives Los Angeles a serious run for it's money!!! Except for a few plazas, not one tree or any grass in the entire city. And the many buses that traverse the city conk out a huge puff of black soot as they go by. I wouldn't be suprised to find it one of the most polluted cities in the world. After 2 days, I decided to get the heck out, and re-think a month of Spanish lessons here.

So i hopped on a bus to the Saquisilli (Saka-silly) market last thursday- a weekly indigeonous market. It was quite the scene. (i´ll let the pictures explain). more geared towards the locals than the gringos (tourists) tho, as i soon found out. so i decided to move onward to Chugchilan and the Black Sheep
CathedralCathedralCathedral

Quito-old town
Inn, an eco-friendly lodge that served veggie food in the mountains. But i had missed the main bus and ended up booking a passage with the locals who were returning home to the mountains after selling their wares at the market. i bought a ticket and came back to the bus to find locals piled on with chickens, heaping bags of rice stacked 3 high in the aisles, pig's ears dangling from the ceiling, vegetables, and varous vendors hopping on the bus to sell stuff to passengers. i'm sure a lady had a kitten in a burlap sack because i heard a distinct 'mew' ! wow. so everyone took a seat, and then at least 10 more people than could fit on the bus stuffed in. and so thus began the several hour journey up the mountain via dirt road, stopping every 500 ft to let off the locals. when i finally reached the black sheep inn, i was let off with 2 other tourists at a fork in a dirt road. A half an hour hike later, i was there.
whew! what a day!!!!

The Black Sheep inn was quite a splurge at $20 a night for a bunkhouse, but soooo nice. had composting toilets, bathrooms with spectacular views of the mountains, a friendly cat named Shakira, and veggie food every night. The owner was a gorgeous guy I wanted to get to know further, until i was introduced to his wife. (sigh). you never want to hear those words from a cute guy. oh well. the next day i went on what turned out to be a 6 hour hike from LAke Quilatoa back to our hostal. BRUTAL!!! the lake was breathtaking!!!! and windy. HAD to be hurricane force winds up there. i would've been content to see it and catch a ride back, but we hiked around the lake at 10,000 plus feet, down an entire mountain side (3000 ft) and then back up another 1000 ft through steep passages with dirt sliding beneath your feet and such. i swore off hiking for eternity!!!!
the next day i sat by the woodburning stove and drank tea and ate oatmeal cookies! yummm.

Back in quito sunday, i walked old town with another traveler and found some really lovely areas. a nice plaza, old architecture and some nice look outs. the weather was so lovely that quito
Me sitting on the EquatorMe sitting on the EquatorMe sitting on the Equator

i got a stamp on my passport
was a bit redeemed.

Monday was a miserable day. i took a bus to the papallactas hotsprings, only to find it a mile walk to the entrance with my 30 lb pack, and raining, cold and miserable. after an hour, i hopped on a bus, not quite going where i needed. Bus driver dropped me off at a rather scary police check-point, and 5 mintues later i was picked up by the right bus and shuffled off to my next hostel, the magic roundabout, a GORGEOUS place in the cloud forest, complete with dogs, a bunkroom to myself, great food, and a siamese kitten named Mia, which i ended up playing with all night. i seem to be gravitating towards English speaking, eco-vegetarian places. spoiled, i say!

i'm off to my volunteer experience in the Ecuadorian Rainforest
I'll check in later. i LOVE all your comments. keep them up. internet helps me feel connected. Rob, have a great trip, thanks for keeping up. Kate, keep up with your drinking, Art2, don't let the looney bin get you down. Everyone else, thinkin of you. and now to pictures!!!




Additional photos below
Photos: 47, Displayed: 25


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MusiciansMusicians
Musicians

Musicians perform at dinner-Secret Garden hostel, Quito
Saquasilli MarketSaquasilli Market
Saquasilli Market

kindof daunting scene at first!
Saquasilli MarketSaquasilli Market
Saquasilli Market

Local market on thursdays.
Saquasilli MarketSaquasilli Market
Saquasilli Market

Grains for sale at the saquasilli market
Saquasilli MarketSaquasilli Market
Saquasilli Market

Fruit for sale at the saquasilli market
Saquasilli MarketSaquasilli Market
Saquasilli Market

andean lady carries wares on her back
Saquasilli MarketSaquasilli Market
Saquasilli Market

andean lady getting off the bus
Road from Saquasilli to ChugchillianRoad from Saquasilli to Chugchillian
Road from Saquasilli to Chugchillian

stuffed on a chicken bus, through windy dirt roads, dropping off locals. spectacular country
Road from Saquasilli to ChugchillianRoad from Saquasilli to Chugchillian
Road from Saquasilli to Chugchillian

riding on switchbacks through the mountains, letting off the locals who'd come from the market
Black Sheep Inn, ChugchillanBlack Sheep Inn, Chugchillan
Black Sheep Inn, Chugchillan

Finally arrive at the Black Sheep Inn to this gorgeous view
Bathroom at the Black SheepBathroom at the Black Sheep
Bathroom at the Black Sheep

all bathrooms have composting toilets, a mountain view and a greenhouse. cool
Black Sheep at the Black SheepBlack Sheep at the Black Sheep
Black Sheep at the Black Sheep

she was licking my hand!!!


6th July 2006

wow!
Tanya, Oh my goodness. It doesn't even seem real. It sounds like you are doing all the things you want to do and who knew you'd find eco/vegie type accomodations? Too cool! It is wonderful to get to read about your adventure and then the photos are the icing on the cake. Thank you for keeping us in the loop. Feels like we are there with you.
6th July 2006

Great Pics
Tan, The pictures are beautiful! Not exactly my terrain though! Thank goodness you are in good shape. I bet you have lost weight since leaving the Us. Take care. Love, Mom PS Read some of the diaries so I know what it's like where you are,.
6th July 2006

Wonder pics!
Hey Tan, Glad you got where you were going! Your bus ride sounded like quite an adventure. You pictures are absolutely fantastic!! Keep them coming. What is your work assignment? Hope you have time to have some fun. Love, Dad
6th July 2006

You Rock!
Your trip looks amazing. I'm so happy for you. Keep the journal entries coming... The pictures are great... you have to publish your story in something when you get back. Stay safe and have fun! - Rory
6th July 2006

wow!
Damn, Monster, those are some GORGEOUS pix. You SERIOUSLY need to get yourself a Photographer's Market when you get home--I can see at least 5 pictures here which would be TOTALLY saleable. (And that's not even counting that adorable kittypic.) I'm glad this trip seems to be everything you hoped for, and I can't wait for the next installment!
10th July 2006

Lake Quilatoa
The lake looks stunning I really wish I had gone there when I was in Quito and the hostels you've been staying in sound great. take care x
11th July 2006

Uuuuuuueweee! Thanks for sharing!!!!
Tan! Just know that your Dad's ol' writing buddy, neighbor Dottie is at the end of your line snooping in too. Great Day Granny!!! I'm enjoying the trip!!! You are so brave, girlfriend. Of course, I know where you got that from!! Golly! I'm proud of you. And I just can NOT thank you enough for letting me go hiking and shakily bus riding and enjoying all those cats, dogs and the various animals...vicariouly with youuuu! This is already the most fascinating book. I say now.....don't change a word.....just let them bind it in just this form because we FEEL it, experience it and thrill in it. And DON'T lose that camera!! You have got it right. Wow! What perfect pictures! Yes!! yes!! yes!! Keep telling us the little things that you notice and impress you. I know your writing this takes time but you will always be glad you did. I can't wait til you blog again. I don't think I even need to say it but......enjoy every single minute, Tan!! Squeeze as much as you can out of each one. Pulling for you and dreaming of your life!! Vicariously, Dottie at dboatwright@sc.rr.com

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