Blogs from North, Ecuador, South America - page 4

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South America » Ecuador » North » Quito January 10th 2019

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.... read more
Surprise welcome
Quito digs
Venezuelans

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito November 25th 2018

Relaxed start to the day as we didn't have to get to the meeting point for the tour bus until 08:50. There was one meeting point for the tour in the old city and tour to Cotopaxi Volcano officially started at 09:25. The weather didn't look the best for the tour but with just two full days in Quito, we didn't have much choice. The drive there passes many volcanoes so it was an It was a fair distance to travel and after picking up a local guide, Paulini it was 11:00 when we reached the entrance to the park. It was a quick toilet stop before arriving at the visitor centre, where Paulini took the English speakers through and explained a few things about local flora and talked about the volcanoes in the area. It ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » North » Quito November 24th 2018

Still waking earlier than I wanted but that’s fine. We went down for breakfast at 08:00 and out the door just past 09:00. We decided to get a taxi for the ride out to La Mitad del Mundo Or The Middle of The World, meaning the equator. There is a big monument built by the Government in 1972 (replacing a previous small monument) marking the equator which the French Geodesic Mission had marked out in 1746. However, since then the World Geodetic System, used in modern GPS systems indicates the equator is actually 240 metres north of that line. That correct line is marked out in a private museum called the Museo Intinan. Interestingly, when we told our driver where we wanted to go, he took us to the Museo Intinan. We arrived at 10:20 just ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » North » Quito November 23rd 2018

Woke up this morning at 05:00 as the body clock was still on Chile time, so lay in bed for one hour before getting up to finish yesterday's blog. Internet was a bit slow but managed to get it all done before checking out. The Nice Inn was very cheap $AU45 for the night but is quite modern and clean. Only drawback was no lift and our room was on the third floor. Daisy had a great idea which was to leave our big bags downstairs and we just carried up what we needed for the night. None of the staff spoke English but with Google translate we managed to get the receptionist to book us a taxi transfer to the airport and also to add 20 soles to our bill so we could pay for ... read more

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito September 4th 2018

Today we checked out of our lovely hotel with cherubs and roses in the night club area and into our much posher hotel in the new part of the city. I am relaxing in the hotel provided robe and slippers with coffee percolating in the background. We spent today on - and off - the Hop on Hop off bus. The plan was to explore the old part of the city and so we did, after navigating the very busy traffic. The buses are double deckers and are a great way to see the city, with views over the traffic and into people’s backyards. We hopped off at the Basílica, a church still under construction after several centuries. Apparently a disaster will stirike when it is finished, so they keep on working on it. Then back ... read more
Inside the Basílica
Cruising the streets
Inside La Compania de Jesus church

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito September 3rd 2018

After a leisurely start, I felt like my body clock was at last synchronised with the local time zone. The headache -altitude? Jet lag? Pisco sours? - had gone too. Our adventure today was to the Mitad dal Mundo - the equator, only a 35min drive from our hotel. The drivers here are good, no dramas like you find in Asia or France! Our first stop was the Intinan Museum which was far more interactive than most museums. We saw a range of sun gods, including one who looks like Yoda and learnt about some of the local tribes and customs. Then we got to the equator and played games - walking a straight line (fail), arm wrestling the young female guide (fail), balancing an egg on a nail head - success and I have the ... read more
Yoda at the Equator
Egg balancing at the equator
Farming in the crater

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito September 2nd 2018

After a VERY early start at 1:30 we left Santiago, the good thing was we got to see the Bellavista area in full swing. First flight to Lima and then, an hour later, on to Quito in Ecuador. We were treated to a fiery sunrise on the Lima flight and then some fantastic scenery on the way to Quito. The mountains are amazingly steep with zigzag tracks up to villages with terraced gardens. There are lakes and braided rivers down the valleys. The plateaus are well cultivated and you can easily see the fields neatly laid out. I did ponder whether this is the sort of country we will be walking over in a couple of weeks time... Quito itself spans across ravines and plateaus - kind of like Hawea and Wanaka but on steroids. It ... read more
Fuch Plaza - say no more
Ecuador high country
The neighbourhood isn’t all bad

South America » Ecuador » North » Ibarra August 18th 2018

There are very few absolute certainties in life. "Death and taxes" is a common lament, which only serves to emphasize this point. I guess that if I were to list those things I knew, with absolute certainty, I would still be able to count them on one hand. For instance, there is only one sun/star in our solar system; socks that go missing in the washing machine are never found; and there is only one equator encircling our planet, right? Well, imagine our surprise when Fi and I learned that, at least in Ecuador, there is not just one, but at least three equators, as we've been assured, that run parallel to one another. I'll get back to that later, but first want to bring you, our faithful readership, up to date since our last check-in. ... read more
Border Crossing near Ipiales, Colombia
Border Crossing
Finca Sommerwind

South America » Ecuador » North » Mindo July 28th 2018

Nach meinen 4 Wochen Freiwilligendienst im Amazonas, bin ich zurück nach Quito gefahren und, natürlich, ging ich wieder ins Casa Urbana Hostel, das mehr wie ein zu Hause für mich war als ein Hostel. Ich habe mich sehr gefreut, die super nette Besitzerin, Carolina, und Jamshid, den Freiwilligen aus Usbekistan, wiederzusehen! :-) Zum Glück war meine Freundin Elena aus der Schweiz (die ich in Minca in Kolumbien kennengelernt hatte) auch in Quito und so schafften wir es am nächsten Tag endlich uns wiederzusehen. Wir haben uns erst im Juan Valdez Café getroffen (mein Lieblingscafé, eine Art südamerikanischer Starbucks – gleiche Preise...), wo ich den Morgen damit verbracht hatte an meinem Blog zu arbeiten. Dann sind wir zusammen Mittagessen gegangen ; wir sind zu einem Platz in der Nähe vom Plaza Foch gegangen (Café Galeria oder sowas) ... read more
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South America » Ecuador » North » Quito July 2nd 2018

Almost ten years that I've dreamt of going to South America, and here we are! First stop on our 3 month exploration of this diverse sub-continent was Quito in Ecuador. We based ourselves at the Juana de Arco hostel in the old town. A very nice place to stay however get a room away from the main road as it is noisy almost all of the time. We took a walk around the old town and saw the main plazas under a grey sky which later cleared up. Quito is quite hilly and at 2800 masl you do feel the breathlessness creep in when going up any incline. Taxis are plentiful and a cheap way of getting about quickly and more safely (just make sure you get them to put the taxi meter on). The taxi ... read more
Quito views up top of Teleferiqo
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