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Published: January 17th 2013
Hello from Quito airport! We are on our way home!
The day after we last blogged, we made our way to Mitad Del Mundo, which means "Middle of the World". Its a large complex built just south of the equator. its commonly considered to be the 'middle of the earth' because its the highest point along the equator. Zero degrees longitude and zero degrees latitude is actually in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, hence why this place receives its title. We explored a number of interesting museums and monuments here, before heading to 'Museo Inti Nan', which is technically right on the equator. We did a number of fun experiments to do with gravity/magnetism. Perri actually managed to balance an egg on a nail sticking out of a piece of wood!!! Apparently right on the equator, the forces of gravity make this easier somehow! I however couldn't match her fetes.
In the afternoon we climbed to the crater of a volcano (started with a P). It's one of only 2 in the world which has people living in it!
The following day we exercised our explorative desires with a full day on our own seeing the sights of Quito. Our first stop was the Basicillia (spelling?) church, a massive cathedral with three impressive towers which we climbed. Our fitness levels are certainly not what they were 2 months ago! Next was San Francisco Plaza, which features the ancient 'Monesterio de San Fransisco', built between 1535 and 1555. We've never seen so much gold in one place! After a quick stop at Quito's oldest Ice Cream Parlour (operating since 1858), we caught a taxi to the museum and former residence of Guyasamin, Ecuador's most celebrated artist, who died 20 years ago. The museum was erected in tribute to human suffering around the globe, put particularly in South America. The pain and misfortune of others drove Guyasamin's art. On one of the wall's was a quote in Spanish which translated to "I cried because i had no shoes, until i saw a child who had no feet". This basically summed up the gallery. It was quite moving. From there we explored a local park (meeting some adorable Golden Retriever Puppies along the way), before swinging by the Vivarium (Quito's reptile Zoo). In the evening we met our tour group for the Galapagos and checked out a local market before having an early night.
Then we were off the to the Galapagos!
This tour was amazing, like nothing we could have imagined. We both consider it the highlight of our trip. This was helped by having another wonderful tour group to share the experience with.
Our week on the islands seemingly melded into one nature filled extravaganza. It was filled with visits to many of the islands, each of which was completely unique and different from the last. The diversity of flora and fauna was breathtaking. Highlights included:
- Making friends with a variety of adorable Galapagos Sea Lions, one of which was born only hours before we arrived
- Snorkelling with the most beautiful fish (and even some sharks!)
- Sitting next to humungous tortoises weighing over 250kg
- Standing at the front of the boat Titanic style as a group of Dolphins played and kept up with the vessel, getting nearly 2 metres of air time as they swam.
- and so many more...!!
But its all over now, time to head back to reality. It's been a fantastic trip, something we'll cherish forever. We hope you've enjoyed reading our blog and seeing some of our photos. We're looking forward to catching up with you all soon.
Love Perri and Matt x
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