Updated: Mar 11, 2019
1st October 2018
We checked into the delightful Hostel Urbana (eventually… our taxi from the the shuttle bus was a 'mare), in Quito. It was dark, we were hungry and we didn't want to stray far as various sources had said be careful in the city, especially at night. Carolina (another one!) recommended the Indian down the road, so we went there: Chandoori Tandoori. It was full of locals and the food was good.
The next day, after a lazy morning, we fell upon a gorgeous market that sold beautifully packaged and delicious Ecuadorian chocolate in the neighbouring plaza, (yes, I'm bringing some back) and had a very nice meal at a vegetarian restaurant called El Maple.
The day after that, and after plenty of planning, we went to Mitad del Mundo… the centre of the earth. Neither of us can use our mobile data in Ecuador, which made things very interesting! We got local buses there and back which cost a grand total of… ¢90. For 3 hours of travelling. It's baffling.
There are 2 sites for the equator line; one is a huge tourist attraction and has a crazy big monolith which we climbed up for the brilliant views towards the mountains. The other site, is where the actual equator line is. The first one was miscalculated many moons ago by a French man and his mates. Bless them. They were pretty close.
The second site is charming and way more rustic. It has hummingbirds and finches in its modest grounds, and the guides tell you all about Ecuadorian culture as well as faffing around on the equator with a bucket and a plug (oo-er). It's so much fun.
Today, we went to Quito’s beautiful old town and climbed the hilariously precipitous ladders to the top of the Basilica, where the view of the city is spectacular. I found the experience hysterical, and adored it. Honestly, health and safety guys, it was pretty bloody gusty up top...
After being in Ecuador for such a short amount of time, it has struck Sarah and I how wonderful everyone has been. We've been struggling at bus stops and getting confused about hotel addresses (that was all me, soz Sarah) and, in the space of 2 days, at least 7 people have approached us to help. We were getting off the packed metro today and the doors closed before we could leave… we got off at the next stop and a lovely lady told us, in broken English, how to get back to the last stop. It's a similar concept to Colombia, where everyone helps their neighbour; but it's more prevalent here as they are more open to helping a struggling tourist. Or maybe it's because we cannot rely on our phones and we're looking up and around more. The point is, Quito has surprised us… it's not the first time on this trip, and sure as hell won't be the last.
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