We had to say goodbye to Quito today… too much to see further south to be hanging around the big city.
I’ve said before that detailing all the events of my time here is more like work to me than fun. And we left our work back in Atlanta… Besides, I imagine that that sort of writing is not nearly as enjoyable to read. Pictures we have to show some of our high points, but in many cases you’ll have to imagine the stories that go with them.
It suffices to say that we’ve had a lot of fun. All the people we meet are nice, welcoming, and generous- both travelers and locals. Ecuador is truly a wonderful little country on a spectacular strech of land. We went to the equator, both the massive monument 200 ft away, and the actual 00º 00.000 line. They say you’re actually lighter on the equator (less gravity)… which might help explain why we had such a light-hearted time playing with the gimmicks that demonstrate the ‘power’ of the equator. You’ve heard about the water in a draining sink spinning opposite directions depending on the hemisphere you’re in, right? Well, we got a demo of that. After the guides left, another american couple, Lada, and I had a fun time trying to figure out how they did it. We’ve got two theories now: the angle of the ground upon which the sink was set, and the way the water was poured in before the plug was pulled. Then again is could be the power of the Line. Any ideas? We took video of it if you’ve no idea what I’m talking about.
Anyway, a lot has happened since then. We checked out the South American Explorers group, joined and got our bearings, moved to another hostal in the new part of town, partied, slept, researched out next step, hoped in a taxi then in a hurried panic transferred to a bus, sat for 2 hours, landed in the small and nearly tourist free town of Latacunga, made our way to this cool little hostal, got a room, ate, and here I am. Lada just brought me back some little bananas or oritos (little gold) from the market, and I think she’s now taking a nap. I’m beginning to feel tired myself…
Tomorrow we embark on our first strenuous trek through the mountains. We’re headed to a massive lake in the middle of the crater of an old but not extinct volcano. And it’s some 4500 meters above sea level. On the way there and back, we’ll be busing, hitching on trucks, hiking through indigenous villages, and sleeping in cheap hostals next to warm fires. We’re excited. Wish us luck- hiking for 5-6 hours at that altitude could be a challenge. We’re leaving all the unnecessary stuff at this hostal to reduce weight, and we’ll come and pick it up on the way back.
See you in 3 or 4 days.