We’ve successfully arrived in Quito, Ecuador!! And we’ve already exhausted ourselves… at over 9300 ft above sea level, that’s not hard to do. Getting acclimated is always fun…
Anyway, this country is awesome! The people are friendly, the city is clean, there’s more to do around here than a small army could do in weeks, and the food ain’t half bad! I’m still crossing my fingers, though, that the food gods don’t punish me- but I won’t keep my hopes up. I’ve a bad track record with that so far.
The trip was also surprisingly pleasant. The immigration and customs check points were smooth, the cab ride was pleasant, the hostal was expecting us, the beds are comfortable, shower hot, and besides from the incessant street noise blasting through our second story window, quiet. We slept like logs.
Today was a rather auspicious day to arrive, too. Something that only happens every so often went down today: general elections. I’m not sure what or who they were voting for but I learned these tidbits from the cabby and a fellow traveler: they are voting to amend/change the constitution, all Ecuadoreños must vote or give up some of their rights, and there was a ban on the sale of alcohol this entire weekend. I suppose if they make their citizens vote, it makes sense to also make them do it sober. It’s easy to imagine swaths of drunk quiteños stumbling into the voting booths in the early morn…
As far as what we did today, I’ll give you a quick synopsis. We ate desayuno on the hostel roof, walked all over Old Town, checked out the Andy Warhol exhibit at the big art museum (he was awesomely wierd, by the way), ate, bought a cheap cell phone, napped, walked to the New Town and checked out some beautiful artwork in the Mariscal Sucre park, ate, and now we’re at an Internet café. I refused to wear sunsceen, so now my face is red, and Lada is still suffering periodically from a stomach ulcer. We’re treating her with Pepto Bismo before meals. My dumb ass will have to deal with the slight burn.
So we’re happy. All is well, we are living day to day, and so far we’ve been lucky. My spanish isn’t as rusty as I expected, as it has been rather easy to get what we need without those uncomforable moments of language misunderstandings. I even negotiated the cell phone purchase entirely in Spanish, and listened to the guide tell me all the strange things about Andy Warhol that I didn’t know while comprehending most of it. Lada thinks it’s hot. teehee.
That’s it for now. We took some photos, and we’ll upload them soon. I even plotted some spots with my gps, so you’ll be able to put the photos into geographical context on The Map page of this site! But I don’t think I’ll do that now.
Tonight we will be hanging out at the hostel (the only place that may sell us beer) and talk with one of the travelers who we met earlier. He’s also traveling for several months, and plans to go to Cuzco ( then Machu Pichu) and the Amazon. His name’s Ross and he’s been in Quito for a week now… so hopefully he can give us some tips.
Tomorrow I think we’ll head to the equator. La Mitad del Mundo!!!