Trip Start Dec 25, 2004
31Trip End Feb 05, 2005
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Before I get too far ahead of today and last night, I have to tell you about the night before...the night the three amigos ventured into the bar scene in Quito. It was a night to remember for sure. After purchasing a litre of rum and a bottle of coke, we were well on our way to a drunken good time. By the time the taxi dropped us off in the bar district I already had a good buzz, but my stomach was growling. All around us were cafes and fast food stores boasting one dollar meals complete with burger, fries and soda. Not a bad deal. The swarma was exellent, but probably because I was drunk and hungry. Soon we were bar hopping our way across the district. Small bars and lounges lined both sides of the street. Not since Antigua have I seen so many gringos in one area...I was sick to my stomach. For some reason, I have a thing about doing the nongringo things, and there I was smack dab in the middle of gringoville. No matter, we ended up in a bar on the second floor of a restaurant. The entire night hip hop, rock, and raggaeton played on the speakers and $1 tall beers were served. Locals mixed with backpackers and blacks danced with whites, it was a beautiful thing. The altitude did and lack of sleep did not help my partying situation. I was faced with a grim night of being a wallflower after discovering that the city did no serve Red Bull...unbelievable. All night, I waited for one good song of Salsa or Merengue, just one. That moment finally came two hours into the ordeal. To say that I was happy would be an understatement. I grabbed the baddest girl on the dance floor and together we made our way to the center of the floor. All eyes were on the asian guy with the afro caribbean girl dancing salsa...what an odd combination they must of thought. Thirty minutes into the song and we dripping with sweat. Lesser couples made way for us, latin men sat down to watch the show, bartenders stop serving drinks to watch the two of us dance. It was beautiful I tell you. Using all my new spins and moves as well as adding in some at the spur of the moment, we could of made a Salsa dance video. Not long after the bar closed and the three amigos with the new addition of three chicas made our way to a salsatech. There, we danced even more salsa...my dream of dancing a lot of salsa probably cummulated there that night. Before I knew it Paula (The salsa girl) gave me the "Kiss me you fool" eyes...I considered for a moment my present situation and then went for it. It was nice, nothing nasty, and it completed my night. By 1am I was dead tired, Alex and I said goodbye to an unapproving Paula and friends and went back to our hotel. I dont think we would of lasted another minute if we stayed out. We got back, passed out and woke up at 10am to listen to Juan`s story in the morning. He fell in love with the girl he met that night and together they spent almost 6 hours together dancing, kissing, and crying (because he had to leave).
That day Juan spent the day trying to get incontact with his girl while Alex and I attempted to climb to the hill on the top of the city. After reaching the half way point and meeting local women who told stories of robberies and gangs further ahead and throughly scaring us, we thought it was probably in our best interest to take a $3 cab. Worst idea ever. Little did we know that we were only 20 minutes from the top and women always exaggerate about violence, problems, and anything else they may fancy. The view at the top was fantastic. A vast city of old and new layed before us in panorama heaven. Color buildings on hills, grand churches in city centers, skyscrapers shooting out from urban centers. We were very impressed. I even bought an llama fur poncho for $9, probably 1 dollar too much, but the vendor was nice (like there is ever a vendor who isnt nice). The two of us proceeded down hill by foot after realizing our previous folly. We ate grilled pig intestines and took more pictures. Fifteen minutes later, we were at the bottom of the hill and making out way towards the city. Soon after Alex and I parted ways as he had to catch the bus to the beach. I felt that since it was probably my last night in Quito, I should make the trek to the grand church ontop of the hill.
Midway into my journey to the Church On Top Of The Hill, I was accosted by sounds of drums and children chanting. It was a parade, a festival, and a march all in one. Hundreds of school children in uniforms together with their parents marched behind a troop of dancing men. The men in the troupe wore the most colorful hats and the furriest pants (trousers for you brits). Two dancers stood out from the crowd, one with a white hood and the other with a black one, they snapped whips on the ground and danced circles around the group. The march went on for block after block. More people joined in. A sea of of people now marched together towards the central school. I felt very lucky to have seen this because from what I could tell, there were no tourist in sight and I was in a bad neighborhood. No matter, the children will protect the asian gringo! Soon the march was ending and the sun was setting: The cue for me to make my way to the tourist trap before getting robbed. Afterall, I just flashed my digital camera with a the foot long white lens to a crowd of over a two thousand people...and seeing that I stood six inches taller than pack, it was probably in my best interest to leave.
The walk to the Church On Top Of The Hill took a bit longer than I though. In retrospect, it was more of a small mountain, and I have the pictures to prove it. After a great deal of walking up hill...I mean mountain, I finally made it to the top of one of the most impressive churches in Latin America. Lights shun apun the church in grand majesty as they changed from colors of yellow to green to blue. Around me, little school girls in clean white and red uniform made their way home.
I should mention now a popular tradition of throwing water at people. It is legal during the months before and after Christmas to throw water a people. Businessmen complain after their suits get soaked, angry mothers shake fists of fury at 2nd story balconies and little school girls run in horror at this annual tradition. Even Alex and I were not safe from the little boys armed with water ballons. Ofcourse both sexes wage water battles but from what I could tell, the boys were clearly the winner. Like a trained sniper they sit in balconies and roof tops, peeking, waiting, and striking at exactly the right moment. You can always hear when the deed was done. Little girls shriek in horrible as the sound of water spashes in the distance. It`s a comical gold I tell you!
I gotta run for now, because internet is expensive here ($2/hr) and I have to meet with with a friend teaching English here. Expect an update tomorrow.