Quito

Trip Start Sep 30, 2013
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Trip End May 31, 2014


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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Left Ipiales at 9am and arrived our hostel at 8pm. A hard days travelling with many different aspects. Most time was spent in bus from Tulcan to Quito back on the pan American for the last time. Although the views were spectacular it was raining and the windows were dirty and steamed up, so no photographs. 

I had expected Ecuador to look much poorer, but there were nice looking houses and neat little towns and fields. 

In summary Pasto to Ipiales is 1.5 hours by collectivo. They ask for 10M COP, but you can beat them down to 8M 
  • Ipiales to  Las Lajas is 8M in a taxi or 4M in a collectivo. Takes 15 minutes, Allow a couple of hours to visit Las Lajas
  • Ipiales the border at Rumichaca is 1.5M COP in a collectivo
  • Get a Columbian exit stamp in your passport for no cost. We had to queue for an hour
  • Cross the bridge and get an Ecuadorian entry stamp in your passport for no cost. This took us 30 mins
  • Get a taxi (or collectivo) to Tulca. THIS COULD BE A NIGHTMARE, as there is no queueing system. We noticed that some white taxis brought folk from Ipiales and dropped them on the Ecuador side but couldn't take anyone further on. Equally some yellow taxis brought folk from Ecuador and dropped them on the Columbian side. SO, what you do is walk back to the Columbian side and wait for a yellow taxi to drop their load, and they will hapilly take you Tulcan (for $4.)
  • Bus from Tulcan to Quito (Carcelen bus terminal) took us 6 hours and cost $4.80 each. 
  • Taxi from Carcelen to the historic center took an hour and should cost $8, but we paid $15. 
 
 
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Wednesday 8th January

We spent a rainy day looking around the old town, which was the first to be UNESCOd in 1978. It feels quite Eurpoean and there is much to compare with the Andalucian cities of Malaga, Granada and Cordoba whcih we visited in 2008.
 

 
 
The city of 2.2 million is built in a valley and is very long : 25 miles long but only 3 miles wide.

The highligth was the gothic cathedal The Basilica of the National Vow. The building of it did not commence  till 1892 and  took nearly 100 years, so it is not old, but it is impressive. We were able to scale its high tower and get a tremendous view of Quito.
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
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We also visited a couple of other basilica built along more tradiional lines, except for the considerable amount of gold leaf used in their decoration. 
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Thursday 9th January  ...15.45 - we leave for the airport and Lima in 15 minutes!!


 
 
We took a taxi trip ($40 shared between 4) with a very nice couple fom Sydney, first to a dormant volcano, Puluahua, and then to the imensley interesting equator exhibition. Most of the exhibition was about the local indigenous tribes and included a warning not to wade in the Amazon tributaries or fear of the penis fish (no further explanation required!)

The French ploted the equator lne in 173x but modern GPS shows they were 280 meters
adrift.

As part of this exhibition a sink, a bucket of water and some floating leaves were used to demonstrate that 1 meter south of the equator the water goes down the plug hole anti clockwise and 1 meter north it goes down clockwise, but exactly on the equator (amazingly) NO whirlpool is formed. We were astonished, but seeing is believing.

 


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Another amazing trick...Standing off the equator Marian formed an O from her thumb and forefinger. I tried to prize her fingers apart but was unable to do so. However if she stood exactly ON the equator I was easily able to prize them apart. Not qute sure why, but we had the proof of the puding.













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Comments

Sue Green on

Amazing stories, keep them coming, it's like we're with you. Was also great to speak to you earlier. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Marian, have a truly wicked day, love from us all in wet, cold England xx

Viv Sullivan on

Well who would have thought that your trip could be so scientific! You sound like you are having a truly fun time. So lovely to speak to you both xxx

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