Quito and THE EQUATOR!!!!!

Trip Start Jun 25, 2008
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Trip End Jul 08, 2008


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Where I stayed
San Blas

Flag of Ecuador  ,
Sunday, June 29, 2008

26/06/2008
 
We arrived into Quito late and checked into a quiet hostal in the Old Town, went to the Plaza (like a small Leicester Square) and had some excellent food and 'grande cervezas' to relax. Already noticing Ecuador is a lot cheaper than we're used to...about time!
 
27/06/2008
 
Today was the big day...the trip to the equator!! We sorted buses and traveled about 20km´s north of Quito to the big line (bus fare - 20p). First we headed to the Mitad del Mundo, the Middle of the World, and took loads of photos in each hemisphers..................or so we thought. There was a museum which was ok and a tower for some cool views, but we soon found out from other Gringo´s that this multi-million dollar complex is not actually situated on the Equator! Luckily the Museo Solar Inti Nan is a short walk so we headed straight there.
 
In the Museo Solar Inti Nan we started with a quick tour about Indiginous peoples, a man did a crazy sun dance, which was rather amusing, we looked at a tradicional house and a preserved monkey head (they used to drain and preserve human heads, we thought they were gentle people!), a 15cm penis fish (luckily didnt get attacked by this parasite in the Amazon!), and had a go with a blow dart tube...I hit the target.
 
Then we did the only thing we really wanted to do - let water go down a plug hole! As you can see from the videos, on the equator water goes straight down, South it spins clockwise, and North anti-clockwise. We also balanced an egg on a nail (its easier on the line) and did some other tests.
 
28/06/2008
 
Started the day by checking out, checking emails and getting a bag stolen from under our noses without us noticing. All is well as we got a crime number and can claim on insurance.
 
Spent the day replacing a few things and having a few beers.
 
29/06/2008
 
Finally managed to check out of San Blas hostal and into one that is more lively. Then we set out on a busy adventure arount Quito.
 
First we went on the Teleférico, a 2.5 km cable car / sky tram that takes you up to 4100m, above the city. As you can see from the pictures, there is some pretty cool views - in the middle is the New Town and to the right, the Old Town.
 
After this we headed to the Plaza Grande in the Old Town where there are several important buildings including the Presedential Palace and the Archbishops Palace. We had an ice cream in the sun - Magnum´s are less than 50p!
 
We then headed to the Basílica del Voto Nacional, an impressive old Cathederal with three Gothic towers, Quito´s 'deadliest view'. As you can see from the photos, you have to cross a less-than-safe wooden bridge and climb some steep ladders to get to the top. We also went into the clock tower and did some bell ringing!
 
Straight alter we headed to the 'tastiest view' over Quito for sun set. The Café is on the side of a mountain and has a balcony over-looking the old town.

Later we had a heavy night to bid farewell to Quito and high altitude, the next day we head to the coast.
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