Sarah and Denis Round the World travel blog

Another capital city, another Plaza, this one Plaza de la Independencia

Entrance to Palacio del Gobierno, the Presedential Palace

El Panecillo (the hill) from Plaza San Francisco

La Virgen de Quito on top of El Panecillo

Long pony-tails were all the rage in Plaza San Francisco

Monastery of San Francisco

La Compania de Jesus, 7 tonnes of gold were supposedly used to...

The historic alley of La Ronda (3 years ago full of brothels)

Simon Bolivar (liberator from the Spanish) monument in Parque La Almeda

Denis decides to branch out into the internet

Trapezoidal monument built right on the equator at La Mitad del Mundo

Two hemispheres Sarah

Two hemispheres Denis

Latitud 0' 0' 0" (Sarah in northern hemisphere)

Quite high up as well (Denis in southern hemisphere)

The complex was in quite a nice spot surrounded by volcanoes

However, directly surrounding the monument was a mock colonial village

Complete with flowerbed compass

Still it was fun to be a proper tourist

Despite the fact that Quito is only 22km south of the equator, the climate here is spring like all year round as Quito is 2800 metres above sea level. Very warm and pleasant. We came here as quick as we could to try and sort out a trip to the Galapagos. Everything however is booked until the 13th August, so as we fly to Santiago on the 9th August, not much use. This means not only will we save a lot of money but we have time to explore Ecuador a bit aswell. The plan now is to head to the coast to try and see humpback whales (tis the season for them), maybe do a bit of diving and then go back inland to the "Avenue of the Volcanoes" south of Quito for some trekking and maybe mountain biking.

Quito itself is another city like many others that we have been to with nice colonial architecture. The walking tour we did yesterday of the old city was fun but we had seen similar sites already in the last couple of months. Today we did like proper tourists do and visited the equator or La Mitad del Mundo as it's known here (middle of the earth).

Quito is an odd place. It looks really nice and clean but you don't feel safe here. We felt safer in Lima, which is saying something. The place has a huge reputation for muggings (especially at night in Gringolandia where all the hostals are), we have met people who have been mugged and hence we don't go out at night. You have to take a taxi to go one block, which we would do if we went out at night. It's a bit crap being stuck in a hostal so tonight we get a bus (yes another nightbus!!) to Manta on the coast from where we can get to humpback whale country.

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