Quito and the middle of the world. Plus Valentine evening
Feb 14, 2018
|Hi all, and welcome to new readers.
I am not really sure what I am doing with this so please bear with me.
This is a reminder to us of what we have been doing and also gives friends a chance to drop in and see if we are still alive. After the jungle mosquitoes I think we should get to the end. Just volcanoes and sharks to go - what could go wrong.
Apparently you can find the itinerary of the holiday and there are photos and words to hear a bit more.
We cannot always update every day due to the vagaries of the internet connections we get but you can request updates somewhere on the site or just drop in and see if there is anything new.
Anyway back to today or before we start, yesterday.
I forgot to say that when we got to the golf club they told us to spray ourselves due to mosquitoes. That dreaded word again. Anyway Bob sprayed himself with the stuff in the changing room and I picked it up and did likewise. All of a sudden pain gripped my arms as I suddenly realised that the spray was Deet based - see jungle bits for more info - aaaargh, it hurt so much and my arms started to react straight away. Anyway when we got back I was pleased that I had no bites but this morning I found about five new ones. Mosquitoes must be the worst thing in the whole world. I think this is the last time we will encounter them but if they get me again I will start a personal vendetta on them.
So after another interesting breakfast we went back to our room and I found that the post had delivered a valentines card. How was I supposed to know it was the 14th already. Whilst Irene was in the bathroom I lovingly made a card for her which she was clearly moved by. I think my art work needs some work though. Anyway we were interrupted by our guide and driver turning up and started the trip around Quito. It is a strange city as it is only about five mile wide as it sits in a valley but stretches for miles north and south. There are also massive mountains around the city so getting from one end to the other takes ages. Suffice to say we drove for ages to get to the angel of Quito as we call it even though you can see it from the window of the hotel. Once there we looked around and met a pack of dogs who thought that the mountain was exclusively theirs and we were not welcome. After a while they left us alone and we enjoyed the views from this vantage point.
We then drove down to the old town which is the first UNESCO world heritage site and wandered around looking at the streets that had been restored. All of the churches were busy as it was Ash Wednesday so getting in was a struggle but the interiors were breathtaking. We lit a couple of candles and said a few prayers as it seemed the right thing to do.
As we came through the main square a military band was playing and we watched them march through and we wandered to the side of the Presidential palace and took some photos of the soldiers marching around. Our guide said that the President was coming and we stood around whilst some important looking cars drove up. If the President was in the car he clearly had not been told we were there as they opened some gates and drove in rather than a selfie with the Brits on his doorstep. Better luck next time.
After this we drove off to the Middle of the World. On the way we stopped at a dodgy cafe that served empanadas. We had a chicken one and a meat one (didn’t ask what meat) with a beer which were surprisingly nice. Alison was not feeling well so she sat this bit out. Afterwards we drove to the equator after passing the massive tourist attraction of the middle of the world as they had brought a nice new GPS system in 2000 and realised they were about 500m out. So the new place is a bit of a museum where you can try different things like pouring a bucket of water in a portable sink and move it from the Northern to Southern Hemisphere and see the water flow in the opposite direction. If you do it on the line it didn’t swirl round at all. Amazing stuff. We also tried to walk along the line with eyes closed and kept falling over and then balancing an egg on a nail. After this we looked around the museum and were confronted with Irene’s worst nightmare. The most beautiful guinea pigs in a cave getting ready to be, well I will leave it at that. How could they!!!!
After this we took the slow trip back to our hotel as Alison was feeling worse and I think the guide wanted to go and watch the champions league football.
On our return we realised that there was a massive cathedral that we had not seen so we left Alison at the hotel and the three of us went to explore. It is huge and was cheap to go in so we climbed up the towers. We looked outside and realised that we were only half way up and then saw that to go higher you had to walk along a wooden bridge thing with rope handrails that went across the ceiling of the cathedral. As Bob is not the best at heights he stayed put and Irene and I went across. At the far end there was a metal ladder that you had to climb up. Once there you had a higher view but there were two more ladders but this time in the open air that you had to go up. It was not the best climb and I am sure you would never do this in th UK but it was a fantastic view.
We came down and met up with Bob and found another part to climb up on the clock tower which was nearly as high but nowhere near as difficult.
Back to the hotel and we planned a romantic meal for three (Alison is still not good) we went to the main square and chose a restaurant that had an interesting story about a monk and ladies of the night and Jesus! More details at another time I think. The food was lovely, services was good and then none existent and the visa machines were all useless. Fortunately we managed to pay and leave for the hotel.
Tomorrow we are leaving Quito and off to the the volcano ranges plus the devils nose train.
Not sure what the internet will be like but will try to keep up to date.
Time to get packed and ready for the next steps.
Good night :-)