You are currently browsing the daily archive for 10/18/2010.
18th October 2010
I am lying on the bed in our hotel writing this after a tiring day in Ecuador. After a good nights sleep in the Posada del maple, we woke up to a breakfast of scrambled eggs (Ecuadorian style), toast, bananas, tea, coffee etc.
During breakfast I managed to use skype on my ipod to phone my mum, my dad and my boyfriend, missing them already, feels like I’ve been away for more than 3 days!
At 9:00 we met Jonathon Green, a photographer, who gave us a photography workshop, and we learnt different techniques for different settings. He is such a good photographer, and for him to say that mine and Jess’s photos are good is a real shock!
Today we also met our guide Edison and our driver Memo who took us on a tour around Quito.
Our first stop was Pims restaurant where we had some amazing food. I had ‘menu 2’ which consisted of a fried corn dumplings stuffed with cheese and a salad (starter), lamb stew with plantains, potatoes, vegetables and a sauce (Main) and Sweet dough balls with a passion fruit sauce with strawberries and cream.
It was so lush!!
After lunch we went to visit the ‘Virgin of Quito statue’ which towered over Quito. There are many stray dogs around but they seem happy enough!
On another note, we also saw a man get mugged (we think)…
Any who… we then visited 7 churches (did not enter all of them!) and it started to thunderstorm with heavy rain and really loud thunder and lightning.
We then visited a market place and I bought a hat for $2 but surprise surprise I turned the corner and there was an even better one, for $4… so I bought it. The last item I bought was an Ecuadorian green jumper as knitwear is in this season.
Tomorrow we are flying to the Galapagos at 8:30 in the morning which should take about 2:30 hours. Once we are there we will see our new hotel, hotel villa laguna.. google it!
Well I’m off to pack for tomorrow and have a shower.
Today has been amazing. After a wonderful breakfast by the hostel’s courtyard, we met up with Jonathan Green. He is a fantastic photographer who was kind enough to give us photography workshop in order to get the best out of our cameras in the Galapagos. We all learnt something new which we will keep in mind on our journey.
Our friendly guide, Edison, picked us up and took us to lunch at Pims. It is high up on the hillside and has beautiful views of Quito and the surrounding valleys. So, like Eleri and Charlotte, I had corn dumplings stuffed with cheese and served with salad, for my main I had Ecuadorian lamb stew served with rice, salad and fried plantain which is absolutely delicious! For dessert I had fried dumplings in warm passion fruit sauce. Delicioso! ^^
It was then time to explore the city. Edison gave a great talk on the history of Quito and its many churches. By 5 o’clock, we were in need of some retail therapy so we went to an artisan market full of local handicrafts. I bought a gorgeous jumper and blanket made from alpaca wool, and a hat to keep my head warm. ^^
Right now, I’m chilling in our room thinking about the next step of our journey.
Buenos Noches x
This is my first blog since getting here. Yesterday was my first time flying and, although I enjoyed taking off and landing, ten hours on a plane did not treat me well (I won’t go into details).
After what felt like a life-saving sleep (I’d had less than four hours sleep the night before), the world seemed like a better place. Breakfast was lovely, sat at a chunky wooden dining table overlooking a gorgeous little courtyard, complete with hummingbird.
We then had an intense two hour photography workshop with Jonathon Green who is a photographer on the Galapagos Islands. It was interesting to learn how make my photos better for when we’re on the islands.
We then met up with Edison (our wonderful guide who was so friendly and a “real gentleman” as my mum would describe him). Lunch was massive. Couldn’t finish it all even though it was stunning. It was on the bus journey up to the restaurant that we got our first tatse of Quito with it’s spiralling hill roads and it’s, ahem, energetic canine population.
Quito was what I expected it to be, but surprisingly more as well. I wasn’t expecting so many art galleries and culutre centres, and the history and religion of the town was fascinating. The architecture was beautiful, completely fitting with Quito. One church we visited was so decadent, it was like every christmas decoration in the world had been put in one building. It takes ten years to restore all the gold leaf, and then they have to start all over again.
My personal highlight of the day, however, was visiting the market. The people running the stalls were so friendly and helpful when they ralised that we didn’t know any Spanish numbers apart from uno, dos, and tres. With the help of my trusty language guide, I managed to save four dollars by haggling. A wooly hat for $2 (I offered $1 but the lady didn’t accept), a bag for $10 and an alpaca jumper for $15! Bargain! The others laughed at us as we loaded back in the van laden with rainbow coloured carrier bags.
Tomorrow we head off for the Islands. I’m not looking forward to the flight (especially after last time) but hey ho, has to be done.
Now, I’m going to get ready for bed. We’re getting picked up at 6.30am Quito time tomorrow, so a very early rise for us.
Buenos Noches (night night),
Slept really well last night (probably something to do with not having slept for 22 hours).
We went down for breakfast at 8:00 and had some toast, with what I think was raspberry jam, and some freshly squeezed orange juice (which was very tasty). The breakfast room has a courtyard with flowers and we were very lucky to see a hummingbird by one (but was too slow to take a photo).
After we’d eaten we spent the morning with Jonathan Green, who gave us some very useful tips on how to capture the wildlife on the islands and told us how to improve some of our own photographs! (Thank You!)
We then met our tour guide, Edison, who took us for lunch at Pims, which had the most amazing view over Quito, in the Highlands. It was right in front of The Virgin Quito Statue.
I had fried corn dumplings stuffed with cheese and a salad to start, an Ecuadorian lamb stew with rice, sweet plantain, potato and salad for mains and fried dumplings with passion fruit sauce cream and strawberries. The meal was really yummy! And very filling.
After, we went into the old part of town and where Quito was first established at Independent Square which is the site of a memorial statue dedicated to the people who fought for Ecuador’s impendence in 1809. The Presidential Palace is located on the square and we had our photo taken with the guards who cannot smile or move like the guards outside Buckingham Palace.
The Church of the society of Jesus has the most beautiful inside which is completely baroque in gold. Unfortunately we couldn’t take any photos. We also visited another church which was 500 years old and a church that was gothic in style but instead of gargoyles they had animals like turtles and blue footed boobies.
After the long day we were in need of some retail therapy and so went to a market where we all bought lots of stuff which we bartered for in Spanish. (Edison thanked us for helping the Ecuadorian economy)
I would like to say thankyou to Edison for the brilliant tour of Quito, our driver for keeping us safe, Jonathan green for the advice and our hotel for their great hospitality.