Hiya everyone.

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),