After 2 years of abstinence I’m going to South America again. This year I look at Ecuador. After a very long flight arrived, I am at the airport of Quito first of all positively surprised. There are not hundreds of people asking me if I need a cab, but a maximum of 5. However, the cab ride itself is a bit adventurous. With spinning and smoking tires my cab driver starts again after we had to stop at one of the very steep mountains. Finally, we make it to my hotel and I am glad to put my legs up.
The next morning I explore Quito with a free walking tour that was supposed to go 2 hours 30 minutes, but since Johan didn’t have another one that afternoon, we were out an hour longer. We start at Alameda Park, the northernmost point of the old town.
Here there is the oldest observatory, dedicated to the scientists who measured the equator, even if they were 200m off according to today’s measurements.
Passing the statue of Simon Boliviar, we continue to the Basilica del Voto Nacional. Here you can not only marvel at the Gothic church, but also enjoy the view over Quito after climbing a dizzying staircase.
Along the street of the 7 churches we continue to the Placa Grande, where we find the Presidential Palace and the Cathedral.
Then we go to the San Francisco Church. Across the street, we get to taste some variations of the chocolate they made themselves.
Strengthened, we walk past long lines of people to the southernmost point of the old town. Apparently, school has just started here and now everyone needs their notebooks at the same time.
The tour is over in La Ronda. From here I stroll through the old town back to my hotel. Where, as I write here, a hummingbird flies past me.
Today we continued to Baños, a small town about 200km south of Quito. We cover most of the distance by public bus. Since we stop everywhere to give people a ride and let them off, the trip takes a good 4 hours.
Once we arrive, we first have lunch, where we are accompanied by music.
And then we explore Baños. There is a beautiful cathedral here and many beautiful mountains around us that we will explore tomorrow.
The first thing we did today was to walk to the viewpoint “Mirador de la Vergin”. From there you have a beautiful view of the mountains and Baños.
The volcano Tungurahua still hid from us here, but for that we were lucky in the afternoon.
After a massage we continue strengthened, first along the road of the waterfalls to the “Devils Cauldron”.
From there we go to the swing at the end of the world and now also the Tungurahua shows up. I still can’t believe I’m on the swing, but it was an experience.
So was the view.
Tomorrow, we go on to the Amazon, since we live here in a family and have no internet or electricity, the next update again in 3 days.
The last days we spent in the Amazon in the village of Pimpilala near Tena with a family.
We were able to visit a sanctuary for Amazon animals. Here the animals can live in their natural environment. Some even not fenced.
We walked up a waterfall, but the pictures have not made it out of the Amazon yet.
In the evening we were able to learn a lot about the family and what traditions the Quechua have.
After the comfortable but simple conditions in Pimpilala, we continued to Papallacta, where we could relax in the thermal baths.
The next day after a leisurely breakfast another short hike towards Cayambe-Coca National Park. A bit rainy, but very beautiful. And then back to Quito.
And on we go to Otavalo. Here is the largest handicraft market of South America today. But also the city itself is beautiful.
In the afternoon, with sun, rain, hail and thunder, we take a short hike at Guinea Pig Lake – a volcanic crater.
And to finish the day, we go to Cotacachi, known for its leather goods.
The first stop today is at the Equator in Qayambe. One leg in the north and one in the south.
We continue to a hacienda at the foot of Cotopaxi. The highest still active volcano.
We spend three nights in Cuenca. A very beautiful small town, which is a World Heritage Site. We look around the city, go to the market, enjoy time in a SPA and climb the viewpoint Turi.
Fortunately, we return to Quito by plane.
With a nice last evening with a view and cooking together our common journey comes to an end.
The next morning first of all explore the new surroundings, the old town of Quito.
And spend the afternoon at the equator.