Hostal Santa Barbara
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... mountainous highlands, back to the big smoke before heading into the largest most rainforest in the world within 2 weeks.
Like most countries in South America, Ecuador also has a colourful history, from the early indigenous communities, through fighting for independence from the Spanish and multiple military and technocratic leaderships, up until now. While largely stable, some problems still exist, but big steps in education and infrastructure and also ...
... about 3 hours out of Quito. We stopped at some usual markets and an indigenous home en-route. Made out of adobe with a thatched roof, 10 people somehow crammed into this tiny structure to sleep, along with about 50 guinea pigs all running lose, a cat and 4 dogs! The guinea pigs are eaten on special occasions, but mainly sold for their meat... the one 'exotic meat' Chris hasn't tried yet! Of all the traditional home etc we have seen, this was by far the strangest! The crater ...
... the center of the equator is a monument, a pyramid, about 900 feet tall with a globe on the top of it. It was built from 1979 to 1982.
The world's most straddled line, painted on the ground, runs through it. People like to stand with a foot on each side of the line and have their photos taken. This is one of those 'must do' things when you visit Ecuador!
There are museums to visit and restaurants to enjoy around the monument. There is also a ...
... to his re-inauguration ceremony last year. We got to see many parts of the palace, including the cabinet room, the banquet room, and the yellow room (press room). It was a really enjoyable tour and made me really want to tour the White House, which I guess is next to impossible to do. Later on, I wandered over to this area called La Ronda, which is like a traditional preserved neighborhood with little shops, restaurants, and artists' workshops. Later I headed back to the ...
... hostel tomorrow afternoon for free, so we went for that option.
For dinner we went back to the Argentinian grillhouse we´d visited a couple of days before. This time Dave chose the mixed grill, which arrived piled up and still sizzling on a portable grill. He really liked most of it but unsurprisingly left the intestines! We shared some ´Italian potatoes´ (fried potatoes with melted cheese, sour cream and mushrooms) as a starter and for the main I had a steak.