Hasta la vista, baby.

Trip Start Feb 10, 2010
Trip End Jul 21, 2010

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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Thursday, June 10, 2010

With our flight to Central America drawing ever closer we headed to Quito for ten days of chilling out and seeing the sights, and also getting our last tastes of South America. We managed to fit in a tonne of the Quito sites and thus have too many to mention without lulling you into a deep sleep!

One of the best things we did in Quito was visit the cities Basillica, a Gothic church in the heart of the old town. The church boasts two giant towers which rather like Sagrada Familia you can scale! Unlike Sagrada Familia however scaling the tower requires crossing a boardwalk right over the roof of the church and then climbing ladders up the outside of the building. The view from the top however was definitely worth the fear as you could see Quito stretching right through the valley in which it lies. Whilst we were there a big mass was taking place and although we didn't stop to translate our hail marys into Spanish, it was pretty cool to see the church so full and hear the choir sing familiar chants! We also noticed some cheeky priests and altar servers nipping out for a fag break while the choir was singing, still with insence burner in hand!!!
We also had a far less succesful visit to a nunnery! Where we were led round a museum of gorey Jesus/ Angel/ Cherub paintings by a man with far too much hair gel (a common occurence in Ecuador) and a tiny plait (aka rat tail!!). We did however catch a glimpse of some nuns whilst they were enjoying their hour of allowed activity (including speech!) a day. Me and Charlie are now practicising this... so better be quick!!

A big attraction just outside Quito is 'Mitad del Mundo' or the equator. We took the local bus straight to the 'city' which houses the equator monument and museum. The whole experience was strange and hilarious!! Firstly because Lonely Planet informs us that the monument is in fact 200m ooff the equator and secondly because it was just genuinely the most random place we've visited (eg. there was a museum on France -as well as Spain and Ecuador though fair enough! Though why not!). Nonetheless it was a fun experience.

To get our final fixes of South America we spent some of our days wandering round the Old Town and the local food market. The market was our last taste of Caldo de Gallina for the moment, a soup we have both decided to try and make at home (got a feeling charlie's might be better!!! I am definitely chief washer-upper when it comes to cooking!!!). One of our favourite final SA activities, was our visit to a good ol' South American artisan market in Otavalo (a town two hours from Quito). On a Saturday the town is completely filled with stalls selling all kinds of local crafts. This ranged from hats for dogs to awesome hammocks, fake abercrombie to beautiful local textiles. Of course the souvenier buying was in full swing and I have now doubled the amount of stuff i came with, with souveniers (although miraculously only put 2 kg onto my bag, Charlies put on 4kg!!!).

We also managed to throw in our fair share of World Cup matches, passion fruit mojitos (yum) and an awesome gala night meal!

So after nearly five months our time in South America has come to an end! There will definitely be things we don't miss, but most of all there will be things we do. It's an absolutely awesome continent and there is still a lot more left for us to discover and we cannot wait!

Hasta luego South America, we'll see you soon.

Bring on Central America!!!!
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