Latitude 0 (nearly)
10.07.2007 - 12.07.2007 24 °C
On the 10th of July, we caught a plane from Panama City, to Quito in Ecuador, with a stopover in Bogota in Colombia. The service on Colombian airline Avianca was excellent, and so the flight went smoothly. We had a four hour wait in Bogota, and arrived in Quito around 8 pm. We had to try a bunch of hostels before we found one that wasn't full, but in the end we got a room at the Backpacker's Inn (original name). We went out and had some Ecuadorian grub (goat stew and cheese and potatoe pancakes) - quite good.
11th of July, we spent doing the sightseeing thing in Quito. Very nice city actually. We walked around the Old Town, enjoying the colonial architecture, the churches and so on. We even went to the top of the tower in one church, which gave us a great view of the city. The city is located in a valley in the Andes, and is built on several hills of various sizes, which makes the skyline very interesting and varied.
The climate here is very comfortable due to the altitude (Quito sits at 2850 m above sea level). Unfortunately, this also gave us some mild altitude sickness - felt like a mild flu, with sore heads and bones, dry mouths and red eyes. So, we took it nice and easy, and stopped for breakfast in a nice little cafe.
Generally, we just had a nice day of people watching and enjoying Quito's little quirks. Lots of interesting stuff to look at.
At one point, a guy popped up from the roof of an armed money transport, and pointed an uzi randomly at the crowd, including us. That's a first! Fortunately, he soon popped back inside his hatch, no harm done.
On July 12th, we decided to be even more touristy than the day before, and so we went to see the Mitad del Mundo - the monument marking the equator line, 22 km north of Quito, to stand with our feet in separate hemisspheres - very silly, but good fun.
At the line, we realised this was actually the first time we had been south of the ecuator on any of our trips - very cool. Afterwards, we went to the busstation and booked tickets out of Quito for the next day - more about that in the next entry.
Don't forget to see more of our pictures of Quito at www.flickr.com/photos/divingdog5