Quito Day 3 (Mitad del Mundo)

I finally got a good nights sleep, went to sleep around 1 and was able to sleep through the sun shining directly in my eyes and the multiple car alarms going off all morning.

Had the usual hostel breakfast of corn flakes toast and banana, then had to wait for Krista and Rich to wake up.

Our plan was to head to Refugio de vida Silvestre, which is a wild life refuge that has an untouched part of the Andes, but we decided against it since it was tricky to get there and none of us are great in Spanish.

Instead we opted to head to a popular tourist destination called Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World), which is the equator line.

To get there we had to catch one of the metro lines which was about a 15 minute walk from our hostel. We took the blue line North to Ofelia bus station, which was about a half an hour drive.

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From here, we caught another bus, Mitad del Mundo, that brought us directly to the small tourist town, about another 45 minutes. Then entry fee here was $2.
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There was randomly a museum in the park that we went to, and there was some crazy ass scary looking bugs
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There were a couple llamas there..
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The bus ride itself was interesting, as it brought us through a bunch of small towns and really allowed us to really see Quito. We went through many small towns, and saw everything from fenced in wealthy areas and poor small towns.
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On the way home on the bus, there was some sketchy ass kid that was definitely eyeing down our stuff, which put us a little on edge.

Quito day 2 (Old Town/Las Basilica del Vota)

Last night was fun. We started drinking in the hostel around 6 playing games and what not. It started to get blurry when the bartender asked me to watch the bar for ten mins while he went outside to have a smoke and that I could drink all I wanted while I was tending.

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One of the guys in the hostel bought a mannequin for $15 and we brought it outside, tore it up and burned it. I guess it is tradition to do that and jump over the fire. We didn’t make it to the main party which I guess is in a sketchy part of the city, they call this area “Gringo Land”.

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After the burning we went to a club, and somehow I ended up offering to pay cover for our entire group, we were mostly the only ones in there. Stayed out til 3 or 430 or so, then on the way back we were locked out and I ended up breaking into our hostel by climbing over a 10 ft stone wall with glass shards on top then 3 ft of barb wire. Soo.. yea, some poor decisions were made.

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Today everyone slept until like 2pm, then I met up with a couple of my friends and we went to a historic place in the city called old town. We caught a $.25 bus about a 20 minute ride into the city.

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We intended to talk around a planned route but instead ended up just waking to the coolest looking church, called La Basilica Del Voto. I honestly wasn’t very excited about the historical district, but this place completely changed my mind. An amazing piece of architecture.

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It was a hike up a steep hill for a ways to get access, as it was perched at the top of a hill

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Entrance was $2 for foreigners or $1 for Ecuadorians. Inside, there were crazy colored glass and lots of marble

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To access the top, they had a sketchy stairway that would never be allowed in the US

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After this, there was an even sketchier steep access to get to the top tower, the couple I was with were afraid to go up so they stayed down

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Once in the tower there were some pretty awesome views of the city and the rest of the church

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The level of detail was so crazy. It took over 100 years to build. We saw areas that had been damaged, but I could imagine that it must take constant maintenance due to the level of detail in everything.

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The food here is disgusting, I am getting pretty sick of it. So salty. And drinking tons of soda since we can’t drink the water here. And we have been eating in all the touristy places out of convenience so you pay 2x what you would anywhere else, like $12 a meal instead of like 6. “Gringo Land” didn’t seem sketchy at all until we went out tonight, weren’t as many cops around and it got a little sketchy, crack head came into subway while we were eating.

Back at the hostel, booked the next leg of my trip. I am heading over to Banos about 3 hrs away where they have tons of outdoor adventure like white water rafting, mountain biking, waterfalls, hot springs, active volcano etc. Very excited for this stop. Touched base with Jose he is going to meet me in Banos in about 5 days so I will just chill out there until he comes. For now, I am tagging along with the LA couple I met, since they are also going to Banos. Its always nice to travel with someone if given the opportunity. I am staying at a different hostel than them in Banos however, since a different one seemed more solo-traveler-friendly.

Quito Day 1 (TeleferiQo)

Slept pretty bad last night, everyone in my room started shuffling around early. On top of that the room was so bright, and I forgot about all the car alarms that randomly go off every morning.

So I decided I would just get up, went downstairs had some breakfast and met up with the Mass girls I had met the previous night. We caught a cab to teleferiQo, which is essentially a gondola that brings you up to a peak where you can overlook the city.
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There were some really nice views, and helped to get an overall impression of the city.
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Didn’t do too much after that, came back and napped, chatted with some people, went out and got some really shitty food.

Messaged Jose who I am supposed to meet up with, because I don’t want to do too much fun stuff before he comes but then I don’t know when hes coming.

Walked around the center of town a bit..
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Apparently it is tradition in Quito to make manequins and burn them on new years, supposed to symbolize burning your old self and starting over new I guess? Anyhow there were a million of these manequins around town for the festivies tonight.
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This is the one at our hostel:
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Then there were randomly guys that would cross dress and stop traffic to ask for money all around the city, no idea what was up with this..
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We went to the supermarket and I brought some random fruit that I have yet to try
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Quito day 0 (Arrival)

Arrived in Quito safe and sound, made it to my hostel. Kind of a piece of shit but whatever. Flight was 12 hrs with a 3 hr layover so was not too fun. Met a girl on the plane that is in the peace core so was comforting to know someone in the country.

Taxi driver was waiting with a sign for me and he brought me over to the hostel, about 20 min $15 ride from airport.
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Brushed up on my spanish with the driver. Immediately got settled in and hung out at the bar with about 10 other people, small place.

One group from NY, one from mass, kid from new Zealand, girl from england, girl from Argentina and another girl from Chile.

Everyone was really friendly. City seems nice. Plans to go out with the girls from MA in the am in the city. Lots of partying tomorrow night.

Everyone is still partying but I’m calling it a night, 330am.

Overall everything went very well was not sketched out at all at any point, people to hangout with, winning!