Monday, November 27, 2006

Quito

After a 28 hour journey by car, 2 trains, 2 planes and SUV I find myself in Quito, capital of Ecuador, a small country on the north-west coast of South-America. Located on the eastern slopes of the Pichincha, a 4794m high active strato-volcano in the Andes mountains, Quito, with an elevation of 2808m, is the second highest city on this planet. (Tip: To avoid altitude sickness, it's recommended to drink a lot.)


I arrived here yesterday evening, the plane litterally landing in the middle of the city, narrowly streched out over 50km between the mountain flanks.

I'm only here in transit though, a short stop-over before continuing my journey tomorrow morning, to the Enchanted Islands...

Curious about what a guy like me does when having a resting day? At 6:30 I enjoyed a nice buffet style breakfast, while the clouds drifted over the city and planes started coming in. At 8:30, in order to loosen up my travel-cramped muscles, I did 50' of fitness in the hotel's gym, followed by a warm relaxing bath and cooling rest. Then, at 10:30, to get at least a sense of the city and its people, I chartered a taxi for a private city tour. Pepe, the cab-driver, driving me by the most interesting places while giving me some background info every now and then. En EspaƱol. Two hours, 25$. That's about as much culture as I can take in a jet-lagged day :o) Back at Hotel Quito, I then had a decent, though at 15$ rather pricey, buffet style lunch. Followed by some blogging (3$/hr). At 16:00 I got a 50' massage to relax some more. Having been warned several times to be very careful outside, and there not really being anything nearby that looks like a nice place to eat, I decide to call room-service around 19:00... Bad choice. Must have been the worst burger in my life :o( Wake-up call tomorrow is at 5:30, so a night in town is out of the question. Not really a problem as there's a 6 hour time difference with Europe, and at 20:00 I'm about falling over.

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