Monday, July 19, 2010

Ecuador, in Brief

No time to write about everything (using the free internet at our hostel), but here's a quick rundown of the highlights so far. All will be more interesting once accompanied by pictures:

-People (and animal) watching at the Otovalo market
-'Mi Otavalito' where we had lunch in Otovalo to the dulcet tunes of a mariachi band playing 'The Sound of Silence'
-Tianguez, a restaurant in the bottom of the Monastery of San Francisco. Best dish: humitas, which are ground corn steamed in the husk. They're like the dough (is what what you call it?) for tamales, but fluffier and sweeter
-Live music in the streets of Old Town Quito on Saturday night
-Live music in a church courtyard in Old Town on Saturday night. We were promptly pulled in to join the party and offered two kinds of alcohol (including a bright blue concoction in an old water bottle). Was it rude to decline?
-'La Ronda,' a street in Old Town where restaurants serve food and drinks out their doors and everoyne just walks around. We did sample the alcohol there: canelazo, sort of a hot cider with cane sugar alcohol, and vino herbivo, sort of a mulled wine sangria
-Mountain biking down the Cotopaxi volcano, with an altitude change of about 1000m. Yes, I did fall.
-Ginger tea on our bike ride
-Taking the 'Transhemisferico' bus to 'La Mitad del Mundo,' the Equator marker and Ecuadorean Disney Land. Then taking lots of pictures standing on the Equator line.
-'Museo Inti-Nan,' the museum on the real Equator about 200m away (supposedly). You know it's the real one because (1) they tell you that a GPS says so and (2) they make water go down a drain in different directions on either side of their line. Obviously, the 'museum' also included exhibits of shrunken heads and guinea pigs that deemed us to have good energy.
-Eating a guinea pig. Tastes like really salty chicken.

Tomorrow we leave for the Galapagos. More highlights to come...

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