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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Quito, Ecuador

Oct 27, 2012 - Quito - gringo bus

Woke to blazing sunshine and no school (yay) - a typical day in Quito at this time of year works out as sunshine in morning, cloud over at lunchtime, thunder mid afternoon, pouring rain all evening, and headed for the oasis of green (Quito, like any major city is loud, frenetic with heavy traffic belching black smoke) that is Carolina Park. Caught one of the many local music mini festivals that seem to be going on, am not at all familiar with Ecudorean music but the band were not bad at all and then (as recommended by stern Educadorean...

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Oct 26, 2012 - Quito - bollocks, have lost my phone

Not much pictorial evidence today am afraid (see previous entry) but did visit the very fabulous Museo Banco Central Ecuador which is stuffed full of amazing artefacts dating back as far as 11,000 BC - pre Columbian and pre Inca through to Spanish and Colonial Art (cue lots of religious imagery, mainly of the gory variety - also see the exhibits at the very beautiful San Francisco Monastery & Museum). The Archaeology room in this museum was definitely my favourite (admittedly not everything was open as some refurbishments under way), with...

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Oct 25, 2012 - Quito - Day 2

Walking tour around Quito Old Town with Carlos, the impeccably uniformed guide from the Tourist Police, via Plaza Grande, La Compana de Jesus (stunning Jesuit church and entirely covered inside with gold leaf), the San Francisco Monastery and Museo de La Cuidad (all equally interesting, all equally worth the trip). You`ll have to forgive the lack of photographic evidence mind you, lost my iPhone or rather left it in a taxi on Friday (cue laughter from my London 2012 ex colleagues as yes this tends to happens rather a lot...). And school of...

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Oct 24, 2012 - Quito - Day 1

Fantastically comfortable night in Quito hotel - La Casona de la Ronda (a converted colonial house) - great room, good food, v helpful & welcoming staff, my home for next two weeks. Then off to explore (get slightly lost) Quito old town, a Unesco Heritage site, full of cobbled streets and churches (going on proper guided walking tour tomorrow), weather exceedingly damp and rainy (with suitably bad smog in the busier streets) but exceedingly beautiful. To Casa de la Cultura, first for exhibition of modern art by artist calledTheo (not...

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Oct 22, 2012 - Arrival in Ecuador

During my flight to Quito I had the same bout with homesickness that I experienced when I first flew to Africa. I enjoyed my visit back home and the company of my family and friends. The feeling on the plane that I was going to miss that could only be described as claustrophobic--almost as if all the unknowns were weighing down on me. I know, however, that my family and friends are always close in spirit. I also knew that oppressive feeling would pass as soon as I got caught up in my new experiences. And, boy, did it disappear fast! It...

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Oct 20, 2012 - Past volcanoes to Quito

By the time we had had a rather slow breakfast and got the bus to the car park where our cars had been left for the night, we were not on the road until 7.50 a.m. We set off with a small group and headed out of town and south for another day of huge mountain climbs and spectacular scenery - this time in sunshine. We immediately climbed 700m to 3200 only to descend 1500m to cross a river then up 1000m of altitude to the border with Ecuador. Here we took a short detour to visit the spectacular La Sanctuario de Las Lajas with Debbie and David...

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Trip Journal


La Gira Andina 2012

Aug 7, 2012 - Back in London

Aug 7 I must say it was nice sleeping in my bed last night. I woke up this morning thinking it was 6 am but I had actually slept in till 11 am. I slept in my more comfy bed with clean sheets. No more bloody noses either. When I went to the toilet yesterday after arriving back from Ecuador I had to think twice about throwing my toilet paper into the toilet because I had gotten used to throwing it into the garbage bin in Lumbisi. My hot shower was nice but it wasn't the luxury I thought it was going to be. My showers in Lumbisi weren't...

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Aug 5, 2012 - Soccer and plane to London

Aug 5 Sitting at Maria's (my host Mom) sports grounds on my last day watching soccer and taking 50¢ from the spectators entering. It's a family affair here. The sports ground is equipped with a food and refreshments stand Maria's nephew and niece helped set up by unloading the truck. The grandparents are cooking. I'm the only light coloured person here besides one of the goalies. I'm having fun watching the soccer. The girls played after the guys and their skills aren't as good so I, of course preferred watching the guys. I'm leaving soon...

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Aug 4, 2012 - Dancing, packing, and cake

Aug 4 I was up early and my host family made me a nice early breakfast before I caught the bus to Otovalo markets with the group from Illinois. On the way to the markets we stopped at a famous biscochos place in Cayambe for biscuits cheese and hot chocolate. In the afternoon I got back home and Maria (Fevi organisation) dropped off some pictures from camp for me and then I got a lift with her to supermaxi store in Cumbaya to stock up on some Ecuadorian chocolate. I learned a little about Maria's family history. She was born south of Baños...

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Aug 3, 2012 - Friday fun day and goodbye to camp

Aug 3 My last day at school, ending on a Friday funday. We have been making the whole day into a competition so the kids have been more interested. We don't have lesson plans so there hasn't been much structure to the class today and I'm finding it difficult with the language barriers with the other two Volunteers. I think we could be working together more but we have been managing. I was given a thank you card and a souvenir spoon from the class. Each one of the students also gave me a hug goodbye, it was so sweet. Sitting at my host...

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Aug 2, 2012 - Old Town

Aug 2nd Second to last day here at Mequeños summer camp. The kids have been getting bored, I guess I am a little too. I have been slacked on researching to make class more interesting for them. After camp Andrea took me to Quito Old town. We met a nice guy named Santiago who escorted us to St.Marcos which is a beautiful area but unsafe for tourists. Santiago also took us to The house of St. Augustine. We also got a tour of La Iglesia de la compañia de jesús (The Church of the Society of Jesus). In La Ronda we had ate a giant empanada with...

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Aug 1, 2012 - Intiñan museum

Aug 1 I'm feeling much better than I was yesterday and the day before. I think it was just a bug that lasted only about a day luckily. I only have a few more days left here and it gives me mixed feelings. I'm happy to be going back to London but I'm also sad to be leaving here. I really hope I'm able to come back one day soon. I have had a great experience so far and I'm happy I did it on my own. After camp today I'm going to Quito with Andrea to visit the museum near the center of the world. I'm at camp now half way through the day. We...

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