The Sunday we had in Quito was the first day of our tour, but it didn’t start till the evening so me Jenni and Dan headed to the old town to look around, we spent some time looking around all the small streets (why is every shop a shoe shop!?) and headed to the main square until it started raining way too much so we headed back so to collect our laundry and for me and dan to pack to move to the hotel with the tour.
When we arrived we met two others on our tour – Finn and matt travelling together from London, and then nick, from Australia and then finally whilst we were all upstairs we were joined by jenny, from Manhattan (though originally from England) who had a few awful days trying to sort out her baggage at the airport!
We headed down to the meeting room at 6.30 to join our guide to find we weren’t the only ones on the tour (which we thought we were as real gap hadn’t told us about anyone else) There was a couple from New Zeland, (Morris and Adrian) and then a guy also from new Zealand who was 70 and was on his first trip ever out of New Zealand!! His wife didn’t like travelling so finally he had decided to go by himself! What a legend, he´s a really nice guy!
The meeting was pretty standard, we met our guide (Santi) and then us (minus the kiwis) headed out for food with Finn and Matts friend from Montenita (where they had been for two weeks surfing) and also with Jenni and ended up at a Mexican place we had seen earlier that day for a really nice meal with this crazy sombrero man on the TV singing all sorts of Mexican songs throughout whole meal! The main topic of the whole meal did end up being has his sombrero got bigger or smaller… he did just look creepy.
All in all a good night and nice to meet everyone properly.
The next day Monday 2nd. The our leader took everyone on a tour of the old town and mitad del mundo but since I had already done this and Jennifer had been living in the old town we headed off to the teleferico – a massive cable car up mt pichincha for a panoramic view of all of Quito.
I think the altitude got to Jenni a bit but the views were fantastic, and it was so fresh, we got Jennifer a Te de Coca and then went for the Vino Caliente before heading a bit further down to where we found a theme park. And I mean there was just no saying no. We found ourselves on the dodgiest roller coaster I could ever imagine at 4000m abs and a few other rides too. I mean when you’re on a ride that goes upside down and your seat doesn’t shut properly, you’re holding yourself thinking ‘yup, I could fit through that gap in the roof and fall to my death’ it just makes the ride evern more interesting! 😛 haha
We were slowly running our of money so we headed back towards the old town for a look around and then back to our hotel where we split (Jennifer had left her purse on the bus and had to ring some banks) and I headed for an internet cafe, to lead offices to fill in an evaluation of the Galapagos then met up with Dan and Jenni.
Jools landed in Quito at 4 ish and at 6 we met up with a pack of cards, money, and moisturizer for his sun burn and we got into a few good games of cuarenta with a mojito in Quito…
Later I got a call from Christian from the Galapagos and he joined us for a full Galapagos reunion! though Chris wiped the floor with me at cuerenta!
We met up with everyone minus the couple from the tour and also Jenni and headed to an Indian that Christian recommended and man it was good! Seriously good curries, even if the drinks service was a bit slow!
So Indian, bar, bar, then we met up with Rianne who was still just living down the road! It was so nice to see her again then she took us for free drinks for women as always! 😛 but being nice I gave some of mine away, poor guys, and the night just went from there with most of us leaving at about 2 in the morning to head back ready for the coach in the morning…
We headed early in the morning for the Amazon, near tena, by minibus and motor canoe only to find we had been upgraded from our accommodation to this amazing hotel slap bang in the middle of the jungle, with hot water and a swimming pool! The owner of the place we were meant to be staying had just passed away so they had shut it down for a few weeks so we were upgraded…
Wednesday was great; we had a guided tour through the Jungle (stop your jibber jabber!!) with a great guide who basically just showed us everything he knew. Then we headed down into the local village where they put on a display for us on how they make their pottery (which was pretty damn good!) Of course we went back for a splash in the pool 😛 and then later after dinner headed down to the Karaoke bar down in the village. Very simple, but so so much fun. Every other song was in Spanish and it kind of ended up as a sing off between us and the locals!haha