9 Visitors Online
Bonnie outside Casa Sol. A nice hangout in the Gringo district of Quito. Rooms are cheap, especially if you stay a week or more. Try to get one with your own bathroom as the seven single rooms share one bathroom and you wait forever.What do you do when you go change $150 US and get back 2.25M sucres in s/5000 bills? That's 450 s/5000 bills, which just wouldn't fit into any money belt.Street scene in the Mariscal Sucre district (aka gringo hangout) in new Quito
Street scene in old Quito with the Virgin of Quito in the backgroundOld Quito ... notice how the city/houses sprawl up the mountainsideMitad del Mundo -- the Middle of the World. Monument marking the passage of the equator through Ecuador.
Bonnie, straddling the line marking the northern and southern hemispheres. Actually the yellow line is off by about 133 m as the equator moves from year-to-year. Where is that GPS unit of mine when I need it?We've joined our GAP tour group and first stop, Papallacta, as we head into the Amazon jungle.Notice the change in vegetation and look for the cows grazing on the steep mountainside.
Our fellow GAP travellers: Jean, Andre, Elena, Alvaro, Fluvio, Alex with members of the indigenous family we stayed at in the jungle. Notice the facepaint we're all sporting.Jungle trek through Delphines' property. It was hot and humid and everyone was so worried about malaria with tons of long clothing and DEET. Yuck!The view from the 'rustic' rainforest cabin (contents: bed, mosquito net, jug of water, matches).
Viewpoint of the Napo River near Tena, on which some of us white-water rafted! (Class III river)Another jungle sceneAn epiphyte flower
Locals using a canoe to travel the riverFresh plantainsThe Fishtail Palm. A common roofing material
Friendly monkeys at a wildlife reserveAh, a nice relax in the pool in the Amazon rainforest (this is were I washed off all the DEET). Del Susizo was a very overpriced touristy resort and I was highly unimpressed.Interesting sunset sky colouration effect in the Amazon rainforest
Amazon sunsetLacungena veggie market. This market is rarely visited by tourists, but the few that do visit quickly get swarmed, creating easy potentials for pick-pocketsLacungena Animal market. Not a vegetarian yet? Just wait to see some more of these pictures below...
Lacungena Animal market. The brown discs are brown sugarOlder couple wandering the streets collecting straw for their hut. The bag of fruit was given to them for posing for picturesThis little piggy went to market...
A mother and her son were wandering around a small town begging in each of the stores for food. As the mother begged this little boy would wait outside. This picture won 1st place at the 2000 Saanich Fair.Ecuador has one of the only trains were riding on the roof is an (legal) option. While waiting for the train to leave little boys would come up and take your breakfast orders and then their moms would cook it up for you on their portible stoves.Riding the roof of the train. The conductor would sometimes shout something in Spanish, which I think translated to: 'Duck to avoid the low overhanging high-voltage power line'.
Landscape from the trainBuses are very popular in Ecuador and EVERYTHING gets carried. There was a couple of goats tied in on the roof of this bus. Another bus I was on involved a man getting aboard with a 20L red plastic container and dropping it near where I was sitting. Yes, it contained gasoline!Ruins of an ancient empire
Yummm... Gienna Pigs for sale in a supermarket. A national dish.North of the Mitad del Mundo there is a crater that has been turned into a group of farms. You can hike around it (about 6-8 hours). A service will run you from the Mitad to here for US$5, but it is an easy walk or hire a taxi for more like US$0.50.An archelogical dig of pyramids. In the background note the sheet of siding being used to cover an opening into one of these covered pyramids.
Llamas might be cute and fuzzy but they are mean animals that like to spit.Cacti and flowersScene near Otavalo
Left: Otavalo Animal Market. Puppies, Cats, Chickens, Rabbits, Ducks, Pigs, Cows, etc. You can buy just about any animal (or animal part) here.
Right: Otavalo textiles market.

Otavalo is the biggest market in South America and you would need days to visit all the sub-markets. Get here early in the morning as by 10am the main part is full of tourists that don't know how to bargain and the vendors start to charge more. If this is the case then wander further into town where more of the locals shop. Like elsewhere in the world, all vendors have calculators so you can bargain by just typing in numbers and by using a bunch of different facial expressions

Volcano just west of Quito. This volcano kept covering the Quito airport with ash, causing flights to be cancelled.
Well, I just had to take a FEW cell pictures...
TDMA cells (Bell South and/or Porta), Quito
TDMA cells (Bell South and/or Porta), East of QuitoCellular payphone

Travel Pages | Return to GeckoBeach