So I didn’t get mugged. Lay did. My habit of speaking with “we” has got me believing I can claim some part in the whole experience. Two seconds from our hostel, in the main tourist district of Quito, four guys pounced (I use this verb loosely) Lay and wrestled her phone from her hands. And that was our first day in Ecuador.
We arrived in Quito after two very long 24 hour bus rides all the way down from Cartagena. Overwhelmed by how far the dollar stretched, our first meal ended up being in a Chinese restaurant when we saw a meal deal for fried rice (known here as chaulafan) + soup + coke advertised for $2.90.
A bus ride from one end of the city to the other costs 25c. Lunch deals (soup + main + dessert) start from $1. Oh and you can get a brazilian for $5.
From Quito we made a day trip to the equator where I weighed a flattering 4kg less due to some difference in gravitational force.
Spent a couple of days in a small town called Otavalo, about 2hrs north of Quito. Besides being incredibly scenic, every Saturday the whole town turns into a market where all sorts of things are sold. See this post.
We curiously enquired about the price of these llamas. Cheapest being $110 – certainly got us tempted.
Moved on to Baños which is an extremely touristy but beautiful town known for its thermal baths and hot springs (hence the name). It’s also a popular gateway for jungle treks and tours of its neighbouring volcano Tungurahua.
This is the view of the town from a little trek we did (which turned wet and muddy and was enough to tick off “jungle experience” for us).
On another day we rented bikes and rode about 25km to Machay where we discovered these natural jacuzzis.
Made a stop in Alausi for the Devil´s Nose train ride. Besides the train, Alausi is an attractive little town, under-appreciated by tourists who drop by solely for the train ride (as we did).
Because of its altitude the town is completely shielded in fog as it grows dark. There’s a super mysterious feel about it all.
And this is Vilcabamba, another beautiful little town set amongst amazingly picturesque landscape.