(Technically) the highest capital in the world

2013-02-25T19:08:00+00:00February 25th, 2013|Ecuador, Mindo, Quito, South America, Travel Diary|Comments Off on (Technically) the highest capital in the world
So thanks to the fortuitous circumstance of Ingo having to drive to Quito to collect his drivers licence, I’ve spent the past couple of days here, staying in a different hostel from last time but equally awesome. There’s a rooftop terrace. Enough said. I checked in with Jürgen and Nele (not sure how to spell that one) from the farm on their recommendation and definitely haven’t regretted it, it’s a brill hostel (with an excellent breakfast, muy important) and I’ve had a great couple of days.

Quito is apparently (according to Ingo) the technical highest capital in the world – because the definition of a “capital” is the place that is the economic and political centre of a country (or something along those lines), so although La Paz in Bolivia is higher in altitude it doesn’t count. Whatever, by the end of the trip I will have been to both so I’ve covered all my bases.

It’s a pretty awesome city from what I’ve seen; a fair amount of hiking uphill involved in doing most things and knowing more Spanish would definitely help but I am learning (downloaded podcasts and everything). Thus far I have climbed a clock tower, been into a cool church inadvertently during what i think was a christening, been back to Mindo to make some chocolate (which was good but I had such high expectations that the ‘chocolate tour’ could never have lived up to them. Although I had chocolate fondue for lunch as part of it, which is something that I find can make up for most things in life), visited the middle of the world (much more boringly referred to as the equator), got a passport stamp to prove it and, of course, went to the market. Manged to resist buying a hammock (trying hard to be practical) but couldn’t help but get a llama jumper – I will probably wear it a lot so I don’t feel so bad.

Have met a few nice people at the hostel, and went out to La Ronda (a cool part of the city) one night with a girl from Bradford (who coincidentally will be headed for the farm on thursday) and a lesbian mum from California (the lesbian part isn’t really relevant, just demonstrating the broad range of people you can meet here!). We went to a bar with some awesome Spanish guitar-type live music and drank some weird local mulled wine-esque drink made with sugar cane and cinnamon and all yummy things but not the sort of thing you’d want a pitcher of (which is what we had).

Buses here are crazy cheap – like 25cents – but the city is massive so a lot of walking is required to get where you want to go. It’s definitely too big to do it all in the two days I’ve had but I feel like I’ve done a lot so not too bad going really.

So this is my crazy life and I’m getting by with my Spanglish perfectly fine, doing all the things I can and talking to as many people as possible. On to Baños next so we shall see what new adventures that brings – adios!