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!