As a rule I plan my travel very thoroughly, and know exactly where I want to go & what we are doing. That didn’t happen today. We had booked a bus trip to some markets in a nearby town which Jess & Chris recommended. I assumed we would just be driven to the markets & collected, but it turned out to be that and so much more.
Our guide for the day was our old friend Oscar who accompanied us to the Cloud Forest yesterday. He was eager to show us much more of the area than just a market, and we had a wonderful day. Around half the group have already left Ecuador, so there were only 7 of us on the bus (plus Oscar and Marcelo the driver). We were collected at 8.30 and headed out of Quito.
Quito is situated in the Andes Mountains. It is a very hilly city, and surrounded by towering peaks, some snow covered. Driving through the surrounding countryside was just lovely, with mountain vistas, small villages, and cultivated fields. The mountains are permanently covered in clouds, but it was a clear day with blue skies, and quite warm, which was a bonus.
The first port of call was “La Mitad del Mundo” – the middle of the earth, which is a sundial marking the site of the equator. It was fun to stand with one foot in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern, and there was a surprisingly interesting presentation about the solar clock, the equator, pre-Incan archaeological sites and how we draw the map of the world the wrong way.
By dinner time there were 6 of us left, and we met in the hotel restaurant for a light meal and a last catch up. It’s a funny thing, travelling for 2 weeks with a group of strangers who quickly become friends. It was a really good group, with people of different backgrounds, ages and careers, but with a common interest in travel, photography and wildlife, and we all got along famously.