We arrived in Quito on the 23rd of December at about 2am – luckily our hostel had arranged a transfer for us so we were picked up at the airport. Also luckily, our hostel was fabulous and we went straight to bed when we got there. The following day was spent almost entirely researching our options for going to the Galapagos, so it wasn’t terribly exciting… as was the morning of Christmas Eve. We’d decided on our boat at that point and how much we were willing to pay, however someone else had put a hold on the places (this means that they’d booked them as an option but not paid the deposit). They’d been given til 11am that day, so we hung around a cafe til then… then their time was extended til 1pm, so we hung around having lunch…. then eventually we got the places! So we are off to the Galapagos on the 12th of January! Hurray! That was a pretty cool Christmas present.
That evening, our hostel had Christmas dinner. It was amazing… just as we were sitting down, one of the guys came over to Michael saying “I think you have a package…” It was from my mum! And full of a selection box, Christmas socks, a little Santa hat slide for me, a Christmas bowtie for Michael and TEA! I cried… Dinner was amazing too – prawns and jalapeno peppers to start, turkey and ham, mashed potatoes, broccoli for main and then ice cream and mousse for dessert. We also shared some wine and had great chats with our hostel mates. :) Really fun night.
Christmas Day wasn’t so much fun… I’d forgotten the effect of altitude and alcohol together and I was really quite ill. I spent most of the day just being miserable and attempting to Skype home, but the connection went all funny. So it was a little miserable. Michael fared better with the hangover and Skype worked for him, but we were both a little sad. We went to an Irish pub for Christmas dinner that evening – dinner was lovely but there was no atmosphere in the pub. We’d assumed there would be other backpackers and expats, but it was mainly locals eating regular food.
On Stephen’s Day we did a walking tour of Quito, which was really fun – the old town is quite pretty. That afternoon we went to see the Equator. We got a little lost on the way there, not getting off at the right bus stop, but we found it in the end. It’s weird, apparently the actual equator is about 50m away from the line that they drew – someone made a mistake – but its still pretty cool. So we had fun taking photos where we were standing in both hemispheres at once and balancing on the equator itself. We also got to stamp our passports, which I am always very excited by! The following day Michael went to visit the Basilica in Quito as I was lazy and hung out in the hostel, before we left to go to the cloud forest in Mindo, which is the next blog!