Ecuador

Days 124 - 131

After volunteering, we found ourselves heading north for the first time in weeks as we returned to Quito for a couple of nights. We did this primarily in search of some luxury (a good hotel, a massage, and some great pizza) after our stay in the jungle, but we also realised we needed to backtrack in order to stand with one foot on each side of the equator. As it turned out we did this twice as there are two differing locations to visit in order to do this (the incorrect, touristy one and the correct quiet one). Whilst back in Quito we also found time to take on a cultural walking tour complete with free chocolate tastings at the end and by the time we were ready to move on we’d grown quite attached to this City.

From Quito, we took a bus to the Alausi for New Years Eve. This small town had a very wild west feel to it and we took great delight in joining the locals on the street to see in the New Year. Lots of wine was drunk, and there was dancing and fireworks and bonfires in the streets. The downside to all this drinking was the lack of restaurants to save us from our hangovers the next morning.

Whilst in Alausi we also took an overpriced but scenic trip on the Nariz del Diablo (‘The Devil’s Nose’ being the english translation). This beautiful train ride took us almost vertically a kilometre down into the valley with exquisite views along the way (as long as you were seated on the right hand side of the train).

Before leaving Alausi we had to travel and spend a night in the less than impressive city of Guayaquil in order to catch our overnight bus to Lima, Peru.

Pete Mel