Destination number 3 – ECUADOR
We have made it to the busting city of Quito, gateway to destination 4 – Galapagos islands where we will be spending 1 month starting May 1st.
Over the past 2 days we have been in Santiago, Chile having some well needed rest, sleep and rejuvenation after the past few weeks. Santiago surprised me – It was freezing, that was surprise 1, but the people were unbelievably friendly, the street art was next level amazing (Check the pic below from Paseo Bandera) and the city itself was easily to navigate and full of interesting places and monuments.
We stayed in Hostal Casa de Mosaico in Recoleta ( a neighbourhood with an excellent vibe) and we loved it. We paid $25NZD per night for a huge double room, bathroom and breakfast through Air B N B. The staff were so friendly both in person and through email and spoke fluent English, recommended us exactly what to do and where to eat. We really enjoyed our time here.
Fast forward a bit, we left Chile, flew to Bogota for our connection back down to Quito – nearly missed our flight, I had various panic attacks and then we arrived safe at midnight. Only 14hours of traveling.
We had a tour booked for today to climb Quilotoa – a massive Volcano a few hours from the CBD but luckily we managed to change it to when we get back from Galapagos. Arriving into Quito the second highest capital city in the world at an elevation of 2,850 metres (9,350 ft) above sea level, I am buggered.
We had to climb 3 flights of stairs last night and both myself and Leo were panting!! The elevation here causes severe altitude sickness, loss of breath and nausea, not to mention killer headaches. There is something so fascinating about arriving into a new city overnight when it’s dark and you cant see a thing, as in the morning you are able to be surprised with views like the below from your bed!
We have just got back from our little city mission to hit our 10k steps and we have to say, Quito has surpassed our expectations. Everything is priced in USD but it’s super cheap. We got 2 great looking ice lollies for $1.40USD, and a full fruit salad for $1USD. We have only explorer the new city today as after Galapagos next month we are staying 3 nights in the old city which will give us time to see both sides. Oh and most important news of the day is that we got our Avengers: End Game tickets for tomorrow night, we are both stoked, mostly because we are such geeks but this will be so special to see.
During the day we have the Cotopaxi day tour planned through the company EcuaTravelling. Here we will travel to Cotopaxi National Park where we will start an intense hike up the 5,897 meters (19,347 feet) tall volcano Cotopaxi. This makes the Cotopaxi one of the highest active volcanoes in the world! Apparently we can hike up to 5000 meters (16,404 feet) to a spectacular glacier, so we are both buzzed. On top of that we mountain bike down – YIKES! Excited but nervous for sure.
For anyone traveling to Quito and looking for a good restaurant, try Zagun. We went there tonight for dinner and it was REALLY good. We had Empanadas to start (but fancy ones ;) ) and then cervice with fish and shrimp to share as a main. Overall it cost $26USD and this was with 2 drinks. The service was impeccable and the waiters all lovely. For dessert we went to the mini mart and got these Bomboms as pictured above. GAME CHANGING - 80c per bag and they are so good! Mint ice-cream covered in dark velvety chocolate. Perfect way to spend our first day.
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Hey! I'm Ally. I left the UK in 2011 to move overseas and ended up in New Zealand - my new home. This year we are taking a gap year to loop the world stopping in some AMAZING destinations - and I'm passionate about sharing these adventures with you!