Yat's Big Trip travel blog

The Virgin from the Plaza de Indepencia

The Virgin in the distance

The Virgin again...

A church... sorry, I forgot which...

Guess who's looking??

In the Old Town of Quito

You see, Quito`s in a valley...

Lots of shoeshiners working... like Antigua!

Iris waiting for the Trolley

Very slow moving morning, but managed to get some breakfast, stressed myself with autmoatic telephone messages and incompetant telephone advisors of my lovely bank (Barclays, if you want to know), then we dealt with the mundane task of finding a jungle tour operator.

The first shop we went to sounded very good, with a good mixture of indigenous village visits, primary forests, paddling down rivers, swimming in lakes and seeing exotic animals, such as caimans and anacondas. The guide was also very friendly, and even offered us a discount.

Of course, being me, we dont buy from the first shop. Two shops down, the lady there gave us a very good lecture on their tours, which basically had the same iterinary as the first shop. They even shared some of the same photographs! So I guess will be seeing the first guide again in the next few days. We did end up signing up with the second place, because we will be staying in rustic Indian huts with no walls, and the native guide can speak the local language (the name of which escapes me).

With that booked and sorted, we had the afternoon to wander the streets of the old town in Quito. I had expected it to be very similar to Antigua; both cities in a valley on the highlands with very good Spanish schools; are both UNESCO World Heritage Cities with beautiful colonial architecture; and even have a prominent piece of monument high on a hill within walking distance - both of which are dangerous to walk up; and both have indigenous populations interacting within the cities. It must have been pretty repetitive for Iris to hear me mutter many times, "Oh! Its just like Antigua!!" Well, those were good times!

One thing though, the city was full of soldiers/police. So we were pretty safe from muggers! We found out from a policeman they were there to protect the presidential palace from protesters. However Iris has just found out there is actually a political crisis there right now... Dont worry Dad!! We are leaving Quito now, we will be quite safe!

Speaking of which, must dash for the bus... We will be arriving into the Amazon tomorrow morning when we wake up. Hopefully next time I write, I would have grown accostumed to sights of anacondas and have long got over my phobia of snakes....

Bye for now!!

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