Quito, Ecuador

I bloody love this place.

I ended up here for 3 days purely to catch a flight back down South. It was either 7+ days of buses vs. £250. No brainer.

I’m writing this on an overnight LAN plane bound for Santiago Chile. The clouds below are all wispy, the mountainside city lights all twinkly. Sweeet. It’s a higher up version of the view I’ve had all week, hanging on the gorgeous rooftop terrace of The Secret Garden hostel. Even without kittens, this is one of the best places I’ve stayed.

Here is this week’s ensemble cast of characters;

Lucia (America) My new BF and all round hot chick.
Stefan and Pelle (France/Sweden) Stefan I already met off of Kokopelli Lima. Pelle (28) provides mucho entertainment for us by sleeping with Annie. You’ll find out why that’s amusing in a second.
Annie (UK) She used to work on International Tennis circuit. Just like my fave film; Wimbledon. She has great stories and is great fun. She is also 50 years old. At least. Cougertown.
Kelly & Mai (Dutch) The most overtly bitchy girls we’ve ever met, but funny with it.
Tonga & Kim (NZ/Oz) these sound like made up names to me. Kim is a boy too. Confused.com
Robert, Austin, Ronan, Lilly – All staff, and all welcomed us into their Secret Garden family.

So day 1, pre making any friends, Jesus and I took a trip to Mitad Del Mundo (Middle of the world) in search of the equator. Imagine a ghost town theme park, whose star attraction is a straight lick of yellow paint pinpointing where Charles Marie de la Condamine measured 0.00 latitude in 1736. Well, if you ignore the sight faux par of a little thing called a compass vs. GPS. Apparently the true line lies 300m North. Upps. I visit both just for good measure, but to be honest both are as underwhelming as each other. It’s an invisible line at the end of the day. I kind of expected to morph from Northern hemisphere sunshine to a Southern hemisphere rain cloud in one leap, but what can you do. A little old couple were taking twee pics of them kissing across the line. I was the lone nutter taking pics with a toy elephant.

Day 2 and I was wandering through ‘Gringolandia’ in the New Town when a flash of inspiration hit; the Academia De Bailes Tropical school of Salsa and Merengue.   In South American clubs, dancing is purely not a spectator sport; you have no option but to get involved. Colombian Lillyanna (Wednesday’s border friend – we were together for 30h straight, it was hard not to be,) told me food/architecture/culture wise Ecuador and Colombia were not so different. “The main difference is Ecuadorian’s are bad at Salsa” she added. Hence the influx of dance schools maybe. I venture in ‘’just for a look’ and next thing you know I’m being flung around by Ecuador’s answer to Patrick Swayze. A gay, teenage version. Funnier still that he kept telling me to look him in the eye, like all romantic and ting. Cringe. Hopefully I’ll be busting these new found skills on a Chilean dance floor in the next week.

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An.an.tas.in : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

Blasts From The Past…

July 2011

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