Friday, September 30, 2011

Last Day in Quito

In the city of the $2 lunch of Chicken, rice and Salad I almost stumbled into a KFC today. Took one step towards the door and my body froze. Back away from the counter, back away from the counter!! It was painful. One block further along I found the inevitable. Seco de Pollo, arroz y ensalada $1.50. I splurged and had a pepsi.

Todays highlight (aside from finding a KFC) was the trip up the Telefériqo up Pichincha Volcano. It was pretty spectacular.

I was really not prepared having just a T shirt, no jacket, water or food. When I got to the top I then realized you could take the 3 hour trek to the very top of the volcano. I said screw it and started. The trail was easy, well steep but easy and there were quite a few people around. I remembered reading that the hike can be a bit dangerous due to Ladrones (bandits, thieves) but I have to stop believing what I read in the freaking Lonely Planet.
Anyways, totally unprepared I started the hike. It was amazing. Quito sprawled in all its glory below me and the volcano ahead of me. All was going great until..I became thirsty, light headed, the clouds started rolling in so goodbye sun, hello cold. My ego almost got the best of me to go on but logic said "dont be that guy you read about who dies unprepared on a volcano", so I turned around. There is always another hill to climb!
To practise my spanish I made a point of talking to anyone and everyone while walking which was alot of fun. People really do respond if you make an attempt.

On the way down I rode the gondola with 3 teenagers from Quito. They were talking about me so I sat quietly, then they said, ah American! I just quietly said, No, Soy de Canada!. They looked a bit shocked but then all excitedly started playing thier music from thier phones. Do you know Led Zepplin, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Green Day, Avril Lavine? Boys you had it going on until you said Avril Lavine!!
Well they cranked up the Zepplin and the 4 of us belted out the lyrics to Stairway to Heaven (natrually) in a mix of Spanish, English and la la la las.We got to the bottom and the smallest one grabbed me, Canada, lets go back up (takes about 30 minutes) and sing some more. I laughed my ass off. I took a taxi back to the old town and wandered around (see the KFC reference).

Off I go to Cotapaxi tomorrow. My friend Jenny who I met on the project in Otavalo may meet me there for a day or 2. She is travelling with her friend so we should be able to get in a good hike, then a Whole Lotta Beer (best zepplin attempt I could make).

Other than that, lots of time online today doing research and trying to locate a ship that will take me to Antarctica. There are lots of options and prices, I just have to choose

On top of Pichincha Volcano looking down at Quito

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