So back to Quito for 2nd and final time...could easily do the city in a day so any future travellers should head to the outlying towns for a better Ecuadorian experience. Have also joined up with my buddy Tiffany I first met 3 months ago in Argentina whom we are heading to the World Cup together.
Like all backpackers I went the Equator...the middle of the middle. Back growing up I remember this Simpsons episode where Bart didn't believe the toilets flushed differently in the Southern Hemisphere than Springfield...he called a kid in the outback and as Bart still didn't believe him the kid had to go cycle to his neighbours farm to confirm...3 days later the kid returned with an astronomical phone bill for Bart (Homer!). Well he could of saved time and called Ecuador as either side of the middle of the middle are toilets to test the theory and you will be pleased to know no photos...only joking but there are sinks to prove the theory of clockwise in Southern and anti-clockwise in Northern hemisphere. There are also loads of other fun tests (like being at Science Museum in London) but the interesting part is that the locals knew this thousands of years ago using sun/stars etc.
As I said Quito doesn't offer too much so after this headed to Mindo for some chocolate tasting and tubing. Not that I am becoming a twitcher but this town in the cloud forest has 22% of Ecuador bird species so it was cool seeing these hummingbirds eating as I was tucking into my eggs!
Final Ecuador stop was Otavalo for the largest market in South America. You want it you can get it. Started off at the animal market where in bags that wobble you hear screeching of animals wanting to escape. Cats, dogs, chickens, Cuy (guinea pig), sheep, goats, pigs (who don't half squeal when being taken home), cows, horses and llamas. Unfortunately my rucksack is full otherwise a cheeky llama for Balham Park Road would have been fun!! Then in the town you can buy anything as well as the usual Gringo traveller crap.
Now i wanted to write this blog from Colombia where I am heading but the border is closed (thanks to elections) so writing from the border frontier town in Ecuador and hope to be leaving today.
Like all developing countries...we arrived at the bus station and the taxi driver took us to the frontier knowing it was closed - $3.50. Then he offered another way into Colombia with a smirk on his face at more expense. Then we had to jump back into a taxi back to town for a hostel resembling Fawlty Towers - $3.50. Grrr I hate being conned. You can't help think that back home if something is closed the honest taxi driver wouldn't take you there!