Quick stop in Quito!

After visiting the turtles, we took a flight to Quito. It’s the second highest city in the world at 2,800 meters above sea level. It has a beautiful city centre with lots of historical colonial buildings. It also has fabulous restaurants and bars. I went to an incredible seafood restaurant called Zazu with John, the New Zealander I met on the cruise. The meal, service, ambience and the company was outstanding. I only had one night in Quito and I was very happy to spend it there.
The next morning I was going to take a city tour to see the old part of the city but I didn’t have enough time before my flight. I mistakenly thought it was safe so I hopped in a cab and headed to the old town around noon. I took out my SLR camera and took photos of the beautiful old buildings. I was surprised when a local came up to me and told me to leave the area because it was not safe. I took his advice and jumped in a cab. The cabbie spoke very little English and took me the very long way to my destination. We went so far that I thought I would miss my flight! I had heard of cabbies doing this to other tourists. I usually ask hotels and restaurants to call cabs for me so I had not run into the before. Luckily, cabs in Quito are cheap so even though he drove me around for 45 minutes, it only cost 15 US. I was just happy to be back safely at the hotel and in time for my flight!

Go! Go! Go!

On the cruise, we had a very full itinerary. On our second full day, we got a wake up call at 6:15, had breakfast from 6:30 to 7:30 and were on our way to a 2-hour hike before 8!
We hiked on an island that was three million years old. We climbed to the peak and while it wasn’t very steep, we had to watch our footing since we made our way up by climbing on broken volcanic rock. It felt like an accomplishment to make it up and down without breaking my neck. I had seen several wipeouts since I got on the cruise. (more…)

Cruisin’ on the Galapagos Islands

I am now on day 2 of my cruise in the Galapagos Islands and loving the experience. The islands are a short plane ride from Guyaquil or Quito in Ecuador. They were discovered in the 1500s and became known as the enchanted islands. They are a volcanic hot spot and home to varied wildlife that are completely protected in their natural environment. The only way to see the islands is by boat and there are many companies that offer popular three-day and seven-day cruises. (more…)