Our long journey from Mancora to Quito wasn't that painful there were two of us with eight other guys who did the same journey, and with the long queue at immigration you find yourself chatting to anyone in the queue. Discovering how people got conned into paying up money for not having their yellow fever card for leaving Peru!! Such a scam as for one Peru isn't a country that needs the yellow fever certificate and for another we are leaving the country not entering it! Nic didn't have hers but put on her I don't understand face and smiled and they let her through, a few other guys had to fork up some money..this is where bobs have their advantage along with a low cut top of course!!
Our first experience of Ecuador was to get stopped at one check points and get held up there for over an hour while police go through the bus and take any bags they like without informing the owners. We took it in turns between the four of us to monitor our bags! When the boys saw our bags they knew they had no trouble, ours was so locked up with the pack safe it would be too much bother to even hassle with our bags!!!
I think the journey to Quito was the worst ever with the border crossing and check points no sleep!! Once off the bus we had another first experience of being bundled in a back on an open back jeep and taken to our hostel!! The fact that both me and another guy...(can't remember his name, was sleep deprived!))..from the Netherlands put our hand down on the seat and got a urine smell wasn't too reassuring and wanted the ride to be over as quickly as possible!!
We bumped into the other four guys from Quito whose experience from Mancora to Quito was worse than ours!! Broken windows, no suspensions and also freezing as a Canadian guy suffered from motion sickness so wanted all the windows open which meant the other three boys froze their arses off!! To top off the end of the journey again the Canadian guy failed to collect his bag and the bus drove off with it!!! Not very travel wise!!
Quito has this reputation of being a rough city and for all travellers to be careful, normally its over hype but in this case it's not, even when we asked a cab driver what the deal was in Quito he reinforced the danger of the town and not to walk alone at night!! Very reassuring luckily enough for us we never had a problem, in fact a guy Rich who travelling with us from Mancora was robbed at gunpoint in Mancora, which we couldn't believe as we felt totally safe there, in contrast Quito I wouldn't let Nic go out on her own!!
Quito had lots sites to offer for example 'la basilica del voto nacional' the tallest church in Ecuador, built in a flamboyant neo-gothic style, declared a UNESCO site. Not really interested in churches however this was beautiful and we got to climb and by climb I mean climb to the top of a very high tower with the aid of steep metal vertical steps with nothing to stop you falling straight down. Now I never used to be afraid of heights but this pushed me to the limits!!
We experienced a major lager feast!! A 7 pint keg between four of us! It was a wicked night, the first time since leaving England we found night life and the opportunity to socialize with other travellers!!
Quito..keep on guard, don't go out alone!, don't take anything out you are willing to lose! Money down the bra,well notes only doesn't work as well with coins!!
Local crack den next to our hostel and our local crack head posted outside, the same one we got warned about but at the same time got told he sells good stuff!!! And that's from the English lads in our hostel bless them they should really be on a 18 - 20's holiday resort somewhere not in Ecuador. For all they manage to do was to drink on the hostels free rum and coke nights Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, recovering the following days and go do it all again on the Saturday, the guy had been there a week and hadn't stepped foot outside the hostel unless it was for food, drink or drugs! Let's hear it for the English!! At least if we went out for a drink we at least we get up in the mornings hang over and all and go see the country and what it has to offer!
We entrusted our lives in the hands of a very long and newly built, which doesn't mean much, cable car, and got charged double the price for the exact same experience compared to the locals!! its not like they have an extra special surprise up the top for us, we are all seeing the same things but apparently it just cost them more obviously to expose it to the gringos!! But putting all that aside the $8 was worth the trip the cable cart got us to the third of the way up this mountain, where we could sit there or continue to walk to the peak. We decided to walk, well that was our intention until we saw these horses who were saying ride me ride me, so who could say no and the altitude was so high I don't think my lungs would have let me live to reach the top. So we made our ascent by horse and a trusted dog I kept patting my horse Mora, to let her know that I was aware how tough it was walking up this f***ing massive mountain with me on her back!!!! Nic was left behind as her smoking lungs wanted to kill her quicker than myself and Trey so she stayed in the warmth of the cafe/viewing area of Quito..which by the way is a f***king massive city, it went on for miles, you couldn't actually see where Quito ends! It was breathtaking beautiful! When we reached the top, which we did the final 50 yards by foot to save the horses!! It was amazing, we could have been on the top of the world, there was no one else around apart from us, the birds and the clouds, which kept on coming in to obscure our view but that are what you get for being 5500 ft on top of a mountain!
And for the record so far the rough guide for Ecuador is completely off, if you want directions or information you are best asking the locals the amount of times we entrusted our faith in the rough guide for it to give out wrong information and for us to miss our planned day due to their incompetence's is amazing!!! That's it my rant over!!