Since I received some peace of mind money, I slept very well last night. I had more energy this morning. I also discovered that I had grown much more tolerant of the altitude (thank goodness) With all this energy and new-found lucidity, I felt a nice city tour was in order.
I decided to visit the monument that's been built to honor the zero parallel. The weather's been marvelous; sun coming out, then clouds obscuring it, a ballet that's been played all day long.
First point of order before embarking on me half-day tour was to figure out how to there from here; my guess is that it's about 20 miles. So I ended up figuring out the bus lines, you know the red line, the blue line, etc. My destination was "Mida del Mundo", this is the monument that was built in honor of the zero parallel.
Once out in public, one major issue I never saw coming was that no one speaks a stitch of English. Okay, but now I'm in travel mode with busses, bus stops, directions, methods of payments, transfers, etc. These are subjects and words I've not used in a while.
But, given the wonderful kindness and patients, of ecuadorians, I had no problem at all. Luckily, since my mind has begun to clear, my Spanish is coming to me a lot easier than even yesterday (thank god).
I had to walk about a mile to the bus stop to catch my first bus. I started out after my late breakfast; which consisted of a nice size bowl of fruit watermelon, cantaloup, kiwi, grapes, and some other fruit I didn't recognize. This was all covered with yogurt and granola. It was accompanied by two slices of toast with freshly made preserves; couple cups of nice strong coffee. All this cost only $2.00.
I caught my first at around noon at Santa Prisca, cost 25 cents. I traveled on that bus for about 10 miles. I met several nice people, all of them will to assist me, even with my bad Spanish. I even met a great little 10 year old and her dog; The dog really liked me, I think the little girl was a little jealous, all the while still maintaining a sweet disposition.
Being out in public today, something was glaringly obvious. There are no fat people in Ecuador, none, zilch! There may have 1 or 2 people with a slight buldge in their belly, but never fat. Amazing, there's a heavy fruit diet here, which I like.
I've already begun to love ecuadorians; they are humble, friendly, and pretty much happy and proud people. Their lives are meager, but from what I've seen, they have love and friendship in their hearts. They also love their country as I am beginning to also.
Back to the bus trip - one guy shared his stash of tangerines with me. Darn good I might add. Not everything here is based on the almighty dollar!
While riding the bus, I discovered that I needed to make a transfer to another to get to where I'm going. I did that successfully (cost an additional 15 cents). Then we traveled through two small towns and finally reached our destination; "Mida del Mundo."
It was a lot more than I expected. I thought there would be some kind of monument of demarkation, but noooo. There where lots of shops, bands playing, which, the minute ecuadorians hear two or more beats, they break out dancing. And that they did! There were many restaurants and of course, the HUGE monument.
I talked with many people here and thoroughly enjoyed my visit. Allthis days fun and with all the food I ate, the beer I drank, admission to the monument, travel fares, a pair of ecuadorian pants, cost me a total of $12.75! Can't beat that can ya?
I'm really beginning to like this place called Ecuador. But there's one thing I'll never do and that's drive! Jason, do you remember how the Taiwanese drove? Well they've got nothing on these guys. It's utter chaos out there, at least in the Quito corridor.
As clouds began to shroud the mountains, I decided I should head back to town, however I feel I could stay all night.
Oh, one closing comment I want to make. As I entered the monument area, one of the first things I saw was a young fellow glazing several golden Cuy. I'll leave it to you to research what those are. But if not for the fact that I'd eaten breakfast just an hour or so earlier, I'd have gobbled one up. The smelled fabulous. There's a picture that's yet to be posted. I haven't found a convenient way to upload the pictures up to the blog yet, but they're coming.
Well, it's getting a little late and after two ecuadorian Pilseners that I've knocked down, I'm ready to lay beneath that open window, under warm Ecuadorian Alpaca covers and get a good night's sleep.