24th October 2009 - 26th October 2009
As Nikki and I travelled to Quito on the bus we were intrigued by the landscape of mountains and dry land, and the colorful clothing of the locals with a sound track of our latest favorite Jamie T's Kings and Queens. As we neared Quito we opened the Lonely Planet and discussed if we would stay in the new town with a reputation of dangerous streets but great restaurants and bars or the old town with beautiful old architecture to see. Considering the Lonely Planet is often wrong and out of date we chose the new town.
On arrival in the main square we saw the packed restaurants, big screen TVs and the locals wearing more modern fashion in clothing we hadn't seen in a while. There was a big police presence with even an Army Hummer parked there so it felt safe.
The next day we went to a market and bought lots of really cheap woolen clothing as it was getting colder and booked a mountain bike ride and trek up to Cotopaxi.
Later after the sun had just gone down at 7pm we were walking not far from our hostel and had just been saying how we thought it was safe and that the Lonely Planet was wrong once again when two black guys slammed into me from behind. One started choking me in a head lock the other grabbed one arm and bent a finger back.
I looked around to Nikki and threw her the big bag of clothes we had just bought and saw the look on her face, at that point I thought s*** this is for real.
I struggled with them for a moment as they tried to get me on the ground. I stayed on my feet but we ended up on the road. The one on my arm lost his grip and I turned and kicked the other in the ribs and he went down straight away. At that point the other guy started to back away and people were approaching from Nikki's calls for help. As the man got up he nursed his ribs and backed away around the corner into the dark. We had survived the mugging which resulted in only a sore finger!
Many people then came over to see what had happened and gave me high five's. One younger guy said they had got him a week earlier. It had gone ok for us but we knew it easily could have been a lot worse if I wasn't such a bad arse hehe.
In the morning we headed out to Cotopaxi for a trek up to a glacier at 5,000m altitude. The Toyota Landcrusier took us most of the way up then we puffed our way the last hour in the thin air. The view made for some great photos and we made friends with the group over a hot chocolate in the lodge. We walked back to the Landi and hoped on the bikes for the decent. My finger was throbbing to twice its size so the bumps weren't much fun but I led Nikki through some back country and she handled it well.
Back in the Landi on the way home the driver lost control on the dirt down a hill and hit an embankment. Everyone laughed. We arrived back in time to confirm our trip to the Amazon and had some dinner before jumping on another night bus headed for the jungle.