Well it´s been a while. I´ve been too busy having fun to update my blog! Sorry!
So I spent a week at Bipo and Toni´s Spanish School in Quito. This time there was no avoiding the classroom participation as my classes with my teacher Efrain were one on one. A bit of a scary thought at first (along with the half past 8 start) but it did wonders for my spanish.
I stayed a week with a lovely Ecuadorian family, Victoria, her son Ceser, his wife Marie and their 3 month old baby Gabriel. This time round i was more able to chat with them in Spanish and quickly Marie introduced me to telenovia (Ecuadorian soap operas) which gave us lots to talk about.
At first i found Quito really a bit scary. I´ve been taking heed of warnings from my dear mum that i´ve to be v careful because nowhere is safe but the added warnings from my teacher and Victoria made me a bit paranoid. On my first trip to the historic centre of Quito I was so scared i daren´t even take my camera out. The historic centre is beautiful but i wasn´t able to enjoy it for paranoia of being robbed. I wandered for a bit but returned to the safety of my home where i had a herbal tea to calm my nerves.
Realising how stupid i was being i went back to the historic centre a couple of days later but this time i left my paranoia behind. What can i say? Quito is beautiful. It has so many gorgeous buildings, gardens and old churches. I also managed to find some great locals to speak to (occassionally sign to when my spanish failed me). I had the nicest guide who took me round the Metropolitan Cultural Centre. We talked for hours and he even took me back stage for a fashion show which was being set up for that night where Kate Moss was modelling. I tried to blag a ticket but that´s more difficult than you´d think in Spanish!
So as i said the old part of Quito is great and I also spent some time wandering around the new part of Quito, where i am staying. It´s not quite so nice on the eye but has a nice atmosphere.
During my week in Quito i also managed a trip to the equator. It´s only a few kilometres north of Quito and I headed along with my Spanish teacher for a day trip. I got the compulsory photo of me with one foot in the Northern hemisphere and the other in the south. I balanced an egg on a pin head which is only possible to do right on the equator and not in the north or south hemisphere due to the gravitational pull (don´t ask me about the science of it i just know i could only do it on the equator). I also, watched the water drain out of a sink anti clockwise for the first time in months and it reminded me of home. Then I watched it flow straight down on the equator and clockwise south of the equator. Don´t laugh but it was so much fun!!
I also had a day trip to Otavalo which is supposedly a world famous indigenous craft market. This market was great but even better were the animal markets which Efrain took me to. The first was a big animal market where they sold sheep, cows and horses. The second was the small animal market which sold mainly chicken and guinea pig which is a popular delicacy in much of South America. Seeing the live chickens being carried about in the street by their ankles by people in traditional dress reminded me a bit of Asia but the cuy (guinea pig) was new. The poor things were being held up by their necks and pawed by the locals who were trying to decide on which looked the most tasty! I say poor but i have to admit i never did like them as pets so maybe this is a better use for them! I haven´t tasted cuy yet but I´ll let you know what it´s like when i do!
Efrain and i got away from the bustle of the markets by visiting a nice waterfall and doing a walk around a volcanic crater. Both of which were lovely but neither of which i can remember their name.
So that´s Quito. Next I head to the Galapagos islands for a week and then straight after i head to the Amazon Jungle for a few days. A lot to look forward to.
Hasta lluega V x