26 December 2014

Quito, Ecuador: Altitude, Sleep, Grey Skies, and Sunburns

               So let me start out by saying that Wayne’s choice for a Christmas trip was going to Hawaii (where he had been before) to go kitesurfing. For those of you who haven’t watched someone kitesurfing, chances are, if you’re on the beach, you’re getting pummeled with sand. I somehow convinced Wayne to choose Ecuador instead, pointing out that the Galapagos Islands are totally awesome. So he agreed and we went.
                We left with a bunch of insanity. Our car service driver was super slow, but we still arrived with almost two hours. The Tame line was super long, but we waited, and when we got to the front, the agent told Wayne to go to line one because there was a problem with his ticket. Then she told me the same thing. We waited in line one, and then the agent said there was no problem with our ticket, and told our original agent she needed to learn how to read a ticket. Argh. Then we waited again to check out bags. We still felt okay on time, until we waited in the TSA line for nearly an hour. We went through security, peed, grabbed Wayne a coffee, and boarded. Then we discovered that the “seats next to each other” were actually one in front of the other. ARGH. I asked the flight attendant to help, and he was  not eager to help, and told me that the flight was full, sorry. I was pissed. But then when some guy got on board and sat down next to Wayne, the flight attendant asked him to switch, and Wayne and I got to sit next to each other. Yay!

                The flight was delayed and felt very long. We slept most of it, ate snacks, and went through customs, immigrations, grabbed our bags super easily. I smoothly negotiated with our cabbie to pay the set rate, and after lots of traffic and a long taxi ride (over an hour), we arrived at the Traveller’s Inn. We wanted to go out on a walk and get dinner, but somehow passed out for three or four hours, fully clothed, lights on. We woke up disoriented, and decided to head out to the Indian place we had seen on the corner. It was pretty swanky, and the food was good. I had the best mango lassi of my life. And of course, my beloved maracuya juice. Yum.
                We went back to the hotel, talked a little, and then passed out again – not waking up until 8 a.m. the next day. Wow. We got up, showered, and ate breakfast. It was weird to not be running, but my doctor said to rest, so I figured I’d not run until I got to the Galapagos.
                We took a cab ($12-15 each way) to Mitad del Mundo, where the equator is marked. I figured we’d take a bus, but a cab was much, much faster (though much more expensive). We took the requisite photos on the equator line, but as it was early, it was still pretty quiet, which mean peaceful photos. Then we hopped in our cab to Centro Historico, where we took photos of churches, walked around. I felt like utter crap and didn’t care about anything except wanting to go to bed. We stumbled into a random punk show, where the bands played cover songs of non-punk bands, but in a punk style, with English lyrics (rare), Spanish lyrics (quite common), or a combination of Spanish and English (also common). It was really fun, and we left after a bit to walk in the rain.
                My feet were killing me and Wayne took several scenic routes, causing me to get annoyed at him. It suddenly began downpouring, so we ducked into a Greek café, got some snacks and coffee and a hideous tea, and when the rain abated and our snacks were done, we headed out into the streets.
                We arrived at the intersection of our guesthouse and begin walking back and forth; we couldn’t find it. I grew frustrated at Wayne for not writing down the address, and he grew frustrated at me for insisting I got the address wrong. We randomly asked at several hotels, and finally, I pleaded with one of them to help me find the info. They called information, and got me the address. Turns out, we were looking for Pinta not Pinto. We were a few blocks away. We walked there, I showered off the grime, and passed out in bed for several hours. Wonderful. I hate you, stupid altitude. My asthma has also been crap lately. Ugh.
                When we woke up, I pulled back on my dampish clothes and we hopped into a cab  ($2) near all the restaurants in Mariscal Sucre. We went to El Maple, a vegetarian restaurant, and then we walked around the square and looked at the hopping nightlife. Pretty impressive.
                We wanted to go but, but, ehhhh, tired. So we headed back, mainly because we were cold and tired, got under the blankets, and snuggled and read.
                This trip has felt pretty lazy so far, but I suppose that’s what the two of us need right now. No stress.
                We got up our last morning in Quito at 415 to catch our 8 a.m. flight to Galapagos. Wheeeee!

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