I want to know what all of you are up to! Where have you been, where are you going soon, where do you live, what's on your bucket list? These are just some ideas of what you can share in this link-up.
Myself, I plan on taking the next three weeks divulging the details of my trip to Ecuador (there is much too much to tell in just one blog post). I've planned it perfectly so that once I'm finished my three part share, I will be ready to write my very first England post!
I can't wait to read about your travels and hometowns!
We left on February 10th, a couple days after a major snow storm in Southern Ontario. We were concerned that our plane would be delayed because of all the cancelled flights from the previous day. Luckily, our plane was running on schedule (despite having to wait to have the wings de-iced, and wait our turn on the runway - only a few of the runways were up and running, the others were still being snow plowed). Here we are flying over Toronto.
Here's home for the next two night! The Hotel San Francisco de Quito. The first night we stayed here I was super sick with altitude sickness, but it cleared up the next day. One of the best things about travelling in Ecuador was all of the fresh fruit juices that we were given. Our first morning we had the most delicious mora (blackberry) juice!
Our first day in Ecuador we went on a city tour of the capital city we were staying in, Quito. Our tour guide dressed in traditional Quichua (the indigenous people) clothing and taught us about the indigenous roots of the city. The city (and much of Ecuador) is very mountainous, and so many houses are built up the sides of hills making it look like they are stacked upon each other. There is hardly any wasted land space here.
This statue was in the middle of the city square. This is where the Presidential Palace is located. While we were in Ecuador an election took place. The day that we were in the square there was a protest taking place. In Ecuador, as long as the protesters are peaceful the president will come out and speak with them personally. Also, in Ecuador voting is mandatory - and you must return to your hometown to complete it (a number of our tour guides/facilitotors had to take a couple days to go home and vote before returning to us). When you vote, you are given a paper document to say that you did so. This paper is required in order to rent/buy a home, rent/buy a car, and a number of other things that a person may find important to do between elections.
This is a large Roman Catholic church that was built during the Spanish conquest. It is enormous and the architecture is stunning. However, this building was unfortunately built on top of traditional Quichua religious grounds. This was purposely done by the Spanish in order to 'encourage' the indigenous people to quit their own religious practices and take up Roman Catholicism.
Here, our tour guide is showing us a traditional Quichua home. The floor where we were standing showed a perfectly accurate map of Quito at the time of conquest. It is constructed completely out of pieces of carved wood.
This statue is called 'La Virgen', and is modelled after the apocalyptic virgin from the Bible. She stands on the hillside facing down towards Quito.
Here I am standing in a church courtyard. We had to climb a VERY steep street to reach this point. I think that all of us Canadians (who were still adjusting to the altitude) had a pretty hard time of it. While we were in Ecuador, Carnivale was going on. While we were walking the streets of Quito, children were spraying foam at us with delight.
I took this picture on our way up to our picnic lunch at Itchinbia Park.
This is the grassy area of Itchinbia Park where we sat to eat our picnic lunch. Can you tell it's going to rain soon? The building pictured is called the 'Crystal Palace' and is rented out for big events.
The view from Itchinbia Park.
Here I am at the equator! One foot in the southern hemisphere, and one in the northern. We went to the Equator Museum and had the opportunity to see some awesome science experiments that only work at the equator. For example, being able to balance an egg on a nail, watching water swirl different ways going down a drain (it's not just a myth!) as well as the water going straight down on the equator. Some other facts about the equator include: you are 2 lbs. lighter standing on the equator, and you have less strength.
Here I am with my friend standing on the roof of our hotel. If you look closely you can see 'La Virgen' in the background on the hill.
This next set of photos were taken on our bus ride from Quito to the Amazon. (Roughly 7 hours)
We saw so many stray dogs in Ecuador (hardly any cats though).
When we reached the peak of this mountain we saw locals taking pictures of themselves with the snow. To them this was a lot of snow.
Cows being herded down the street.
We were delayed a few hours due to construction. We got out of the bus and played some 'camp games' (this one was finger fencing). The locals and construction workers who were also waiting to get through the road thought this was hilarious.
We are finally on the boats to take us to Minga lodge in the Amazon rainforest! (The sun was setting fast)
That's all for today! Next week I will share my jungle adventures with you!
I hope you all have a Worldly Wednesday and link-up with me!