Monday, August 24, 2009

The First Stamp

After a little luggage shuffling to make weight and a mild paranoia that I wouldn´t be able to enter Ecuador (thanks to nearly every airline employee I spoke with in the US and American Airlines refusal to check my baggage to Quito) I sputtered out of the US and was welcomed, no questions asked, into Quito. Passport stamped!

A quick cab ride and I was in my hostel having cervezas on the terrace overlooking Old Town. The city here is bustling. I much prefer Old Town to the touristy Mariscal district. There is a lot of activity of all kinds going on. For example you´ll find a bakery next to a welding shop, next to an internet cafe, next to a import clothing shop, etc.

Near the hostel are many local places to eat and a bullfighting arena where we got to see a free exhibition...although no bulls were killed. It was pretty nifty and quite a dance those matadors put on.

Today I leave Quito for Picalqui where the volunteer Hacienda is. I´m excited to get out into a more rural part of Ecuador and get a flavor of the culture. While the hostel has been great I feel like I´ve been immersed in British and Australian culture with all the travelers. It´s been pretty fun hearing some of their stories and getting tips on future travels though.

Note: On day one my camera broke so pictures are minimal and hopefully coming soon. I was fortunate enough to find a replacement before heading out of Quito so I should get some good pics of the Intag region.