Today i moved from 2800m to 4100m above sea level… i felt like i was on top of the world!
I took a cable car up Mount Pichincha which took about 10 minutes to get to the top. and oh boy the views were incredible!
i took so many pictures, but i shan’t bore you with Too many!
Whilst up there it felt only sensible to try some coca tea – this is the tea which is made using the coca leaf… it takes like a musty green tea to be honest. But coca leaves come from the coca plant – which is what cocaine is made of. So despite not being an actual drug, coca tea can have some drug-like properties to it… it’s often used to help with altitude sickness. I must say that my headache DID disappear after having the tea!
Next stop for the day was the Basilica de Sagrado Voto Nactional. It’s a beautiful Gothic architecture that you can both go in…and up! Inside is large and impressive. But walking up the stairs and then along a beam and up some very narrow stairs outside is what makes it quite fun!
The rest of the day involved more exploring the city… and a spot of shopping. I went to the Mercado Artesenal which is lots of little stalls with typically Ecuadorian bits and bobs. They all ultimately sell the same things, so it comes down to bargaining power, and how much you like the seller. As i’ll be heading to the Ultimate of Ecuador markets next week (Otavalo) i was quite restrained on the shopping front only buying some Alpaca throws. I chose this lovely old woman for the purchase as she was cute!
By now it’s about 3pm, so i decided to stop for lunch – or el almuerzo – as they call it. Lunch is the main meal of the day in Ecuador – I chose a restaurant that was busy (always a good sign) and asked for ‘el menu’. What i wanted was to see the menu and choose what i was having. What i ended up having was ‘today’s menu’ and within seconds the meal was on the table. Chicken soup with rice and peas, followed by chicken with rice and broccoli, an orange juice, some water and a couple biscuits as dessert. All for $2.50! I went with it as everyone was having the same menu, and it was actually very tasty.
My day ended with a manicure (as you do!), a coffee and then back to the flat as i’d walked my little feet off. Plus i have to pack for tomorrow. i’m heading to Mount Cotopaxi – one of the world’s highest active volcanoes. Spending the night there, so no update for a couple days! Don’t worry it hasn’t erupted since 1942! And it shan’t for many more years 🙂
Will do another update later in the week