We have emerged from our mini-hibernation in the rain soaked caves of Ibarra; squinting our eyes, which haven’t seen anything brighter than a computer screen in days, and loosening our belts. In preparation for the Galapagos Islands we successfully spent the last 8 days developing a fine layer of blubber over our torsos, so that we can snorkel longer with our blubber brethren- namely the Sea Lions and Humpback whales. Luckily we will now be able to snorkel for hours in the cold waters surrounding the islands! I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Luis and Lacey here, we couldn’t have done it without their pork chops, hummus, steaks, orzo, and (of course!) introduction to Kinder Bueno Bars.
We are spending a couple days in Quito to remember the niceties of polite society (like wearing pants and using actual words instead of grunts to communicate) before subjecting 12-16 people to us on a live aboard cruising around the Islands of the Tortoises.
It’s our first morning in Quito and we are enjoying breakfast on the stunning roof-top terrace of the Secret Garden, Quito (actually just the view, the breakfast was not great). With Quito laying sprawled out before us it’s easy to see why people say the views alone are worth the (inflated) prices of the rooms here. The views are certainly lovely, and the terrace is a great place to meet other travelers. That great relaxed, social atmosphere that every hostel strives for, and can make or break a place? The Secret Garden has got it in spades. Nevertheless we have decided to move today to the Hostel San Blas, which is a nice place one block away. It’s rooftop terrace is a bit less impressive; but it costs literally half the price with double the amenities (kitchen and en-suite bathroom). Best part is, we can always come and drink at the rooftop bar if we are craving the company of other travelers!
The Old Town of Quito (another UNESCO cultural heritage site) is absolutely lovely! And if we don’t get a chance to explore it before we leave (due to rain) than we have something to look forward to after our two week stint in what early explorers dubbed “Hell on Earth” but we are expecting to be a Paradise!