Odometer: 80080km – Since Canada: 26158km
Once upon a time in Mexico, we crossed the Tropic of cancer and now the time has come to shift across the equator line in Ecuador! We stopped at the monument called the Mitad del mundo (middle of the world) that is said to be the “only real” statue located right on the equator!
Other than for the equator, Ecuador is also known for being a “megadiversity” hot spot partly due to the famous Galapagos Islands. There are no entrance fees to visit the national parks, the indigenous Indians with their velvet hats are genuine (even with their yellow gumboots that they wear under their ponchos) the chocolate is to die for, gas is cheap and the roads are good! Sadly though, Ecuador has the highest deforestation rate in all of South America and momentarily oil and trees are even being extracted out of their national park Yasuni.
And then there’s Quito, the capital city. It was a quick visit with an even faster departure! One evening after finishing up some work on my laptop in a café, I headed back to our van which was parked 300m away, on the other side of a city park. It was after dark, but I decided to take a short cut through the park anyway. Feeling a bit uneasy, I picked up the pace and started to jog. Suddenly I heard soft but rapid footsteps behind me so I immediately stopped and turned around to find a guy dressed completely in black! He also stopped and looked a bit surprised but then he quickly pulled out his knife! At seeing this I yelled “what the F__k” and after one looong second, he again stepped towards me at which point I just started screaming! Somehow this scared him off and he took off running, and so did I, but in a different direction!
So after that experience, we found a nice small and relaxing surf /touristy town called Canoa where we stayed for the next three weeks. Beach bumming was but the mountain climate is a bit more refreshing then the hot sweaty coast! So we’ll head up high and visit a few of the volcanoes…..and if we get cold we can always warm up by one of the active spitting ones!