Spent a few days relaxing in Quito before the start of a two-week trip around Ecuador. Quito has two main areas - the Old Town and the New Town. The New Town is where all the hotels, bars and restaurants are, known as ´Gringoland´to the locals. The Old Town is the Spanish Colonial centre which is now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Incas destroyed the Inca city before the Spanish arrived so the Spanish built a new city on top of the Inca ruins. They liked their churches, those Conquistadors - there´s 18 Spanish churches in a km sq area.
Just met up with the new group for the next two weeks - there´s 13 of us plus our Ecuadorian local guide, a mix of Irish, English, Canadian, Australian, U.S. and Dutch. I had to laugh when I met my new room-mate and she lives in Dublin (originally from Meath). And of course it didn´t take us long to work out a friend in common, the famous Jane Ryan.
Ecuador is a very volcanic country and therefore has some great hot springs. Tonight we are going to be staying in a small town that has the best hot springs in Ecuador. Apparently the pools are right outside our cabin doors!
After than we are off to the Amazon jungle for 4 days. We are spending two days in a jungle lodge and two days staying with a local community which should be really interesting. Really looking forward to it - have my bug spray at the ready. Will hopefully manage to post update after that.