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January 06, 2005

Quito, Ecuador

my flight went well, i slept fairly badly through the night on the plane from sf to el salvador, but everything was on time and i arrived into quito, ecuador early. i grabbed my luggage, walked out into the street, and caught a bus towards the new part of the city. quito is situated between two mountains, so a large part of the city is narrow with the kind of constricting streets that reminds me of all the other colonial architecture of latin america.
aaron and kristy were not waiting at the bar we had planned to meet at, because it was closed. i walked across the street to grab a juice box and wait for them, and lo and behold they were waiting for me the the mini mercado. we agreed that it was not the climatic reunion we had formerly envisioned, with me walking up a dusty road to find them digging ditches in the farm they were working at, but still, it was great to see them. they have faired well down here, though it sounded like i did not miss a hell of a lot in peru. machu pichu turned out to be an orgy of tourists and lameness, though the inca trail hike sounded good in an of itself.
we took it easy last night, and today we woke up late, changed hostels to a cheaper one, and have done a ton of walking. this city reminds me of all the other capital cities in latin america, and seeing as i just arrived from san francisco, one of the best cities in the world, i am pretty ready to bust out of here for the jungle. the plan is to catch the 8 oclock bus tomorrow for tena, where on the advice of airielle we plan to do some river rafting. then we shall head north towards a 12,000 feet volcano, and spend 5 days hiking up it and back down. buzz proudly displays his machete on the outside of his backpack, and looks like we will need it to fight out way through the vegetation towards the volcano. from there, we will head towards the tributaries of the amazon river, with the hopes of catching a freighter down towards iquitos, a jungle city in peru. though it is a large city, there are no cars, only motorcycles and boats to get around. kristy is excited to see the floating shanty towns and floating markets.
after iquitos the thought is to head back into ecuador, visit their farm in the south of the country to pick up some items left there, and then book for columbia. though many fear columbia, we are excited to cross the country in bus, heading through bogota towards cartagena and the carribean coast. i am hoping to spend at least a month in columbia. Venezuela looks like the logical next destination after Columbia, and there is a chance i will be meeting my father in suriname, though nothing is planned as of yet. they say that the cheapest flights back to the u.s. are from venezuela, so one though for me once aaron and kristy catch a boat or yacht to panama, is to fly to miami and hitch back across the united states, maybe heading up to new york first to visit my cousin. all of that is a long way off, though, so for now i am going to aclimatize to being back in latin america, and try and spend some quality time in the jungles and mountains.

Posted by bendan at January 6, 2005 02:17 PM

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