Sunday & Monday Adventures
Sunday was a free day with no plans made for us so we decided to go on our own adventures. A group of us decided to go more into the centre of Quito in search of the Museo Nacional. Getting there took a bit of thinking and map reading and after initially getting lost and being followed by a couple of stray dogs (which roam the streets everywhere here) we managed to get within the vicinity of the Museo Nacional however upon asking a security guard where exactly we would find the entrance to the museum we discovered it was closed until March...
So instead we wandered across the road to where we could see a park and some markets. For a while we explored the Sunday market which stretched across the pathways around the park and had many similar items to the poncho market in Otavalo as well as amazing works of art and pieces of jewellery. After exploring Parque El Arbolito we continued to try and work out where exactly we were and where we wanted to go. Eventually, we spotted a Maccas and decided to head in there for a sit down and a bite to eat (Thankfully, you can always count on Maccas no matter where you are in the world!)
Feeling pretty tired from the harsh sun and altitude we decided to try and find our way back to our houses so we could have a siesta. Luckily this time we took a much more direct route and made it back in half the time it took for us to find our way there.
After a much needed siesta and some dinner we were off to our first South American soccer game! The atmosphere at the game was certainly nothing like NZ and the enthusiasm of the people gives a great atmosphere. Although, the stadium was rather empty as it was only an Under 20s game which is not considered an 'important' game here in Ecuador. It was still a cool experience and Ecuador won 3-0 to Argentina woohoo!
This morning we had our first classes at the Spanish Language School - Vida Verde. Classes began at 8.30am and went until 12.30pm. Already, I can see these lessons are going to be beneficial in helping me to recall and put my 5 years of Spanish at school to good use. It is really interesting learning the different words and expressions used here in Ecuador/South America which are not used in Spain.
After classes, we returned home for lunch and had a light rest before some of us decided to head to el Jardín Botánico for the afternoon. This required a taxi ride which we had thankfully worked out how to do the previous night and so we flagged down 2 taxis and asked them to take us to the Botanical Garden. For our taxi driver this seemed to mean some random carpark at the park surrounding the Botanical Gardens and we had to ask for a few directions before we actually found the others and the entrance to the Gardens.
The gardens although small were beautiful and contained all sorts of different plants and it was lovely to walk around. After finishing up observing the nature we headed out into the huge surrounding park and explored it a bit. We also wandered up the road to the giant mall which contained all of the America chain stores etc. and was incredibly modern in comparison to some of it's surroundings.
By this time, we decided it was time to head back before it got dark and I spent the rest of the evening at my host home.
Sunny so far and rather hot when directly in the sun - Sun block is a must for people with fair skin like myself as the altitude of Quito (3000m) means the sun is incredibly harsh - more so than New Zealand.
Thanks for reading!