Ecuador: Traveling to the middle of the world

“Welcome to the center of the world” starts our guide in Quito. Being at an altitude of 2.850 m Quito is not just located close to the ecuador but also the highest capital in the world. This special location already has been discovered by the Incas without having any electronic devices – just the sun, stars and mountains around – clever guys.

Ecuador does not only divide the world but also changes our travels. While going around in Colombia was possible pretty conveniently by plane, from now on our onward trip through South America has to be done by long distance busses. On the one hand its pretty annoying sitting down for 10, 20, 30 hours – on the other hand we can discover places along the way we would never have been able to go by plane – like the Neo-Gothic fairy tail church of Ipiales at the Colombian-Ecuadorian border – what a beauty.

Church of Ipiales - picture by Vincent Schober (no filter)
Church of Ipiales – picture by Vincent Schober (no filter)

 

Canopy in Mindo
Canopy in Mindo (pic by Alex) 

And for sure by taking the plane we would not have met Vincent – a really likeable, relaxed guy from Vienna (Austria).

Since the night bus from Colombia we three are now traveling together, discovering the “Mitad del Mundo” (middle of the world) memorial, flying through the jungle of Mindo and strolling through the food markets in Quito.

Quito free walking tour
Quito free walking tour

From almost everyone along the road I can get some new impulses or learn something new. My favorite quote from Vincent so far was: “When traveling we are not only tourists in the specific country but also in the lifes of others where we leave our traps.”

Mitad del Mundo - memorial for the middle of the world
Mitad del Mundo – memorial for the middle of the world (pic taken by Alex)

So by being tourist in my life our new travel buddy already changed the my approach of going around. While I am usually spending quite a bunch of time researching and planning in advance which hostel I want to stay in, traveling together with two guys make me more relaxed.

So we take a taxi to the city of Quito, knock at the door of a hostel, have a look if we like it and stay there. Fräulein “planning” is changing to Fräulein “well, let’s see.”

Also we are traveling a bit more spontaneous. As the weather in the action nature paradise Baños is pretty bad we decide to travel to Montañita – a small surf town at the Pacific Ocean. After my diving accident in October it’s the first time I am brave enough to put my head under water.

Humboldt Current
Humboldt Current

Wow, what a colourful paradise – I am surprised by the amount and variety of corals, fishes and the strong warm and cold underwater currents.

My diving instructor explains to me that the reason for this is the cold Humboldt Current coming from Antarctica – one of the major upwelling systems of the world. In Ecuador it changes its direction and reunites with the warm South Equatorial Current.

These special conditions help exotic plants and animals to prosper – like the blue foot boobey I watched at Isla de la Plata which is also “Galapagos of the poor men” – from my perspective a bit too much exaggerated (obviously they have a good marketing department).

Mother and child
Mother and child
Blue foot boobies - still with grey feet and so cozy
Blue foot boobies – still with grey feet and so cozy
Isla de la Plata
Isla de la Plata

From Montanita we are now heading further south non-stop to Lima (Peru). Honestly, never spend 34 hours in and 100€ on a bus before. Try something new every day 🙂

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