Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Quito Ecuador - Part 2

Our time in Quito is finished and we pack up the bikes to move on.  Patrick goes before us.  He has a different agenda to getting south and a goal to meet his Canadian girlfriend shortly.  So he's off and running before us.


My goal is still to get to Chile soon myself to meet Walter and the Husaberg Adventure Team.  We've already checked out of the hostel, packed our bags and loaded the bikes.  However, Kevin wants to take another stroll around the plaza that he loves so much before we go. I've really learned to stop being in such a rush and take it all in as much as possible since I've been traveling with him.



Every plaza I have ever been on the planet seems to have these same old men sitting around solving the worlds problems (or secretly making funny jokes about those bloody gringos..) Too cute!


We are literally so ready to leave that we are walking around in our moto gear. Kevin decides to get his riding boots a shoe shine. He reminds me how important it is to keep the leather soft.  To this point in the world, I have avoided the shoe shine guys.  Actually they are usually kids, and even though I want to support them with money they need, it's more a bummer they are working already and not in school.



After the shoe shine we wandered the plaza a bit more and made a turn for home.


During our slow walk, I told Kevin that I feel guilty leaving Quito Ecuador (the easiest port to the ALL-TIME dream, number one on my list, Galapagos Islands). I have had it in my head for weeks, that I simply don't have time for this.  I need to get south somewhat quickly and I thought after I finish my time with the adventure team in Chile, I will be able to slow down and come back up at my leisure.  However!  As soon as I mentioned feeling sorry to miss Galapagos while here, he said so quickly that he was thinking the exact same thing just then.

I was really surprised.. really.  We're packed to head south on the bikes within moments! So we kicked into gear, marched right back to the hostel talking all the way about how exciting it would be to see the Blue-footed Boobies (and the jokes that came along with that thought), as well as everything else you can only see on those islands. We knew to see the attached travel agency to our hostel and start to check out how and if we can do Galapagos, like right now. No later than tomorrow.

On our walk back, I know I am needing shampoo and we take a diversion to the streets with shops.  Not really our normal path.


I love the shops here and these little closets have everything you need.  On our walk, I hate to bring up a worry again, but we wandered into a neighborhood, that didn't look much different than any other.  However, it was just a feeling and the looks we were getting.  My hairs were standing up on my neck, but I didn't say anything to Kevin so I didn't sound like I was overreacting to the taxi robbery attempt.

However! He surprisingly grabbed my arm, held on to it and said quietly, stay close to me.  He didn't say anything after that either until we got out of the neighborhood in sort of a stern walking pace. That was so weird!  It was a sunny day, no real reason to worry.  Oddly, we both simply "felt" it and got out quick.  I would have said it was 'just me' if he hadn't done or said anything.

This thievery world is all new to me.  Even though I have been traveling a long time, and warned I was going to have everything stolen from me in Russia, I didn't and never felt I would.  Even though I was told I would be shot and killed in Mexico, I never felt like I would.  But here in South America is the first part of the world where I actually feel the danger.  Not enough to stop me or spend my nights not sleeping, but it's certainly a place to be more aware and take more care.  That's all.

On our way out of the neighborhood, I was thoroughly impressed with the graffiti.  I snuck my camera out (the little point and shoot one), while Kevin stood guard.  I just really liked this one in particular.


Finally back on our own street where we can start the Galapagos research project.


The research was fascinating really!  A couple years ago, I looked into traveling to the Galapagos for a holiday from Australia.  I could not believe how expensive it was even back then.  A total deal breaker.  So quite honestly I didn't have high hopes even now, but the plus side was that I didn't have to add airfare to the cost.

So what was fascinating and a real travel tip I would like to pass on is this:  If the boats have not sold all the beds the day before they sail (which is what we wanted, to be on a boat tomorrow to save time), they knock the prices down as much as 50%. Last minute deals just to fill the boat!  We looked through a book of every boat available and the prices for today.  With both of us on our world journey we try to keep prices as low as possible, and you'd know by our dreadful boat choice from Panama to Colombia.

However, big surprise number 2 for the day.  Kevin is actually talking me into taking the luxury boat.  What?  It is not normal for him, he watches his money even more than I do!  Nope, he explains that 50% off the luxury boat is nearly the same as full price on the much uglier backpackers boat.  Then he reminds us how we suffered on the Panama boat and is actually convincing me to "live a little"...

We walked away from the travel shop, I really needed to think about it.  One, I need to make sure the days were not going to hold me back from getting to Chile in time. But also, I don't usually put myself in the 'luxury' category. I've always been sort of a rough traveler and luxury doesn't register.. often anyway.. ;-) Kevin is persistent and a good sales guy actually.. so I agreed.  We both kept going back to the same boat as being our favorite, weighed everything out and at the end of the day, this was definitely the one.

Now a new problem, getting to the Galapagos by air on short notice.  Our friend Paul who runs the agency, said he will personally take us to the airport early in the morning.  We learned there are no flights available, but he knows the airlines so well and felt somewhat confident he could get us on stand-by.

So there ya go.. we go back to our room EXCITED!!!!!!!! beyond excited really. This a true life dream for me!  And to have somebody special to share it with... even better!! Now to prepare what few things we are taking along in the morning.  Not much!  A couple bikinis and a camera! ;-)

Will close off this post with another one of my favorite Kevin photos from our last night in Quito..  Full moon, beautiful shot.


And a celebratory dinner at our favorite little Italian restaurant.  We have literally eaten here every day and still loving it.  That look across the table with his endless saying, "Galapagos Baby!" Lord have mercy, what have I done! He looks like trouble...


Wow.. still can't believe it.  See ya there! ;-)))))))))

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