Sunday, 3 June 2012

In Quito

This is the worlds second highest capital city at 2800 mts. It literally takes your breath away when you walk up hill. The active volcano of Pinchincha is very close because the city is situated on the flanks of this volcano.
The surrounding "hills" are well over 4000 mts, but they look strangely closer than that. One reason is that we are equatorial, so vegetation is still present at very high altitudes.
The Mitad del Mundo is the monument to the centre of the world where you can stand with one foot in the southern hemisphere and the other in the northern hemisphere.
Some of the churches date back to about 1550. The churches are decorated in a strange mix of Baroque, Moorish and Inca motif's.
Most of the people look distinctly Indian. There is a clear class distinction between people with ancestry from Spain, and those who are Indian or a mix (called Mestizos).
We are gradually losing or headache from the altitude, and begin Spanish school tomorrow for 2 weeks. Hearing the language all around is helping. We move in with our host family tonight.

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