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Ecuador - The Secret of Equator - 4th Stop of South America

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20111025-201111(18 days) Ecuador

Ecuador- the capital gave me the feeling of danger, my camera almost got stolen at there. For boys, my impressions all are having short curly hairs with their glasses on. The most memorable city is Otavalo, an indigenous village. You will feel the culture here. People living there wear indigenous clothings, and they have special facial contours too. There is also a newly built modern museum surrounding by cultural architect, it is a special one.

Moreover, there are a lot of souvenirs to buy, awesome!Cuena is also a city worth going, it is an artistic one and there are many museums there. Go and feel it!We played canopy at Ecuador. It was cheap.Eat, live and transportation are cheap here, there are also some snow mountains, you can climb if you have time.

Ecuador:
Currency: US (2011)
Hostel average: 5-7US per night
Eat average: 2US per meal

Schedule:
Otavalo->Quito->Banos->Reobamba->Alausi->Cuenca->Mancora (Peru)



Otavalo is a good place to buy souvenirs. There are many to choose and they are all cheap. You do not need to go to Bolivia to buy souvenirs. They will just continue to lower the prices themselves as you wish. Sometime they will ask you how much you want to pay.



The first early morning after we arrived Otavalo, some live music and drum sounds were heard from the street. A lot of youths were parading. It was because there will be a grand parade for children and youths a few days later~ They were now practicing.


The real parade, many princes and princesses










These sets of costumes are the traditional ones for Otavalo, simple and beautiful.


There are many genres of breads and they are delicious in Ecuador. But since the meals in here are cheap, you do not need to eat bread for meals.


Big chocolate $0.30US


Lago San Pablo, Otavalo, Ecuador(2660m)
It seemed that we came to Ecuador for lakes and snow mountains. This lake made us feel comfortable.



Laguna de Majunda, Otavalo, Ecuador (3715m)
It was lake again, we climbed Fuya Fuya(4275m). When we arrived, the sky was changing continuously, sometimes with clear sky while sometimes with mist. It was incredible. We needed to rest for a while after climbing up a few steps. With gloves, I felt stuffy, without them, I felt cold….
I had to learn from my friend that we should not give up even the weather is not as good as we think. The weather may get better after climbing up to the top. That made me grow up and think maturely at my journey afterwards.
That day there were many children and their parents coming to plant trees, what a fabulous day!



Laguna de Cuicocha, Otavalo, Ecuador
Special grass



Laguna de Cuicocha, Otavalo, Ecuador (3068m)
This lake is so special that there are two little islands in the middle of the lake. After walking almost half of the circumference of the lake, we saw the most beautiful side of the lake! We did take a lot of photos there!



Centro Intercultural Comunitario Kinti Wasi , Otavalo, Ecuador
This architecture was a brand new cultural center. It just opened for half month before we visited it. In Quechua (language of Inca), Kinti Wasi means hummingbird. We were very glad that we could visit this centre with the authority of the security guard! I believed that the development of culture and art in Otavalo will keep escalating!



Centro Intercultural Comunitario KintiWasi, Otavalo, Ecuador


Centro Intercultural Comunitario KintiWasi, Otavalo, Ecuador


Centro Intercultural Comunitario KintiWasi, Otavalo, Ecuador


Centro Intercultural Comunitario KintiWasi, Otavalo, Ecuador


Fruits in a cup
$1US


PIZZA+COLA
$1US





old town, Quito, Ecuador
In Quito, plaza in old town has many people busking. Street performer, variety show, but you need to be careful as even children will steal things. While walking to some places with less people, I felt people looking at me intentionally. And every Sunday, Quito will have some roads restricted and let cyclists cycle there. Thus you will see a lot of cyclists passing you on Sunday.



One of the art museums


Panecillo, Quito, Ecuador
I recommended not to go there because nothing to see in fact. And lonely planet said that it is dangerous to walk uphill and downhill, that was why we took a cab up and down.



Panecillo, Quito, Ecuador
Cute children come to visit too.


Teleferiqo to Cruz Loma, Quito, Ecuador
We took a cable car to go to Cruz Loma. It was a nice and clear day. We saw all the snow mountains around us. This is the best place to see the full view of Quito. The snow mountain shows Volcan Cotopaxi (5897m)



The 3 snow mountains that you can see from here






Basilica del Voto Nacional, Quito, Ecuador
A fascinating church! You must not miss it! It took a long time to explore it. You can have the experience in passing the bridge, climbing the ladder and seeing the view from the top.



Cotopaxi, Quito, Ecuador (5897m)
As the price for going to the summit is far more expensive than going to refuge, additionally, we could mountain bike down from the refuge, thus we decided not to go to the summit. As the weather changed badly after some time, we lastly did not bike down but going down by car. Ice cubes dropped hardly and we got hurt because of the cubes..



refuge, Cotopaxi, Quito, Ecuador
Arrived refuge, you could see many people climbing up as it was a holiday that day. Many locals also went to here.



La Mitad del Mundo, Quito, Ecuador
This place has not much to see other than the 0 equator. Just for taking some photos.


Museo del Sitio Intiñan, Quito, Ecuador
In the contrast, near the Mitad del Mundo there is a museum which has a lot more fun and things to see. There were not only guides to show us the places, they also demonstrated how different the things would react due to different place s(north or south) of the equator.
The GPS shows that the line in La Mitad del Mundo is 0 0 0 while here in Museo del Sitio Intiñan was 0 0 65. But this should be the real equator.
In here, they used a sink with water and floating leaves to demonstrate us the coriolis effect around and on the equator. When the hole was opened the leaves were swirling down with the water with different directions when at different places.



In Banos, we had a hot spring, we played canopy and somebody played swing jump.



The coach was teaching how to play the canopy. 6 lines for $15US.


Big cable car, the speed was unexpected.




Sweet and we ate for a long time
$0.25US


A big piece of cake, it is almost the size of my face~
$0.75US


Devils, Nose, Alausi, Ecuador
Train to Devil’s Nose, Alausi, Ecuador
The guide told us that while constructing the railways, many people died. It involved constructing in zigzag and up and down roads. Thus it is known as the most difficult railway in the world, we took the train to see this architecture railways. As two Japanese tourists died while they were on the top of the train, it was restricted to sit on the top of the train afterwards. We could only sit inside the train and look at this railway and the awesome scenery. Can you see there is a big nose on the mountain?




Cuenca, a city which has many art museums. You will be surrounded by art, you will be surely inspired by it. Even on the tree there was someone who was practicing gymnastics.


Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion,Cuenca, Ecuador
The color combination of this church is in unique proportion, making the 3 dome shaped tops standing out.



art show, Cuenca, Ecuador
One night, when we were passing the street, we saw some projections on the wall of the church. And we found out it was a place for exhibition. There were many lasers lighting on the floor in that place. There were DJ playing the music, with food and drink. Some art installations were in the rooms. I think the idea was great and the atmosphere there was really good! I really appreciated that!


The thing I also loved was that most of the museums were free. Moreover, we could just play the art on the street! They prepared moving booth that you can use their bottles of color to create your own patterns on the wheeling machine. Amazing! Let’s everybody immersed in art! Can you see how happy there were all~


Capilla Del Calvario, Gualaceo, Azuay, Ecuador
This church is so small while the architect is so special. The process of Jesus being crucified was outside the church and along the way we went up to the church. Also it looked so special that you do not know it is a church if you just have a glance of the outside.

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