Ecuador started badly. The border crossing went relatively smooth, but on the way to the parking lot Ivan dropped somewhere his driver’s license. He figured this out after 20 kilometers and the cursing started. We went back to the border trying to find it, but it was “causa perduta”. Ivan was in quite a bad mood for the rest of the drive to Ibarra and Otavalo. The ones who know him well, can imagine what pain in the neck Ivan in a bad mood can be.
We spent the rest of the day calling MTO to figure out how to get a replacement driver’s license when out of the country. After we were done with all the printing, signing, scanning and everything was faxed to MTO (thanks Luso J ), the mood in the car was somewhat restored to normal.
On this unfortunate day, we got up early and skipped breakfast to get an early start at the border. The moral of the story – never get up early and skip breakfast.
The next day, we officially crossed the equator. I’m still trying to get used to the fact that from now on the sun will be on the north.
I guess when we say “the equator”, the first thing coming to mind is heat. Not in Quito… At 3,000 meters altitude, it was surprisingly cold. Being famous for always being cold, now I can proudly say that I got fever and sour throat on the equator. Thanks to the baking soda I wisely put in the trunk of the car (yes, my dear husband, I know that they sell baking soda everywhere in the world, but could you tell me how to find it here), some Advil and few cups of tea, I felt better next morning. Just in time for the stroll in the famous market of Saquisilli and for climbing the Cotopaxi volcano.
I wish I could pass to you all kind of emotions that are surrounding a local Ecuadorian market. Unfortunately, the pictures are missing the noise and the smell.
After the market, we hiked the Cotopaxi volcano.
It is one of the world’s highest active volcanos with its 5,897 m. After recent volcanic activity, the only way to enter the park is with a local guide. Our ambition was to go to the very top of the mountain and even jump in the crater, but the guide calmed us down. No one is allowed to go above the snow line. So, we ended up at 4,864 meters. Not bad for an old fart and his better half, eh?
These morons made me to drive to altitude of 4,300 meters on something which was not even a road. I was barely breathing. A car should choose its owners more carefully.