It was in Manta that we temporarily parted ways. I (Saskia) went to Quito to fly back to Santiago and then make the journey home in order to get organised for a new job. Mark decided to stay a bit longer to get some more kite surfing practice in, and he took the more gruelling option of bussing back to Lima, then flying to Santiago and back to Auckland before meeting up again in Sydney.

By the time we reached this stage of our adventure, both of us were fairly exhausted. The travel had taken its toll, and with constant stomach bugs and other illnesses, we were getting quite weary.

When I reached Quito, all I wanted to do was rest before the long journey home. Whilst I had a couple of days there, I had lost the inspiration to go exploring so didn’t venture out much beyond the hostel and main part of town. I took the opportunity to get a haircut (first time in months!), buy some new clothes so I wouldn’t look so ragged upon returning to Sydney, and basically enjoy some time to myself.

I was fairly wary of Quito, after having had several friends visit who had all been victims of petty theft. As such, I kept my big camera locked away at the hostel and only ventured out with my phone and bare essentials when I wandered through the old part of town. It was nice to see that there were actually tourist police on almost every corner of the old town. It looked like they were really trying to change the attitude that people had of the safety issue in Quito, and it was actually fine. We managed to escape South America without once being robbed!

Tourist police keep an eye on things.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm to be a tourist, I would have to say that Quito was possibly the prettiest city that I had seen in South America. It definitely had a certain charm, which I had expected to experience more often in other areas but hadn’t. The old colourful buildings were beautiful, and the squares were similar to other places, but had a different feel. There is a definite distinction between Ecuador and what I imagine the other countries heading north would be like compared with the more southern South American states. I would love to go back again to enjoy Ecuador from a fresh perspective, and head north into Colombia and Central America to see that side of things. Perhaps another adventure awaits!




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