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Quito, the Equator, and the Coriolis Effect (Part 1)

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Quito (pronounced ‘kito’) is the capital city of Ecuador and has a population of about 2,700,000 people. Since Gregor and I are not big fans of driving through big cities, we didn’t really want to spend too much time in Quito. Ultimately, a string of van-related events led us back to Quito twice over the course of 4 weeks and we spent a total of 18 days in the city.


We Nearly Skipped the Galapagos Islands


It was a no-brainer at first: We’re already in Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are in Ecuador, so let’s go to the Galapagos Islands. Anyone who’s been to the Galapagos will tell you that it’s a fantastic place to visit. The islands are home to exotic species that you won’t find anywhere else in the world, like the Galapagos penguin, marine iguana, giant tortoise, and all sorts of wacky plants and insects.

So why did we consider skipping it and possibly miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity?

Because a week in the Galapagos was going to cost us four months of travel in South America.


A Taste of “Normal Life” in Otavalo, Ecuador


Gregor and I needed to pick a place to stay put for two weeks so that we could concentrate on some serious intellectual endeavours. Gregor wanted to work some extra days to catch up on a software development job. I wanted to take two weeks of Spanish lessons to improve my conversational skills.

A British overlander that we met in Colombia mentioned that there were some decent Spanish schools in a town called Otavalo, located in the Imbabura Province of Ecuador. (more…)