“Ladies and gentlemen, we are beginning our descent into Quito. Unfortunately the airport is closed… So we are going to fly around and hope it opens soon.”

Not what you want to hear after a full 24 hours of airports and flights.

Getting to Quito was a long long day flying São Paulo – Buenos Aires – Guayaquil – Quito. We had a 5 hour wait in BA which soon turned into 7. Luckily we got into the lounge so took complete advantage of the free wifi to upload photos, and worked our way through the free snacks and wine :-)

But now to country number two – Ecuador!

Quito is Ecuador’s capital and the start of our tour with Intrepid so we met our group – 6 other girls (lucky Stef!) from Australia, UK and Iceland. We’re really glad we’ve chosen to do this, it is like travelling independently but with someone else having the hassle of working out travel and accommodation. We stay in fairly basic hostels, use all local buses and your time is free to do what you like. We have a local guide while we’re here in Ecuador, Johanna, who is just lovely and helps us plan any activity we want to do.

It’s great hearing everyone’s travel stories, most have come from a few months elsewhere in South / Central America and have got more trips planned after this. Nice bunch of people and a good size group for going out.

We spent our first morning exploring Quito’s old town. We climbed the Basilica, which instead of gargoyles has Amazonian animals on the outside, and saw Quitos main attractions.

In the afternoon we met up with a couple of others and caught a 25c bus to the middle of the earth!! The equator. There is a real museum for the real GPS confirmed equator, and a fake museum to mark where it was originally established. All sorts of experiments proved we were at 0 latitude – pulling a plug and the water swirling anti-clockwise, clockwise and straight through; and balancing an egg on the head of a nail (?)

Next stop > the Jungle!