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I Don't Recommend Jumping Off Bridges!

ECUADOR | Sunday, 21 November 2010 | Views [3540] | Comments [1]

I’m going to get started where Brett left off when we were in Otovalo, Ecuador as we were getting ready to go bungee jumping. It turns out that what we signed up for wasn’t actually bungee jumping, but puenting. Puenting gets its name from puente (bridge), which is what we had to jump off of. The rope that holds you up is tied on to one side of the bridge and you jump from the other side which causes you to go swinging back and forth under the bridge once you fall down to a certain point. It was frightening. Making myself jump from the ledge of that bridge was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. As I was swinging back and forth under the bridge my whole body was shaking from all the adrenaline. Brett, on the other hand, loved it and wanted to do it again. Unfortunately, some bad weather rolled in and we had to pack up. Brett held the camera in front of his face and filmed himself during his jump, check out the video at the bottom of the post!

After the jump, we headed South to Quito. Quito, being the capital, is a large city surrounded by the massive Andes mountains. We ended up staying in the area of town called Mariscal in a hostal called Home. The hostal was in a beautiful, old restored home and the area of town was fun with a lot of bars and restaurants around, but the thin walls and single paned windows of the old house weren’t quite suited for the times when the city’s local team won a soccer match and resulted in cars honking until 4am.

For our first full day in Quito, we ventured over to the Mitad del Mundo. This is the place in Ecuador where the latitude is exactly 0 degrees. We visited a museum where they do all kinds of experiments to prove that that you are actually in the exact middle of the world. I believe that they are all tricks, but they do a good job and I found them quite difficult to disprove. For one, they show that water drains clockwise to the North of the Equator, counterclockwise to the South and straight down when a sink is directly above it. They also had a cage full of guinea pigs that they used to test whether we had good or bad energy. Apparently the pigs will make a fuss if people with bad energy enter their room. Thankfully, they were all pretty quiet when we entered. We’ve also found out that guinea pigs are a very popular and tasty meal in Ecuador and Peru. We plan to try them soon. :) Our guide gave certificates to people who could balance an egg on a nail at the Equator and I could balance it on its side so I got one! Fun day… A tourist must see.

Brett and I have been doing a fair amount of mountain biking throughout our trip, but before Quito we were never able to find decent bikes. In the middle of our downhill bike ride in Otovalo the derailleur actually broke off of Brett’s bike and got stuck it the tire. It’s interesting to me that Brett’s bike is always the one that always ends up breaking… Lol… I’m just saying. Anyway, we were happy to find out about the Biking Dutchman in Quito that hosted downhill biking on quality Trek bikes through the Cotopaxi National Park. The bike ride started at 4,500 m and ended at 3,200 m. When we got to the starting point it was really cold and there was snow just up the volcano from us.

The road was steep and we flew down the mountain. The first path took us on a ride above the tree line and down to trails leading to a lake. As we continued, we took twisting dirt roads that were surrounded by high reaching mountains and came to a museum where we stopped for lunch. We ended the ride on a path through pine trees. Although the day wasn’t incredibly clear, the scenery was amazing and it’s hard to beat flying down hill on a mountain bike.

From Quito we went to Guayaquil. We had been wanting to visit this city for a while, because Brett’s dad spent some time there during his teens. The city is built up on a big river and has developed a walkway called the Malecon that runs right next to the river. There are shops, restaurants, an IMAX, giant dinosaur statues and a dozen other things to look at. One end of the Malecon runs into a market that is the biggest that we have seen in our travels and sells every kind of knock off product you could possibly want to buy. The other end leads to a stairway that winds up the hillside to the statue of Cerro Santa Ana. This is a very bohemian area with a lot of cool restaurants and bars. As we cruised around the city, we ran into Parque Bolivar which a beautiful little park, but the best part is that it’s filled with giant iguanas that leisurely cruise around the park. The lizards are everywhere and they’re very friendly. They just crawled up on people’s shoulders as they sat on benches. We had a great time in Guayaquil and it was very cool to see the city that helped make Phil the Congo playing, Spanish speaking person he is today. :)

Tags: cotopaxi, guayaquil, mitad del mundo, puenting, quito



Great recapp of your adventures! I could hardly watch the video of Brett jumping off the bridge! You are a very brave soul Sophia!!! You understand you are with an adventure seeker.... : ) Keep up the commentary,so great to Skype last night!
Love you guys!

  Gay Nov 23, 2010 6:46 AM

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