Mitad Del Mundo, Montañas, and Mistakes
After spending a night in Guayaquil and surviving a harrowing drive up windy roads, we made it to Quito, a beautiful mountainous city in the north of Ecuador. We have spent the last handful of days wandering the city’s many parks, stumbling through Spanish conversations, and sampling any vegetarian food we can get our hands on (a somewhat difficult task we have found!)
We are staying in a little student apartment arranged by our Spanish school behind the home of Cesar and Mirella, two of the world’s sweetest people. We eat breakfast and dinner with them and they speak really slowly to us using very basic vocabulary which helps boost our confidence in Spanish and makes us think we are better at it than we actually are. Our language classes started today and will continue for the next two weeks. I experienced the first of what I’m sure will be many embarrassing language learning moments when my teacher asked what Fern’s name was. I told him “Fern”, spelled it out, and explained that it was the English word for the Spanish word “herecho” which I had looked up and felt proud to know. Then he explained to me that actually the word for fern is “helecho” and that “herecho” meant something very different. It’s still not entirely clear to me what it means, but he told me that it is sexual in nature. Ha. Oh well.
We have been on two exciting mini adventures so far. The first to the Mitad Del Mundo, the line of the equator and a monument and museum dedicated to it just north of Quito. You can stand with one foot in the northern hemisphere and one foot in the southern hemisphere. Or, if you are Ry, you fly over both of them.
The other cool thing we did is a trip on the Teleférico, a cable car which extends up the shoulder of Pichincha, the volcano that shadows Quito. Although it was a cloudy day, the views of the city were gorgeous and there was a light breeze with even higher peaks beyond the one we were on. We hiked down among purple flowers and grazing cows. All in all, a lovely day.