Sunday, June 24, 2012

Quito Round 2 - and Equipment Failure Round 2

Hello again loyal readers of We are back in Quito having fun and staying safe. Getting here from Playa Canoa was much easier, turns out there is a direct night bus, so we left monday night and showed up tuesday morning. Unfortunately, the bus was rather uncomfortable, and we ended up sleeping much of tuesday to make up for it. On Wednesday we went to the museum in the Centro Cultural and had a free tour. We learned a lot about historical Ecuadorian leaders, and about how instrumental Quito was in some of the initial revolutions and separating from Gran Colombia. We also went to the Museo de la Ciudad which had a lot of very interesting and lifelike wax figures, as well as pictures and exhibits about Quito throughout history. The Museo de la Ciudad also seemed to have recently been upgraded as many of the exhibits now had flat screen televisions with videos and so forth. There was also an exhibit about the hospital and how much it has changed in the past few hundred years. Thursday and Friday we took it easy, checked out the central market and bought some raw materials for making a delicious array of food. Yesterday we went to the weekend crafts fair at Parque El Egido. We also participated in a marksmanship contest where we tried to shoot a dart gun at candy. We did not win. Today we took the Teleferiqo up to an altitude of 4100 meters and had an amazing view of the city. At the summit we managed to buy some grilled beef with potatoes, vegetables and sausage. We also sipped a little Coca tea to deal with the extreme altitude. Oddly enough it is nearly flavorless, but we felt much more acclimated after drinking it.

In other news, our water purifier has broken again. Those of you who have followed us diligently know that we started off the voyage with a SteriPen Traveler. It broke about four or five weeks in, and the folks at SteriPen were kind enough to ship us a new one in Guatemala. It has proven to be very useful as bottled water is hard to come by in the Amazon, and it was much easier to fill up a bottle from the river and SteriPen it instead of building a fire. However today we tried to clean some tap water and it thought it did the job, but the actual lamp did not turn on(it uses UV light to purify the water). I tried switching out the batteries with spares, but got the same results. In the owner's manual it says that I should ship it back for warranty repair if this happens, which at this point is not really possible since by the time they get it in New Hampshire, we will be somewhere else, and with postal timeframes in this part of the world, I decided to throw in the towel on this product. It seemed like a really great idea, but for whatever reason we are batting .000 with SteriPen. Looks like we will be buying bottled water from this point forward. On the bright side, the backpack is a little lighter!

As you will recall, when we first came into Ecuador we stayed in a small town called Otavalo, we are going to head back there tomorrow for the day because they are celebrating the summer solstice with a weeklong festival. We have heard that it is something like Thanksgiving with lots of food, so it should be quite interesting. We will keep you posted!

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