hiking

centre of the world

both hemispheres / w the literal equator line

both hemispheres / w the literal equator line

ended up in Quito for longer than planned - the flood disaster in Perú closing the Pan American both north & south meaning flying here

turned out fortuitous - everywhere you turn is sublime architecture

 

Quito Cathedral

Quito Cathedral

under renovation Teatro Bolívar

under renovation Teatro Bolívar

Basílica del Voto Nacional

Basílica del Voto Nacional

over the top gothic and to add to the bizarreness there at the same time as an Ecuadorean boy band filming.  Bad beyond description 

decay too

decay too

even more than usual taking advantage of public transport, security guards in the strangest places and vibrant murals  

 

as best I could tell - from the bus - guarding a torte vendor... 

as best I could tell - from the bus - guarding a torte vendor... 

when the bus terminates unexpectedly in places unknown, and the down hill walk throws up this gorgeous wall

when the bus terminates unexpectedly in places unknown, and the down hill walk throws up this gorgeous wall

the centre of not just the world but also access to brilliant day hikes: think volcanoes, craters, canyons, gorges

Quilotoa crater hiking and wildflowers

Quilotoa crater hiking and wildflowers

zumbahua canyon  

zumbahua canyon  

and the cutest and smallest ice-creams I have ever seen, more or less 2 teaspoons  

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for good measure one last archiporn  

temporary home : old town

temporary home : old town

Hiking and sacrificing

I am so impressed with the Inca's on a whole host of architectury and engineering ingenuity levels, also pretty impresssedwith gold and silver smithing skills and the pattern repetition. Extending to the astronomy / navigation, terraces, tunnels and crazy staircases

 

descending day 2

descending day 2

sunrise day 3

sunrise day 3

Also taken with their approaches to conquering enemies, but my absolute favourite was their super civilised way of human sacrifice, in five easy steps:

  1. Tell you and your family the honour bestowed on you (well technically this is heresay but I like it)
  2. Walk you and your entourage and your precious afterlife goods to the nearest snow capped mountain, days or weeks
  3. Have you drink hallucinogenic flower, position you with blankets into a tidy seated position wait for you to fall asleep
  4. Surround you with next world / appeasing treasures
  5. Wait for the snow to do its thing until you die of hypothermia

Much more civilised that just cutting your heart out.  Right?

 

sunrise & ruins : day 3 

sunrise & ruins : day 3 

The Inca Trail is mesmerising, essentially four days of walking meditation with camping thrown in for good measure.  And an incredible test of lung capacity with passes at 4200m, 3710m to the relative flatlands of Macchu Picchu at 2430m.

 

Macchu Picchu : the detail mark I

Macchu Picchu : the detail mark I

Macchu Picchu : the detail mark II

Macchu Picchu : the detail mark II

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