And the exploration begins! If you enjoy an active lifestyle, you will be happy to find many opportunities for physical activity here in Quito. I live within walking distance of both schools I attend (IES center and PUCE), and though I can take a bus most of the time, like to walk when I get the chance. The weather seems to be stuck in an eternal spring temperature wise, and can be sunny, cloudy, rainy, hot, and cold all in one day. I enjoy rock climbing and have found it to be pretty accessible here–there are some rock slabs a 10 minute trolley ride and 20 minute walk from my house, as well as a bouldering gym just down the street, and hikers, climbers, and explorers will not be disappointed here. With PUCE’s Andinismo Club (Mountaineering), I hiked Pinchincha Volcano, which can be seen towering over the Quiteno skyline, a staggering, not to mention breathtaking, 14,600 feet. It wasn’t the hardest hike I’ve ever done, but the altitude makes every step a bit heavier and a lot harder to breathe on every ascent.
Beginning the hike up Pinchincha Volcano, 14,600 feet.
These were taken the Saturday we went to Otavalo with IES–there is a massive artesanal market every Saturday, and the vendors WILL try to rip you off. After failing miserably at bargaining this summer in markets in Kenya and Peru, I went into this market with a “never back down, never surrender” attitude, and it paid off as I was able to bargain the prices down to normal, rather than “gringo”, range (Sweet, sweet victory!) We went on a couple other short excursions to the Peguche falls and lake Cuicocha, a lake inside a crater of still active Cotacachi volcano.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">I'm studying studio art, entrepreneurship/social enterprise and international studies at Wake Forest University (Go Deacs!). Born and grew up in Canada by Malaysian born parents, I've always had an awareness of other cultures, countries, and customs. I've always wanted to travel South America and after spending the summer interning in Lima and volunteering in Kenya, I am excited to stay in one country for a while and live out some new adventures. I enjoy everything about the outdoors--camping, rock climbing, hiking, biking, running, hammocking, and have recently taken up surfing while in Lima. I also love all things art-design, painting, photography, and film, and hope to be able to share my experiences in Quito through my words and images.</span></p>