Thursday 5 February 2009

Villa Maria language phase 2009 by Vicky Spence

After a decidedly interesting flight (aka a rocky landing accompanied by a Spanish lady telling us all about various past plane crashes) we finally reached the hostal which is going to be our base while we´re in Quito. The school is part of the hostal so all we have to do is wander downstairs for our lessons. Definitely a blessing after some of the late nights we´ve had!

Lessons are during the morning so in the afternoons we´ve been out exploring Quito, visiting the old town with sites like the cathedral and the presidential palace.

So far we´ve had our first weekend road trip, heading up to Otavalo to go to the local craft market. Considering that none of us have nmuch room in our rucksacks, we´ve been fairly restrained with the shopping, but we have all bought matching alpaca hats, so there will be some very entertaining group photos taken soon...
We had a packed weekend, swimming at the base of a waterfall, trekking around the ridge of a volcanic lake (we are now a little nervous at the thought of the 4 day trek to Macchu Picchu!), and the bizarre experience of visiting a shaman, who cleansed Fred by hitting him with parsley, rubbing eggs on him and blowing smoke in his face.
Back in Quito we have also been on a ´party bus´ with disco lights, music, and a lot of an ecuadorean alcohol which is heated and smells like bubble gum. It took us on a tour of the city in the evening, attempting to dance without falling over, and dropped us off for supper in a local restaurant. England has definitely missed out on this form of entertainment!

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