First update from Quito, by Romy Elliot
Been here in Quito, Ecuador for just over a week now and really can’t believe how much we have done already. Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined that it could be possible to keep us so busy. The Spanish lessons, one to one, are intense however do mean that our language skills are developing rapidly… aiding us greatly in the frquently visited, much adored market place.
Thursday and Friday were the first days of lessons, 9 until 1. after which we all trooped off to the aptly named gringoland, to have a tour from team leader Emily. a salsa lesson on friday was great fun although some of us, me in particular, discovered it was not where our main talents lie… Nonetheless we still whipped out some of our newly found moves on the dance floor when we hit the town hard this week, certanly not failing to attract the attentions of some keen locals.
So after our salsa lesson on viernes, for all you non Spanish speakers that means Friday I think…., we all loaded on to a party bus, definately not health and safety checked, consisted of a open sided lorry covcered in lights and with booming tunes escaping its ghetto blaster sound system. As we were helped up the step ladder, each was handed a cup to tie round one’s neck and was quickly filled and refilled with some warm, local alcoholic drink. Stability problems occured as the macarena came on, naturally we all broke into the dance, letting go of all roof straps. I think the driver thrived off braking on purpose, causing various pile ups.
Saturday was a visit to Otavalo, a big market town about 2 hours away by bus. Everyone got a little overexited by what the locals had to offer, amassing something ridiculous like 15 jumpers between us and uncountable pairs of stripey trousrs. The afternoon saw a trek to a beautiful waterfall… spirits not dampened by the persistant torrential rain, and then a visit to a shaman. Sadly I had pulled the short straw at lunch and was made to undergo what I refer to as the most extraordinary and terrifying experience of my life…
Spanish lesson now so must run but will email the rest of this secton as soon as possible. lots of love from everyone here. Adios