Ecuador travel

Conquering Great Heights

20120430-181657.jpg

Despite a weather forecast of rain all day we enjoyed our sunniest day so far. Had another positive cab trip this morning at which time we got to experience rush hour in Quito. For such a pleasant and easy going group of people Ecuadorians certainly undergo a transformation when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle. We headed to the Basilica and after paying our dollar each for restoration and going into the main cathedral of the Basilica we found out that was the wrong place to be to go to the top of the building. Nonetheless the cathedral was beautiful, a bit run down but the stained glass and the high ceiling were impressive to behold. We then went around to the south side of the cathedral and paid two bucks each to do the climb. Let me admit that I have a problem at heights but work hard to get over them. Today was another huge step forward for me in controlling my fears.

20120430-182756.jpg
We went as high as is possible on the spires on the north and south side of the Basilica. I know lots of people have been up there, but for me this was a significant achievement.
If any of you have read The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett you would find this a cool trip. You get to cross over the ceiling of the nave on a walkway and look down and see the top of the nave ceiling

20120430-183138.jpg
Forgive my ignorance of all the proper names of the architecture of a cathedral, but we went up to the highest platform in the spire at the north end of the cathedral. Only maintenance people are really meant to be up there, however that is the beauty of travelling to places where lawyers and stupid people have not wrecked things for everybody.

20120430-183722.jpg
If you look closely you can see people climbing the ladder on the outside of the buttress.

20120430-183931.jpg
Here is Karen climbing the ladder on that very buttress. The view from the platform was great. We then crossed back to the south side and continued up the south east spire to the top of that one, above where the bells are. It is spectacular up there.

20120430-184936.jpg

20120430-185009.jpg

20120430-185024.jpg

20120430-185045.jpg
If you have ever played the video game Assassins Creed and watched the main player climb all over ancient buildings you would recognize the insanity of it after being up on one of them.

20120430-185854.jpg

We then headed over to the Presidential Palace for the changing of the guard ceremony which takes place at approximately 11:00 on Mondays. There was obviously something else going on as there was quite a few Police Officers about wearing riot helmets and carrying shields.

20120430-192103.jpg
There is always a lot of Police around in Quito but this was noticeable. After confirming a meeting place with Karen in case things got interesting and we got separated we set up to enjoy the show.
I have to say that this is where a country like Ecuador shows itself, I believe, as being much more civilized and self confident than most other supposedly 1st World, Western nations. The President, Vice President and two Cabinet Ministers show up in person in front of the crowds.

20120430-191829.jpg
While the public gather round in the Plaza Grande to enjoy the ceremony and voice their concerns and protests to the leaders. Before and after the ceremony there was banners and chants from the crowds expressing their displeasure about something.

20120430-192258.jpg
However during the the changing of the guard ceremony everybody quieted down and showed respect. During the national anthem everyone was singing.

20120430-191533.jpg

20120430-193044.jpg
There were also children from three different schools there to watch. They were right up front with seats of their own.

20120430-191708.jpg

A great day overall.

Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

1 comment on “Conquering Great Heights

  1. Great job on the blog Pete!
    Looks awesome there! Not as nice as High River in the spring, but i’m sure it’ll do! Have fun!
    West Winds is on fire, but everything is fine. Don’t worry about us…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: