Sunday, October 19
We´ve spent the last four days in Ecuador´s capital city, Quito. We´ve had time to ourselves to go to the local market and stock up on traditional woolen wear, to go to internet cafes, and reaquaint ourselves with other types of food: Mexican, Indian, and Italian.
We went as a group to Quito´s largest water treatment plant to see, in contrast to Bua´s situation, water purification in an urban area. It was quite interesting to take a tour and speak with some of the employees, and it was surprisingly clean. It was on a hill, and had a great view onto the city. It meets international standards and is one of the most efficient treatment plants in the Americas.
We´ve also been working hard on media projects (text, video, podcast, and google earth), trying to finish them so we can publish them before we leave Ecuador.
Yesterday, the group, minus the sick people, went on a day hike of Rucu Pinchincha, a mountain just outisde of Quito. We started early, when the day was still crisp and clear, and took a gondola up part way. From there, we hiked four hours up to the top of 14,000 feet. The elevation was definitely touch, but hopefully it will help us acclimate before we start hiking Maccu Pichu next week. At the bottom, we had a great view of the sprawl of Quito, but by the summit, we were completely engulfed in clouds -- and it was quite cold!
Today we have an overnight flight to Peru. After a day in Cuzco, we´ll begin our five day trek to Maccu Pichu, an ancient Incan town.