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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Galapagos Diary, Introduction: Quito

I must confess that while I have wanted to visit Peru for some time, I did not give Ecuador much thought. However, I have a sponsor child in Quito (and I didn't contact them - she's quite small and we were scheduled to the hilt, and she would not understand why I could not stay long), and I found Quito to be a fascinating and beautiful city.

Above is the view outside of Jo Ann's and my room. Below is the Iglesia de la Compana de Jesus. Yes, we saw a lot of churches. I love architecture of all kinds.

Unfortunately, I did not get to ride the trolley or visit the Gold Museum (a few of us were organizing a group to go) due to time. It's a pity, but I'll have to visit again sometime.

Below, Vaughn photographs Toni and a street musician performs.

Here we had lunch at Restaurant El Crater, perched along the edge of a caldera:

This is the garden overlooking a section of Quito, and below is the caldera itself, shrouded in mist that would quickly and briefly lift to reveal farms within the ring itself.



Blogger Alan Fox said...

I guess this is just a teaser before we get to the main course.

BTW, Kristine, did you get any impression of the impact tourism is having on the islands?

May 23, 2007 2:33 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

It's a teaser, yes! But I'm also going to post photos of the caldera beside the restaurant at which we dined in Quito.

The naturalists who escorted us to each island spoke at length about the impact of humans on the Galapagos. Trash washes ashore from Ecuador and Peru, and is meticulously processed – we saw pristine beaches and shores. Recycling is done of the refuse collected, and the organic waste from the ship is broken down with biodegraders before it is allowed to dissolve harmlessly in the sea (boy, learning this made me feel better, because I knew that cruise ships dump their waste). Visitors are not allowed to bring food to the islands or to take any shell or rock or organic matter with them. We had to rise off our feet and shoes to prevent the spread of seeds from one island to another. Etc., etc., etc.

I really applaud the Ecuadoran government on recently tightening standards and cracking down on immigration to the islands, too. I’ll provide links to websites where you can give money to help support these efforts.

May 23, 2007 9:32 AM  

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