Girl with lambs in Equador Andes Large (0.2 Mb)

Photograph @copyright 1999, by Nathaniel Wilder. All Rights Reserved

From: nate@equador
Subject: on the Equator
Date: Sun, 07 Mar 1999 10:07:33 PST

HOLA amigos and amigas... i am (as much as i hate to be so impersonal) writing an email that will go out to all because it is expensive to use this service... 9000 sucres for 30 minutes (actually a bit less than a dollar but i haven't changed much of my american dollars yet and as it is sunday the banks are closed). So! i am in Quito, Ecuador about 22 miles from the equator!!! it is about 75 and sunny and i am at an altitude of almost 10,000 feet ... this is the second largest city in ecuador and contains roughly 1.2 million people... i arrived on a bus from the Peruvian border (Aguas Verdes) with my friend Brook at about 7:30 am this morning... we flew on standby from oregon last wednesday and (thankfully) caught all our flights through denver and miami all the way to lima as we had planned... we met a great guy named Alberto who sat beside us on the plane to lima and we found that we both play didgeridoo... so we spent our first two days in south america in Lima staying at Berto's house playing his eucalyptus didgeridoos (that he'd bought in Australia) and going to the beach in Lima and learning how to surf! and going out to hear jazz bands phunk at underground clubs... anyways, it was incredible! after a good rest in Lima we left friday night for Puria, Peru in the north -- it took us an hour just to get out of Lima it is so big! as it is late summer here in the southern hemisphere (and yes, the toilets do flush counterclockwise below the equator!) it has been hot 80 and 85 in Lima and during our bus ride north along the coast it became hotter (even at night!!) we awoke to a hot day of passing rice plantations and tiny peruvian coastal villages ... we arrived in Puria and then took a 6 hour bus ride to Tumbes and a taxi to immigrations to stamp out and cross the border where we became surounded by kids (some our age) some from Peru and some from Ecuador who offered to walk us to the bus station to purchase tickets for Quito and also to carry our bags (i wouldn't let them carry mine!) ------ we took a taxi to the Ecuadorian immigrations and were stamped in which took not long -- the kids who had helped (there are no quotes on this keyboard) us to the bus station begged us for money for their deeds and we unhappily dished a coin and a bill for their coca cola habits we walked back from the ecuadorian immigrations to the bus station stopping on the way to photograph the cutest children i've ever seen as well as the cutest piglets... we hopped on our bus to Quito which stopped 3 times for the military and everyone was filed through and we had to show our passports and tourist cards to the men in dark blue... drove all night through a tropical coastal lightening rain storm (which i hung happily out the bus window to recieve) as we passed hours and hours of Ecuadorian banana plantations and i got to see the source of nanas to all the supermarkets in the US and at some point in the night we left the coast and began climbing up into the mountains .. i awoke at dawn in a subtropical cloud forest in the Andes mountains!!!! a dream come true it was as we rolled into the high mountain town of Quito gateway to Andes culture and i strolled the streets early afternoon trying to find a phone (as the school) was closed and when i finally did and paid 2000 sucres i had two minutes with my folks before i was cut off so ... for the rest of the day i will take it easy in this new climate and altitude (its a fine change from 85-90 degrees yesterday) dripping sweat as our bodies pleaded for air flow and i will maybe walk around more today and chat (as best i can) with the indigenous folk and take some great pictures... finally a dream come true for me to be here .....
@copyright 1999 Nathaniel Wilder ______________________________________________________