Friday, July 31, 2015

I am drinking mate de coca

I am in Quito which I must say is exactly the way I expected it to be. 

I have a bad headache and feel awful -  and can’t breath very well. As a special treat they put me on the fourth floor and there is no elevator - but I have great view of the city. I am drinking mate de coca to see if it will make me feel better. They said I can move but I will tough it out. I would show you photo of my view but it is the usual crappy hotel wifi so I cannot upload it. 

I don’t know what it is about hotel wifi - and it is the same everywhere. This is ‘free’. i.e. there is no separate charge it is just included in the price. At least they do not - like some New York hotels - charge $25 per day. 

When I checked in at United in Indy I used the self checkin booths. It did not work - it never has for me - and I had to get assistance - but I noted that the bag cost is $50 per item. I have a United credit card so that for me is at no additional cost.  I had already paid $89 to upgrade to ‘economy plus’. This gives you the same amount of space as you used to get - without paying extra. 

On board to Quito I had an entertainment system that I could use by paying $8 - but I did not. But I did buy a cheese plate for $8.95. You get a tumbler of coke - or water - for free - but it won’t be long. 

I vaguely remember when you bought an airfare and it included all this stuff. The airlines are now looking at charging for overhead locker space. Can't wait for that. 

I am staying two blocks from the town square at which I have had a quick look. There are people selling everything from bags of fruit to plastic birds which flap their wings and what looks like poo on a stick but I am sure is not - and is delicious. 

I managed also to walk past 12 shoe shiners in a row without succumbing although they pointed at my shoes and shouted at me. I think there might be a local ordinance about keeping your shoes shined. 

There are hordes of police so I think there us very little chance of being accosted by footpads. Perhaps when we go further afield.I found a real coffee shop and had a great cappuccino - and have staggered back to the hotel to collapse. 

There are no results for stage 5 of the walk and no information on the website. So I have no idea what is happening but am confident that Cate would keep going until she finished.

There have been changes to the plans for tomorrow. The runners finish at about 7:00 AM so we have to leave Quito in a bus at 1:00 for a six hour drive into the mountains. I am not looking forward to a six hour drive at night in the Andes. 

Just like a ferry sinks in the Philippines every couple of days and drowns hundreds - buses are always crashing two miles into the ravines in the Andes. Never mind - if I survive at least I will be able to breathe down there.


  1. She finished stage 5 in about 15 hours - I assume you cannot get the RTP blog in your Quito home. I am so dead proud of her.

  2. Your final sentence of 'hope' was quite amusing. I think I find more worry in your nocturnal bus journey than in Cate's run.

    I actually posted to my blog. But I need to assemble a bigger story and photos about our stray dog in the neighborhood.

  3. Good for Cate and just drink some of that tea stuff. It will be fine. Or not. Do you remember that movie "Romancing the Stone" with Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas down in South America.

  4. Gwenyth. Our wifi was lousy so I had trouble getting the results.

    esb: The bus ride was a bit scary coming back as we could see the giant chasms and creaky bridges we crossed.

    fmc: I remember it well - in fact I watched it again not so long ago. One of my favorites.