Catching my breath in Quito

Quito Travel Blog

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Me and my homestay mom in Quito.

After a bit of faffing about on the tarmac before and after the flight, I finally emerged into Quito, where I waited forever to get my passport stamped.  FYI: The stamp has been replaced by a boring printout.  While in line, another flight had landed and were being ushered sheeplike and disorganizedly through "express lines"and some people even charged through the immigration line.  So much for airport safety here!  Apparently there had been an airport accident where an Iberia Airlines plane's landing tire got stuck and broke, which left the plane skidding off the runway into a grass area and the nose plunging into the ground with the back stuck up high.  Thankfully, no major injuries.  In any case, they had closed down the airport from Friday to Sunday and I had been lucky to get in.

Homestay in Quito
  Of course, I didn't know all this...didn't bother checking before my flight but this is how things sometimes work themselves out.  

I finally arrived through Customs and found a sign through the hundreds of signs labeled in handwirtten block letters NICOLE LINN.  I thought to myself: how many chinese people named Nicole Lim or Nicole Linn can there be?

I've decided i'm not that good with great depths or great heights.  I definitely feel the effects of altitude here.  It is very similar to the feelings of being "narced" when you scuba dive to great depths.  For me, that is around 27m.  It is a simultaneously disconcerting yet oddly relaxing feeling...like being in some kind of weird dream world.  I defintely get exhausted after going up one level of stairs and often have problems breathing.

Homestay in Quito
  I imagine this is what living with mild emphasyma is like.  I will not take up smoking.  I'm a little concerned how I'm going to bode on the Peru trip esp. since at ~3800km, Quito is not nearly as high as Lake Titicaca at 4800m.

I slept surprisingly well during my first night in South America given the loud noises throughout the night.  I can see the diet is going to be much creamier and fattier than I am used although the food has been delightfully good. For dinner, I had a cream of potato-esque soup with some sort of greens.  Then, grilled tuna, fried plantains and rice for the main course. 

A word about "traveler's stomach".

Homestay in Quito
..it's one of those things I know that i'm going to get.  I almost feel doomed but don't know when it'll hit.  Every time I eat something not processed or coming out of a plastic bag, I get nervous, wondering if this bite of lettuce in the airplane is going to exact its revenge in 2 hours. 

There was a nice couple staying at the homestay in Quito.  They just finished uni, where they met, and are spending 9 months traveling around the world together.  It is sometimes odd and lonely to be traveling alone.  There are a lot more challenges and "character building" opportunities...like being forced to speak Spanish to get around and meet friends.  I definitely enjoy travleing with someone but I suppose this year is the year for self-discovery and an oppoortunity to get down to the nitty gritty and sometimes difficult times of being alone.  An important process, I suppose. 

On to the Galapagos!
tj1777 says:
I know what you felt like when flying into quito - once tried la paz - thats airport comes with risk of altitude sickness included ;)
Posted on: Nov 26, 2007
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Me and my homestay mom in Quito.
Me and my homestay mom in Quito.
Homestay in Quito
Homestay in Quito
Homestay in Quito
Homestay in Quito
Homestay in Quito
Homestay in Quito
Quito
photo by: Bluetraveler