We’ve been getting a life recently. The more and more time we spend in Quito, the more it starts to feel normal to be living here.
When we finally get back in the van there’s going to have to be a period of re-adjustment, but it’s one we’ll embrace with joy. We can’t wait to really be home.
In the meantime, we’ve moved to a big new sunny apartment in Quito and have loved having lots of space to cook and entertain.
We began with a quiet week of finishing off our writing project – a report for a British NGO – which will be returned to us for editing in a week or so.
While that was going on we heard that we had lost our appeal against the customs fine we lamented in our previous blog post. It was really annoying but not very surprising. We took more advice and the conclusion was that we would never beat the system, as that required someone taking responsibility for wiping our fine. After much deliberation, and with a heavy heart, we decided to suck it up, pay the money and move on. We got the new vehicle permit and were finally completely legal again!
Soon after we were visited by Californians Aron and Linda of Andamos de Vagos, who were partially responsible for the first hangover I have suffered in ages. We gave them our little tour of old Quito and a couple of days later waved them off in their VW Westfalia, with hopes that we’d catch them up somewhere down the road.
Before long George and Teresa, of Road Adventure turned up for a few days. A definite highlight was the moussaka they cooked for us – a recipe from George’s home country of Bulgaria that was comfort food at its absolute best. While they were there, Marcia, Doug and their lovely dog Maddie – who are part of travelling collective Southern Tip Trip – arrived in their Sprinter van! Doug, and his friend Mr Glen Fiddich, were wholly responsible for the first hangover Jeremy has suffered in ages.
It’s been great for us to have a busy house and a social life again.
We’d never met any of our guests before they came to stay, but most overlanders are pretty good at staying connected online through blogs, forums and Facebook. We manage, more or less, to keep track of each other and try to meet up where possible.
It’s not a complete coincidence that so many people are passing through Ecuador now. This small but steady flow of road-trippers is the 2013 ‘batch’ of travellers aiming to arrive in Argentina for this summer in the southern hemisphere.
That was originally our plan too, but after our little unexpected stay in Ecuador, we’ve decided that trying to get to the southern tip for this Christmas – while definitely achievable – will feel like too much of a rush for us. We’ve become meandering travellers, and we’d like to keep it that way.
So we’ve made a bit of a radical change to the so-called schedule. We’ll write more about it soon, but if everything goes to plan we’re going to be volunteering and living in Bolivia for up to six months from November. Watch this space.
Meanwhile we had the familiar rollercoaster ride of bad-news-good-news about the van repairs – a saga that we hope will end pretty soon.
We’ve had the time and space recently to think a little more about our future plans, the way we want to shape this journey and what we want to make of the opportunity. We’ve added a Frequently Asked Questions page to the blog which talks about some of those things, as well as a few of the practicalities that we often get quizzed about.
There’s one thing we’ve realised in recent months – we are very lucky that we have the flexibility to take a few curve balls whenever they come.
And when they do, we just have to put some temporary roots down and get a life.
Things we now know to be true: Quito’s a place we could live.
Below is a large-ish slice of Quito life, in pictures. Click on any image to open it as a slideshow.