Saturday, February 20, 2010


It seems when you are travelling people are always telling you how dangerous the next destination is, especially by the locals. The next city has more thieves, more street crime and more problems. Once you get there though you find it isn’t so bad but then you need to heed warnings about the next city.
I arrived in Quito, Ecuador with my head full of warnings; it’s very dangerous, don’t stay in the old town. The guide book tells you the opposite though, the new town is very dangerous don’t stay there. I was told not to sit in a park because I would get robbed and walk on the other side of the street, it’s safer than this side. It’s hard not to be intimated with all that doing summer salts in your head. I thought I would take a taxi to a hostel recommended in the guide book. I would be safe and meet other travellers. I found the hostel full in their overpriced $10 a night dorm beds and refused to pay $20 in Ecuador to sleep. I hiked back down the hill lugging my bags. I didn’t see any backpackers’ hostels only hotels and fast food chains. I stumbled upon a very nice hotel and immediately walked out as it looked a bit too posh for my budget, but the overly friendly owner spotted me and convinced me to come in. He told me he had rooms for $5, $10 and $20. I got him to show me the $5 room which was huge with a double bed, a desk and two arm chairs. I didn’t say anything, didn’t even give him a disapproving look when he said, fine alright $3 then. You couldn’t get any better. I also liked the fact it had a bit of character with posters of classic cars on the walls which reminded me of my Dad.
I spent the evening roaming the bar district with a very odd Israeli who was also staying in the hotel. He had been living in Peru for years working as a security guard, he also told me of all the children he had in various countries with different women. You really meet the strangest people when you are travelling alone.
I was blown away by the beauty of Quito. The old town is preserved in its colonial splendour. A very photogenic city, I immediately fell in love. It seemed everything from breakfast to a beer to a haircut was $1.50. Although I do advise against the $1.50 hair cut.
I wandered the city on my own during the day and even took a bus to La Mitad del Mundo, where you can stand on the Equator. The whole time I didn’t have any problems. The only time I felt unsafe was when people would come up to me and say don’t be here, you will get robbed. I feel like you can get robbed anywhere in the world. You just need to use common sense, be aware of your surroundings, listen to that little voice inside your head saying, “Don’t go there.” Don’t get me wrong I don’t walk around in a rose tinted world thinking that nothing bad will happen to me. I have known many people to get robbed and I have had my fair share of knives and machetes in my face. There were a few instances when I told the little voice to feck off and leave me alone. Despite all that I would never advise someone not to go to a place that is beautiful with amazing people just because of one bad experience or bad press. Also females should not hold themselves back because of potential danger. Sometimes you are helped out more being a girl. I wanted to see a mirador point in Quito but when I was spotted by police officers walking on foot they offered me a ride in their cruiser because they said it was dangerous to walk. A free ride on a hot day, you really can’t complain. There is something to say about girl power.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog directory