Title: Guinea pig in the menu... Yum! Location: Quito, Ecuador
Haven´t managed to eat any guinea pig yet as the restaurant wasn't serving it that day, but had a good look around the Old Town in Quito yesterday. There are lots of churches built by the Spanish settlers, some on the sites of old Inca buildings. The grandest of these is the Compañia, where almost everything is covered in gold leaf, a showpiece of the wealth of the old Spanish colonials - although they stole much of their gold from the Incas and melted it down for churches like this. Also went to the Palacio Del Gobierno where the president of Ecuador lives and works. You can't go all the way inside but the two guards at the entrance don't look like they would be very effective if you really wanted to!
Later I went up the Panecillo. This is a big hill overlooking the city with a huge statue of the Virgin of Quito at the top (the only virgin in Quito as the locals say!), guarding over the city and visible from most of the Old Town. There were good views from the top but these would have been better on a nicer day. Lots of indigenous arts and craft stalls at the top.
Tomorrow I´m hoping to get out to Otavalo, a big market town where they have the biggest indigenous craft market on the continent and a famous animal market. And on Sunday we should be going to Cotopaxi, Ecuador´s highest active volcano, 5897 metres above sea level.
Soon I plan to take some Spanish immersion classes at the local school. I hear those are good and effective. We'll see.