The World is big enough

“Almost everything you do will seem insignificant, but it is important that you do it” (Mahatma Ghandi)


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Baños – my first impressions!

Hola followers!

This time just a short update of my first days in Baños. Because I will spend here a month, there’s much more to come about this lovely, quiet place with so nice people. I know already some of my neighbors and it’s nice to walk on the streets and being greeted by people from Baños and having a chat with them. Feels a little bit like home! I love the tranquility, the climate and the safety and the surrounding is so beautiful. There’s much to do especially in the outskirts and I will try to do as much as possible in the upcoming weeks. But as in Quito, I go to school and therefore have to schedule most of the activities on the weekends. But visiting one of the SPA’s or hot springs is even better during the week and for that I definitely find the time as well.

And just a few information about Baños. This city is located 3 1/2 hours south of Quito (distances are here normally measured in driving hours by bus), it’s on an altitude of 1.800 meters in a valley at the food of the volcano Tungurahua that erupted just some months ago. Baños is a place of pilgrimage and there are many processions in honor of the “Virgen de Agua Santa” and especially the month of October is all about the virgin and there are processions, fireworks and celebrations every day. The principal source of income is the tourism for both, travelers from Ecuador and all over the world and therefore the city is full of hostels, hotels and travel agencies. But during the week it’s a quiet and relaxing place.

So I do enjoy my stay here, especially after the noise, pollution and danger in Quito!

See you again here on the blog, hasta luego,

yours, Carsten


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A trip to Otavalo

Finally I left Quito and took a break from school for some days. And a place to go when you’re in Quito is definitely Otavalo. It’s located 2 to 2 1/2 hours north of Quito on an altitude of 2.550 meters. Otavalo is known for it’s saturdays handicraft market which is supposed to be the biggest of Ecuador. Therefore the city is normally quite during the week but gets overrun by tourists on weekends.

But there’s more to do and to see and if you have the chance go there during the week and stay for some days. You shouldn’t miss the handicraft market which you can visit as well in a smaller version during the week. Don’t miss the animal market on saturday morning between 7 and 10 and if you don’t want to go shopping, neither a guinea pig nor a new poncho, you can visit a number of natural spots such as the laguna Cuicocha, the cascada Peguche or the parque Condor.

This time I don’t have to make any corrections to what’s been said in the video, just one thing…. thank you Chanti for being my lovely Co-Moderator, Inge and Sarah for being more than one time the Camera Kids, Diego for learning me the correct pronunciation  of Facebook the Argentinian way and Matthias, Shaggy, Santiago, Stefan, Ben, Hillary, Ilse and Natasha for some super cool days in Otavalo.

I got there on wednesday with just a tiny backpack cause I met the boss of my new school just right before leaving Quito and she took my big backpack to my next destination. So traveling with light luggage is way more comfortable and safer as well. Spend wednesday to saturday in Otavalo and left on sunday morning for Baños. The way is back via Quito, crossing the city because Quito has two major bus terminals, one in the very north and one in the south and sometimes the trip between those terminal is longer than the rest of the journey. From the south terminal it’s a 3 1/2 hour bus-ride to Baños. So I got here sunday in the afternoon and started my school again on monday.

More about Baños, the reason for calling this place bathroom and much more in the next edition.

Now have fun watching the video and hope you get a bit of a feeling of what it’s like in Otavalo, see you and hear you,

yours, Carsten


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¿What to do on a sunday in Quito?

Welcome back! This was my last weekend in Quito, after having spend almost 5 weeks in this city, it’s time to move on. I will have my last two days in school today and tomorrow and on wednesday I will take my backpack and leave Quito. This time next week I’m already at another school in Baños to continue studying and improving my spanish and in between I will explore some places up north.

Last friday was a great day for all Ecuadorians because the national football team won against Chile in the preliminary round for qualifying for the World Championship in 2014 in Brazil. So after having seen the game in a Bar here in La Mariscal with a bunch of people from Quito and from all over the world (and for sure, we all have been in favor for the Ecuadorian Team) the Plaza Foch and all Bars and Clubs around have been a big Party-Zone. So what else to do but having a party as well! So we did and I could make at least a little bit use of my Salsa Lessons months ago back in Germany!

Currently it’s freezing cold at nights and usually raining at in the afternoon and at night and I had nothing better to do, but to catch me a cold, but nevertheless, went out on saturday night as well. So don’t worry, even I’m not looking as fresh and vital in my video, I’m doing well! Just sad, that I couldn’t participate in the activities in the park, shown in the video.

So now I need to get ready for school, still have some homework to finish, and get ready for some new adventures.

Yours, Carsten


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Bienvenido y buen provecho!

This week it’s all about food! Let’s go to some markets and try some typical ecuadorian food!

The first market I’m visiting is the “Feria de la Orfelia”, it is located in the very north of the city where farmer from around Quito sell their products. It is twice a week, not very touristic but definitely worth visiting.

The second market is the “mercado Santa Clara” located close to La Mariscal in the center of the city. This market is much smaller and does, next to the great choice of fruit and vegetable, offer a big variety of dishes for lunch. On my plate was next to the fish “ceviche de camaron”, the stuff with the shrimps and “ceviche de conchas negras” and I spare you the details here, but if you want, look it up on the internet and maybe you get an idea of why I didn’t feel too good on the weekend – Carsten, you shouldn’t eat everything!!!

The “Bolones de verde” are as well a typical ecuadorian dish made of green plantain stuffed with cheese or pork. These fried dumplings are served as a snack or breakfast and that’s why it came with a coffee. I was told there’s also sweet ones but so far I couldn’t find those.

Finally Rafael Vincente Correa Delgado is the name of the president of Ecuador who took office on January 15th 2006 and is very popular in the countries population for he’s one of them, coming from a working class family with an indigenous heritage.

And just a short update – I’m feeling well again and maybe not today, but tomorrow I can continue exploring the ecuadorian kitchen!!!

Yours, Carsten