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A round the world trip in more than 80 days.

Why this blog ?

Our aim : travel and discover the world during 353 days and through some fifhteen countries. We are hoping that this blog will allow us to share the experience with our family and friends thanks to the posts and photos that we will be publishing and also thanks to their comments.

Currently ...

now. For the moment, we are gently readapting from nomadic to sedentary life.


We Walked on the Equator

Visiting the Ecuador, you cannot miss the equator. The latitude line 0°0'0'' passes few kilometers north of Quito. There is even a bus that will take you for a 40 cents fare to «Mitad del Mundo » literally the middle of the world.

On site, you can see some funny near science demonstrations. The most known is emptying a water sink in the both hemispheres and above the line. In the south, the water goes down clockwise. In the north, it goes down counter clockwise. Above the line, it goes straight down.

But the funniest is to hope back and forth from a hemisphere to another and Bea managed to balance an egg on top of a nail over the equator (she even received a certificate for this outstanding achievement)

For the fun of it : in the 18th century, it took 14 years to a scientific mission to define the equator line location. The line was painted in orange. But when the GPS appeared, it happened that the real equator line was passing 300 meters away for the official site ...


Quito, Here We Are !

Following Argentina, Ecuador is our second stop during this round the world trip. Before landing in Quito, I did not really know what to expect from this country.

In Buenos Aires, we were still in our comfort zone but Quito helped us leave it as soon as we arrived. At an elevation of 2800 m, after any physical effort, our desk-bound Parisian body ended breathless. You can easily lose a lung by chasing a missed bus. But thanks to our 3rd floor (without elevator) hotel room, we were quickly in shape to crawl around.

Anyhow, Quito is quite fascinating. First of all, it will leave you speechless the way it is spread across a very stretched valley flanked by volcanic peaks, which are all day long licked by fast moving clouds.

But what charmed us most here, is the old town. Obviously, we were not the only ones to enjoy it, this neighborhood has been listed since 1978 as World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. It is quite a change of scenery to see in the same small street, Indian ladies wearing typical costumes, business people with a mobile phone stuck to the ear, street sellers, or street artists who will change in a minute a city square into a theater.

It was really great to walk surrounded by buildings in colonial splendor but poverty is quite a reality around here. It is heart breaking to see young kids not be able to afford school and forced to sell candies or be a shoe shiner...


First week of travel

We are in Puerto Iguazu's bus station waiting for the 'collectivo' that will take us back to Buenos Aires, after spending three gorgeous days in this little piece of paradise on Earth in the junction of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. On the TV at the bus station's restaurant the soccer match between Russia and Argentina is on.

Iguazu falls are located where Iguazu river melts into the Parana. Iguazu river spreads over a basaltic plateau in a multitude of channels just before the confluence of both rivers. The scene of the huge flow of water falling from the over-elevated plateau into the bed of the Parana is just amazing. The falls can be visited from the Argentinian and the Brazilian side and both of the views are worth it : whereas the sight from Brazil is more panoramic from the Argentinian side you can just walk on top of the water descent. This wonder is located within a subtropical forest natural park of 55000 hectares where vultures, toucans, coaties, beautifully multi-coloured butterflies and plenty of other animals inhabit.

Also on the Brazilian side, we visited a kind of bird and reptile zoo that is quite funny since it has got really big cages through which you walk. You enter practically all cages except the ones of the boa constrictor and the python ( I would not go in there by any mean). We went as well to the giant Itaipu dam (between Brasil and Paraguay), which holds the second biggest hydroelectric power plant in size in the world after the one just built in China, and that is still the biggest in power production (20% of the electric power used in Brazil, and more than 90% in Paraguay comes from this plant). It is a pity that due to lack of time we could only visit the dam and the outside of the plant so we missed having a look at the dragon's belly.

And, what can I say about Buenos Aires?

Buenos Aires tastes like an European city served in XL size : giant squares next to which Puerta del Sol in Madrid looks like a blue-collar house backyard, immense avenues of up to 20 km length (it must not take long here to define the path for a marathon), pieces of steak of 700 grams per serving, 4 level meat hamburgers. And next to all that, narrower streets with a variety of buildings that reminds me a lot of Madrid with the grid design of Barcelona's 'ensanche' neighbourhood. It feels like a good place to live in, with monuments rather than being monumental, where all you need can be found two blocks away from home : hairdresser, bakery, supermarkets, supply stores, paint shops, coffee shops and restaurants.

Food in Argentina, like the accent, has a lot of Italian. Everywhere you can get pizza, pasta and of course, my favourite, grilled meat. The smell of grilled meat on the 'parrillas' fills Argentinian air from midday to midnight. For meat lovers, I am of them, in this country there dreams came true.

Argentinians take the time to discuss, to explain things to you and are open and helpful. At least that was the case with the people we have met so far. As a Spanish I am enjoy hearing them speak with their very special accent and to hear words that we do not use (or use differently) in Spain.

Well, the match has ended (3-2 for Argentina, Maradona looks happy) and our bus is about to leave. 20 hours before getting to Buenos Aires … so, keep safe and 'till next time ...


Photos : Argentina Part I

These are some pictures of our first stop in Argentina. They include shots taken in Buenos Aires, Iguazu falls and Itaipu dam :