South America: Quito, a city that takes your breath

My first steps after camp led to New York City where I stayed with Anca, a friend who lives in Queens. It turned out that she lived pretty closed to the La Guardia Airport which suited to me because La Guardia was the airport I was going to fly from. Because Anca had to go to her work at 6am and she couldn't let me stay in her apartment I ended up in waking-up Queens. At least I saw sunrise over Manhattan which was pretty cool. The sun can conjure beautiful colour in windows of skyscrapers. It was about two kilometers to the airport from her place. And I had plenty of time, so I decided to walk.

When I came to the terminal I still had six hours to entertain myself. I bought a month of unlimited wireless connection with Boigo for ten bucks and started calling all my family members and friends through SIP. It´s amazing that someone can call a local number and reach you even if you are actually on the other side of the world.

On the plane, I´d started worried even before we took off. It was a rush hour and we were waiting in a line of 15 planes. When we finally took off we were 45 minutes behind the schedule. And I had just 50 minutes to change planes in Miami. In addition, I was on the back of the plane, so the last one to get off. When I finally got off the plane it was 5.55pm and my flight to Quito departed at 6.05pm. The Miami Airport is huge. At least it seemed to me. I ran like a kilometer to get to the gate. The door was closed, but there was still a guy. I was screaming: "Did I make it?" and his answer was: "Well, I don't know, but I think you still have a chance", he briefly checked my ticket, opened the door, and said: "Run!" and I ran. When I got to the end of the tunnel they were already closing the door. It was like in movies in which they always make it at very last moment.
How much I was surprised when I found my checked-in bag at the airport in Quito. They must have sent it with one of the earlier flights or staff at the airport in Miami are supermen.

Quito is a city that takes your breath, literally. Immediately after leaving the plane, I started feeling breathless and dizzy. My heart beat faster. 2800 m above the sea level is a lot and it´s just the beginning. In three days, I want to be 2000 m higher.

Ecuador is really cheap. A 30-minute drive in a cab from the airport to my hostel was $7 and it was a special night rate. It´s only $5 during a day. My hostel is in the centre and it´s nice and clean. Originally, I wanted a room just for muself, but it wasn´t available, so I accepted a shared room for $7 a night. I´m sharing it with one Columbian who is a biologist and studies plants in Ecuador. When I came in he was sitting in the window and drinking beer. When I found out that one bottle was $.60 I put all my things on the floor and ran buy 4 for myself. Finally, a country with cheaper beer than in the Czech republic! I found heaven on earth!

BTW: I haven´t mentioned the fact that the local currency is the US dollar, so I didn´t have to exchange any money. They just use some weird coins.

PS: I found a Burger King just two blocks from my hostel. Yeah!

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