Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere

Daryll writes:

We had a fairly short ride from Ibarra, Ecuador to Quito where we were going to spend Christmas.  On the way to Quito we crossed a milestone in our journey – the Equator, moving from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere so we had to stop off at one of the monuments in Ecuador – apparently there are 3 in total.  We got to the monument around 9am, and were fortunate as we were the only ones there so had the entire place to ourselves and the young lady was nice enough to let us take our bikes in for a few photo’s.  The next time we will cross the Equator back into the Northern Hemisphere will be in Africa.  Even though we are now in the Southern Hemisphere, we are still high up in the Andes and the last few days have been a bit chilly in the mornings and evenings.  The sun comes out during the day, and without fail, it pours every afternoon for a few hours.

Angela (northern) & Daryll (southern) hemisphere
We wandered around the Old Town of Quito on Christmas day and the city was buzzing with people with most of the stores open.  Christmas is celebrated on Dec. 24th, so everyone was out shopping and enjoying the brilliant sunshine.  Just to make those in Canada jealous, it was a balmy 24°C.  The two churches we stumbled upon before getting to the square had a very much gothic feel to it and reminded me of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

Basillica in Quito
It was almost lunch time, and we weren’t sure on whether we wanted to have a large Christmas lunch or Christmas dinner, so wondered around till we found something that we saw locals eating at.  Those are the best restaurants and we were in luck, they had a special of the day that included a soup, main and a cold drink of some sort for all of $2 p/p; we couldn’t resist and for dessert we found some ice cream in the Square.

Ice cream in the Square on Christmas Day
Before arriving in Quito, I had been communicating with a local rider in the area, Daniel and we had arranged to meet up later that afternoon at our hostel and decided to go to a local pub for a few beers.  Daniel and his girlfriend on a Kawaski Versys was leaving the next day on a 3 week trip to Colombia and Mario had just returned from a 3 week trip to Peru on his F650GS, so we had a lot to talk about.  On the way to the pub, we met up with another two riders, Paul Kage and Shane Kost.  Paul is from Germany and riding a R100GS and Shane is from the US riding a F650GS.  We all ended up spending the evening together over a few beers and later Paul, Shane and us decided to go out for Christmas dinner.  Even though we had all just met, we shared a common passion and it was like spending the evening with family.
By the way, Paul used to work for BMW Corporate and is kind of semi-retired at the moment and gets a new BMW 1200GS every season to ride and returns it during the off season only to get another new bike the following season.  Tough, I know. 

Daniel & Mario - Quito riders
Christmas dinner with Shane & Paul

New photos added to the Ecuador photo album.
Digg this


  1. Greg writes... so cool to pass the equator! please check and confirm for me that now the water when draining swirls in the other direction ! LOL!.. Ride safe Greg and Jill

  2. It isn't fair. You two are having way too much fun! While your looking at sunshine and blue sky, I'm having to deal with snow and ice.

    Ride Safe!

  3. its aya! wanted to wish you guys a happy new year!!!! so jealous of all of the adventue you're having :)

  4. Hey Aya,
    How's the winter in TO treating you?

  5. Greg writes..... HAPPY NEW YEAR!! to my two favorite travellers!! Ride safe and enjoy everything you do and see in 2011. ..........Greg and Jill