Saturday, 15th August 2020

Julian Assange's Rough Guide to Ecuador

HELLO there. As a full-time resident of Ecuador for the last seven years I know it intimately, from the fertile sweep of its second-floor kitchen to the stupendous views from its balcony. 

Here’s my guide to that small, but beautiful, country.

The bedroom

Let’s begin at the very heart of Ecuador and the location I kept returning to during my sojourn there, the bedroom. Thickly-carpeted, with a balmy centrally-heated climate and wonderfully traditional sash windows, it’s the perfect base for anyone staying in this proud nation. Don’t forget to sample the wonderful wi-fi.

The upstairs hallway

More adventurous travellers will be naturally drawn to the wide open space and licence to roam given by the upstairs hallway. There’s a wealth of attractions for the explorer, from plug sockets to the stunning, limpid blue spectacle of the life-giving water cooler.

The kitchenette

This is how Ecuador feeds itself; 16 square feet of naturally-occurring abundance. These cupboards and in particular the marvellous fridge simply fill themselves with all manner of delicious local delicacies, from Rustlers burgers to multipacks of Monster Munch. And don’t worry, the natives don’t mind you helping yourself.

The bathroom

Ecuador’s equivalent of Venezuela’s famous Angel Falls, this stark but hospitable locale is justly famous for its shower, which all the locals recommended to me daily. If you wedge yourself down between the toilet and the bath, you can see rainbows in the spray. Breathtaking.

The broom cupboard

Really off the beaten track, this is recommended for experienced travellers only. I personally spent a great deal of time here in 2016, taking calls from members of Trump’s campaign, Nigel Farage or Vladimir Putin, and once memorably took Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson on a date here.

The balcony

On the very edge of Ecuadorian territory with views into neighbouring Knightsbridge, this one’s really for the tourists. I didn’t bother with it much. I was worried I might get pulled off with a big hook.