Where are we?

Quito

Saturday Nov 16th

We found the place to park at Parque la Caroline. On the weekends it only costs 50 cents a day! So we get parked and then walk thru the park towards a huge mall we saw as we were driving here. This park is really busy with people running around a track, playing soccer, basketball, tennis and some other game similar to tennis but with a big wooden "racket" and a rubber ball about 5" in diameter.

Once in the mall we look around for a place to have something for lupper, since we missed having lunch 😃. As we were enjoying our food I check to find out if there is a camera store in the mall. As it turns out there is a Sony store.

So when we finished eating we went over and found they had some smaller types of cameras. There was a Sony Cybershot on sale from $499 to $359.  I tried the zoom and it's pretty good (30x) everything is similar to my previous Lumix camera. So we bought it. Once we got to the till to pay it was reduced even more to $339 - don't know why but we'll take it 😍  But of course it has to be plugged in for at least 8 hours to charge up the battery so we left it at the store since it's more steady power then what we have in Vanna with solar. We'll pick up the camera in the morning when the store opens at 10am.

As we are walking back to Vanna we see the booth for Hop on Hop off bus. We can both get seniors tickets at $7.50 ea. because I explained to the girl that Dwayne is only 4 months away from being 65 :) and she said No problem!  So we'll take the bus tomorrow after picking up the camera.  Wow it's going to be great taking pictures with a real camera again instead of my iPhone.  We take a brochure to see what stops we will see so we can figure out where to get off to walk around Old Town and find that restaurant we couldn't get to yesterday.  Before we get back to Vanna we stop at McD's for an ice cream and continue walking. Once back in the van we do some reading and I see from the brochure that we could have gone on the night HOHO bus for the same price (we did see it loading when we were at the booth) but it's only for Friday and Saturday nights - to bad!! That would have been fun. We read a little more and are zonked out by 8:30. We are now at 9000'+ so walking around gets us pretty tired.

Sunday Nov 17th

It wasn't our best night of sleep - it was pretty quite for a Saturday night but seemed we kept waking up every few hours. Might be the altitude. By 6am the sun is shining, people are in the park at group exercising- like Zumba, others are walking or running around the track. Vendors are setting up for the day. Once we finished having some breakfast we head out around 8 and walk around the 1km track and then walk around the area until 10 when we can go pick up the camera.  Once we have the camera we head to the HOHO bus stop and waited for the 11am bus.

Beautiful clear sunny morning!


Even catch the moon still
Parque la Carolina



When the bus arrives we are the first on and get to the top deck. At first sitting right in front, but it was getting to hot so moved further back so we could feel a breeze. Once we got going it was exciting to see the city. A couple of days ago we had thought to skip coming here because it would just be another big busy city. But Quito is quite nice, not overly busy with traffic like Medellín or Bogotá.  There are 2 million people here but the city is very spread out - similar to Medellín.  They also have a similar bus system where the buses have their own lane in the middle. But at least there are 2 wide lanes on each side of the bus lane. Drivers here are also more courteous than in Colombia. Lots of taxis here to but not as pushy!

Trying out the new camera :) 






Our first stop is Old Town and the Basilica Church.  It's a beautiful gothic styled church started in 1885 and is still not totally complete. We pay the $2 ea to go in and see the interior. Beautiful of course with so many stained glassed windows. You can go up into the towers but we passed on that.




Doors are pretty big!












Such beautiful stained glass windows
From here we start to head into the middle of Old Town and to the restaurant Vista Hermosa for a traditional Ecuadorian lunch and a beautiful view of the city from the rooftop. We have the potato and cheese soup (which is not even close to the cheese soup we had at Carlos's restaurant in Cartegena which was sooooo good!!) and goat stew. They didn't serve cuy on the menu - we'll have to try that elsewhere 😉 The goat stew was good, Dwayne likes it better then lamb if he has to choose between the to. Of course I think lamb is way better! But the meal was good. $8 for the soup and $15 for the goat stew. At least we've tried 2 of the traditional meals.

Goat stew

Potato and cheese soup with avocado

Views from the rooftop


Statue on El Panecillo

using my zoom 
Lots of traffic in the narrow streets!
Once finished we headed to the Plaza Grande. Here is where the government offices are and a beautiful square.  There is also the Archbishop's palace and Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito - which we didn't go into, but I think we should have.





Metropolitan church of Quito


One bell tower on the right side of the church

Grande Hotel part of the Archbishop's palace



Then it was thru the other narrow streets and being Sunday there were lots of vendors out selling and also ethnic dancing which was fun to watch. We went to the La Campañia de Jesus AKA The Gold Church, but again there is a charge of $5ea plus no photos so passed.  It was started in 1605 and took 160 years to finish. Guess I'll have to google it to see the inside and see what we missed.



found online







First the ladies dance 

then the men with their llama chaps



Arco de la Reina built in 1726

Have decided I'm more of a Panama type of hat then a floppy hat type of gal 😂

Busy Sunday
Then it was time to try and catch the 2:00 HOHO bus which was 2 blocks away.  When we got there it was a little after 2 but there was someone still waiting so think because of all the traffic that is in the area the bus is late. Right across the street is very large Plaza San Fransico busy with buskers and families milling around. And to the side is the Monasterio de San Francisco which is one block square!  It's one of the cities largest colonial buildings and the oldest church - started in 1534 and finished in 1604. We figure we have time to go and see inside.   Once we got inside it is absolutely amazing! Gold leaf on the walls and ceilings - no photos allowed :(  Guess have to google it to see what it looks like :)   Also they hold mass here every hour on Sundays so we just walked around a bit and then left.



found online
We walk out of the church and see that the guy is still waiting for the HOHO bus so we are glad we didnt miss it because the next one doesn't come for another hour.  Finally the bus arrives half an hour late. We get on and creep thru the slow traffic. These bus drivers must hate Sunday tours!! And negotiating the narrow streets is no easy task. But with the short wheelbase they can turn the corners easily - well almost, our driver did go up on the curb on one corner LOL!! Feels a little weird being on the top deck when that happens!

Once out of Old Town we almost get going faster until we get behind a group of people, a band and  4 women carrying some symbolic figure on a small platform with ribbons flowing from her hands out to people holding the ends of the ribbon. Others are throwing real rose petals along the way. And every so often they would shoot off a loud banger firecracker that would scare the pigeons and they would fly in all directions!  After 2 blocks of following this procession we finally get out onto the main road and up to the top of El Panecillo and the huge state of la Virgen de Quito that overlooks the city.




Beautiful views of the city up here but we didn't stay. Not much else to see here other then more vendors.  The bus bounces along the cobblestone road down to the bottom - pretty rough ride up here! The bus then takes us thru other newer parts of the city and we get back to the first stop around 4:30.  We walk thru the park again and it's still very busy with families enjoying the day.

Views from El Panecillo


cloud covering the volcano


45 meter high statue of Virgin of El Panecillo 

Hanging on for the rough ride down the hill on cobblestone roadway

rooftop restaurant we had lunch at

Even get to go through some tunnels

Not alot of clearance!

New buildings in the city



Love the living wall of plants 

Trying to sell her Christmas stuff

Tomorrow we'll be heading further south probably to Cotopaxi National Park where there are a few volcanos - hoping not in the clouds :)  I also had to buy more data today and found out how to check the balance remaining. After being on facebook for only 5 mins making a few comments I used up 1.5GB. Dwayne figures that they can't be using the same GBs as we do in Canada, because there is no way it should use that much!! LOL!!  I normally have 10GBs per month in Canada and use it a lot and never run out. Here I go thru 10GB within a week and a half and not even using it all the time. Very frustrating especially since I want to keep a blog 😢 Oh well guess I just have to get use to it, all part of travelling abroad LOL!!!

2 comments:

  1. The camera looks like it is going to work well for you! Quito does look like a nice city.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Keep buying the Data we love reading your posts. I am shocked to see the population size of the cities you are visiting. Keep up the Good work and be safe

    ReplyDelete

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