Ecuador has been a pleasant surprise, overall. It is very under rated, or “under the radar” as the experts like to say. But the food is just not up to any kind of world standard. As bad a cook as I am, I could be a master chef here!
We ventured into Old Town, to a rather quaint area called La Ronda. Normally, it is very quiet there at night, but it was The Day of the Dead. All the families were out in family style restaurants, enjoying an evening together, instead of collecting candy and making the town dentist wealthy.
My stomach was not feeling so good last night, so I retired to my room, while the two remaining Mouseketeers went to a local bars. Things were fine until an armada of Quito’s finest stormed the place. At least fifty of them, many with automatic weapons immediately had three locals against the wall in a matter of seconds. After a few minutes, all were released, but the bar stayed closed, with yellow tape. They probably lost thousands last night, as it was still only 11pm!
Then only two Musketeers showed up for breakfast this morning, as the Cape Town musketeer was moving rather slowly. Of course, we are told that “Barry does not drink!” So, we persevered with breakfast, and picked up our laundry from the local lava
Check out time is not until 2pm, so we leave for the airport at 1:30pm, about an hour’s drive this time of day. We plan to go exploring for the remainder of our time here. Then, I plan to buy Mike the biggest and best burger money can buy!
Yesterday, all my troubles were so far away. Just kidding. We went to several well-known tourist sites, though we were the only tourists there. Mostly locals, since it is off-season, which made it rather nice for us.
The first stop was Pululahua, a long dormant volcano, now used for farming. The name sounds Hawaiian, does it not? The farms there look quite prolific, and there seems to be a ready water supply. But we have yet to taste the supposedly great produce from the area.
The second stop was the Teleferiqo, or cable car to the top of Quito, at 4050 meters. When the fog and clouds cleared, it was a fantastic view, perhaps rivaling any city view anywhere in the world. But I must tell you that we had to climb 4 or 5 sets of stairs, and this altitude makes it tough. But I look at it as saving one day of gym fees.
Our third stop was the famous El Panecillo, a 30 meter statue of the Virgin of Quito. And yes, one still exists. Her nickname is “Dancing Virgina.” or “Bailarana.” She is made of aluminum, and sits at the southern end of the city, helping many of us tourists to get our bearings.
But, it is time for a change of pace. We are fairly relaxed, but maybe no longer fully rested. I look forward to the unknown that Columbia will present to us. I told Mike to ditch the coca leaves we bought a few days ago in Old Town. I just do not think coca leaves and Columbia would be a good fit. What do you think?