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Posts Tagged ‘Quito’

Day 369 – 12th December 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on December 12, 2009

Saturday – Quito, Ecuador

I dragged my sorry arse out of bed quite late for me and still managed to get some breakfast before they shut at 10am, it was a bit hard to eat though! I had planned on an easy day, maybe do some blog stuff and recover and get sorted to leave in the morning. I managed to get roped into a small group of others who were going to explore the city a bit. Oh well, why not it may be fun, you never know 🙂 So, there were 6 which dropped to 4 after about 5 minutes, 2 decided to go their own way, and we had left myself, Andrea(Swiss), Marie(Brisvegas) and Dustin(US). As we headed to the old part of town we passed a bloke selling something from a small wheelbarrow thing, now it turns out to be a drink of beer and eggs whipped together!!! Needless to say, my stomach told me not to try this stuff at this stage of the day! 🙂

The streets were quite busy and as I had no idea where we were going I just followed along, but it looked like churches were on the menu for the day.

The main plaza was busy, a few god botherers spruiking their stuff, and some musicians. The main statue of a lion with an arrow through it represented the liberation of Ecuador from Spain, the lion was the Spaniards, this was all explained to us by the local police lady who had quite good English 🙂

Just over the road was the palace and special security guards who posed for a photo, polished MS16 included 😉

There was a lot of native Indian presence, one lady selling multicoloured shoe laces, she had heaps of them and a family of felt hat wearers and let us not forget the shoe shiners 🙂

We saw a shop selling Pinchatas (I think that is the name), these are the lolly filled decorations which are used at parties, it seemed funny to see one designed like a beer can next to kiddies stuff 🙂

Now, Dustin had done his reading and seemed to have an idea what to look at, one of the churches he was interested in was supposed to have 7 tonnes of gold leaf decorations, so that seemed worthwhile looking at. We got lucky and found it open and paid the $2 entry, maybe we can retrieve some back from the walls later 😉 No photos were allowed to be taken, but I did not know this until later, that is my excuse and I am sticking to it 😉

Now, the gold seemed to be paint around the areas I could reach, but maybe a bit higher up it was real, I have no idea. The funny thing here was the fact there was a small museum and it was filled with interesting items, but they seemed out of place 😕

Back to the gold, it was shiny but a tad overdone methinks ;:

After we left we noticed a group of wheelchair guys, they looked powerful from the waist up and were happy to pose as well 🙂

We decided to stop for a drink and some soup, it is amazing how cheap things are, a bowl of chook soup and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, 55c 🙂

After this Marie headed back to pack as she was changing places, while the three of us decided to climb the Basilica, it was only a few blocks away, uphill and we found a wedding happening, poor sucker 🙂

I jokingly asked if there was an elevator to save the climb and was pleasantly surprised when it turns out the stairs had been closed and the elevator was the only way up 🙂 We still had some steps to climb though and the views were worth it.

We climbed right into the clock tower and beyond, the clocks were different times because the motor seemed to be missing, there was no information as to when or if it would be repaired. It was interesting to see how the clock faces are driven though 🙂 After that were some more ladders to get into and above the belfry, it was a long way down!

From up here, the Angel on the other hill seemed to be a main focus, I am unsure whether it was designed this way or not, but I noticed the symmetry here and a bit later from the other spire looking back at the twin clock towers.

By the time we had crawled all around this other spire, it was getting late and although there was another place we wanted to see, it was a long bus ride to get there, it was a miniature replica of the city, which would have been nice, but there you go, we were all pretty tired by now so it looked like beer o’clock 🙂 We also had to order dinner prior to 5pm if we wanted to eat at the hostel, so that was the best option. Justin, one of the other poms had a Travellex card but had no luck with using it and he was totally computer illiterate, so I grabbed my laptop and we set up his online access and an email address and found the card to be full and active. All he needs to do is maybe try a different bank.

Now here is a funny thing I have noticed over the past few days, the beer is always fuzzy and when the bottle is opened and the beer is poured, there is no complaint about a lack of head on the beer. This is due to the 3km elevation and the thinner air 🙂 Maybe the Frenny needs to be elevated to 3km, that way the beer might look and taste better! (The Frenny is my local sports club back home and has beer issues)

Dinner was two choices of pie, one veggy and one chook, but both in a mushroom sauce, I managed to successfully remove all the dirt from my dinner and lucky for me the mushroom taste was missing, it ended up being a good meal. Eating here is a lot safer than wandering the streets apparently, a few people had been mugged in the local area, groups are fine, just individuals are at risk.

After dinner I spent an hour in the computer room posting a blog entry before heading back upstairs where we had a few more beers and a chat, new people every day to meet, but I promised myself I would leave tomorrow, so I did not want a big night.

As it turns out we were kicked out at 11pm as usual, but I had just bought a last beer, so I ended up downstairs chatting with an Alaskan bloke and a Swedish girl until late and by the time I had showered and crashed it was once again 1am!!!!!

Day – 0 miles and 0 km
Trip – 44,838 miles and 72,159 km



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