Thursday, July 21, 2016

South American Adventure - Part Six - Quito

Day 16 - A travel day and a day to feel crappy.

We got up early and left the hotel at 5:00AM and walked across the street to the terminal.  The pharmacy I visited the night before was not open yet and I didn't find any imodium so I spent the day not eating or drinking ... or at least keeping it to a minimum.

The flight from Santiago, Chile to Lima, Peru then on to Quito, Ecuador was uneventful.  My strategy of not eating kept things under some modicum of control.  The drugs I bought for the Wife kept her cold in check as well.

Our driver/guide picked us up at the airport and I told her of my predicament.  There was a pharmacy across from the airport in Quito so I bought what I needed before we headed to the hotel.

By the time we got to our awesome hotel in the heart of old Quito we both were feeling really crappy.  I think my issues was more dehydration and lack of food more than anything else.   The rest of the afternoon consisted of laying on the bed, a room service dinner of spaghetti, and an early lights out at 8:00PM.

Day 17 - A tour of Quito.

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The Madonna of Quito, Ecuador.
We joined the other eight members of our group this morning during breakfast.  I was the only guy in the group.  The ten hours of sleep did wonders and I felt better.

Out guide and driver picked us up and we started with a drive up to the Madonna de Quito, another statue of Mary.  This one was made of shiny aluminum and sported angel wings and a crown of stars.  From here you got a pretty good view of the city.

From there we went to the basilica.  The basilica is modeled after Notre Dame with galapagos' animals substituting for gargoyles.  From inside the basilica, in the right position, you could see the Madonna on the hill.

From there we went to the Plaza Mayor.  It was Sunday and the plaza was filled with people.  A group of dancers and musicians were performing to one side of the plaza.

Our next stop was the presidential palace.  You could not enter but you could look through the gates.

Our next location was not open yet so we went to a restaurant near a corner of the plaza.  We killed time eating some tasty sample plates of different local foods and deserts.  The goat was pretty good.

The church we were going to visit was now open so we visited the "Golden Church" or the church of the Compañía de Jesús.  Itis a beautiful church liberally covered in gold leaf.  I think I would have taken some of my best pictures here but, unfortunately, photography was not permitted.  I did get a picture of the door.
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The view from the top floor veranda - San Francisco Convent on the right,
a new subway stop will be on the left.
We returned to the hotel and had the rest of the afternoon free.  We spent it up on the hotel veranda looking at the old part of the city, shopping (naturally), and exploring the artisanal shops in the catacombs of the San Francisco convent next door to our hotel.  We also learned about Ecuadoran chocolate and the manufacture of Panama Hats.
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The Madonna de Quito from out hotel veranda.
We discovered the hard way that you needed reservations to eat at our hotel's restaurant so we ended up with another night of room service.  Turns out the reviews of the restaurant were quite mixed - some loved it and others truly hated it.

Tomorrow we will once again leave the urban and head back into nature.  Tomorrow we fly to the Galapagos Islands.

A few pictures of Quito can be found in my South America 2016-06 Flickr album.

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