Friday, April 24, 2009
We arrived in Quito about 8:40 in the evening and because
the airport is right in the middle of town...literally, we flew
right through the middle of the downtown buildings. So
close that you could see into people's apartments. A bit
harrowing, but a smooth flight. When we woke up this
morning at our hostel, The Secret Garden, this was our
view from the rooftop dining area. This is the "Old Town"
and we are on the edge of it.
Quito is definitely a mismash of architectural styles, some
of which are fairly cutting edge while others can best be
described as post modern condemned. Our hostel is ok.
Just ok. Pleasant enough, but I wouldn't want to live here
for the whole three months. Very noisy and we are easily
the oldest folks here by about 20 years.
Later in the day, we visited a small coffee house in Marisccal
Sucre called the Magic Bean. Great ambiance and really
colorful. Mariscal Sucre...or Mariscal, is also called
Gringolandia since most of the tourists end up here
at one time or another. It has really good restaurants,
lots of internet cafes and shopping. We looked at an
apartment here today that was nice, but they wanted
an outlandish price for rent so we said thanks but no
The easiest and best way to get around Quito is by taxi.
I've never seen so many taxis in one place before and
for the most part the drivers are friendly and honest.
Most of the time it only costs $2-$3 for each ride which
is cheaper than bus fare in most places. As seen in
this photo, Quito is surrounded by mountains, in a
valley of the Andes, about 9000 feet above sea level.
It will take a bit of time to get fully accustomed to the
altitude but we shouldn't have as hard a time as many
since we were at 4900 feet in Grand Junction.