We have survived our first week in Ecuador!
Day 3 – Heading to Old Quito
We did little today other than wander the city of Quito and make our way to Old Quito, where there are many old colonial buildings, and found a good hostel.
We attempted to head up the Teleferico (basically a gondola) that takes riders up 1,000m above the city, but the lineup was insane. Instead we watched the incoming storm and then rushed back to the hostel before it hit us (we were unsuccessful!).
Day 4 – Climbing Pichincha
Definitely a highlight.
From the top of the Teleferico you can continue to hike up the nearest mountain, Pichincha.
We came very close to the top of Pichincha (4,794 meters) after a ~2h hike, where the view was phenomenal, we got to touch the clouds, and our lungs and heads took a good beating from the altitude.
The header image for this post is from the trail back down from Pichincha.
Day 5 – La Basilica
Also a big highlight.
After wandering the city for a bit, we headed to the Basilica, a very large and old church near the center of Old Quito.
At one point a large stainglass window was missing a key piece, so we took the opportunity to crawl through and get onto the roof.
However, after taking several photos and patting outselvers on the back for our cleverness, we realized that there were tourists way up in the top of the towers, legitimately, with a much better view than us! Turns out you’re allowed to the very top of the church’s towers, something we were not expecting – and something you’d never be allowed to do in North America!
Day 6 – Reading & Learning
This was a take-it-easy day where we did lots of lounging and reading, and I watched the first few classes of Human Behavioral Biology from Stanford Univesity (more about that soon).
Day 7 – Real coffee
Real coffee is the sweetest thing in the world when you’ve been drinking instant, which is largely served throughout Quito.
Today being the first ‘regular’ day in Quito (non-holiday and non-weekend) most stores were open, including Cafeto, a fantastic coffee shop where the owner basically let us set up camp there and get comfortable. The North American prices were more than worth the 6 hours we spend there!
We closed off the week spending our last evening in Quito on the roof of our hostel playing cards with two fellow travellers.
A great way to go.
Day 8 – Leaving Quito
Today we finally left Quito after a week and caught a bus to Latacunga, a smaller city to the south of Quito, which is very central to many volcanoes, mountains and National Parks.
But we couldn’t leave without having breakfast at our ‘regular’ place, where an awesome elderly Ecuadorian served us up fantastic eggs almost every morning we’ve been here.