Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Quito Adventure Begins

It's been a while since you've heard from me and there's a reason--I've been exhausted!  It's true, I totally wore out and have taken almost two weeks "off." That's in quotes because I haven't exactly been lying about but I sure haven't been doing what I've become accustomed to.  Here's what's been happening.

A dear friend invited a Cotacachi friend and I to spend Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Quito with she and her family.  We took her up on it and headed down there on Monday, March 25th.  Monday was a pretty quiet day.  We took a bus from Cotacachi to Otavalo and then another one to Quito.  Our friend met us at the bus terminal and took us to Las Palmeras for lunch.  It was fabulous and I didn't even remember to take my camera out of my purse.  Trust me, though, if you ever get to Quito, it's the best!  OK, I have no idea where it is but I can tell you that the food they serve is typical of the Esmeraldas area.  I highly recommend it.

After a kind of late lunch we ran a couple of errands and then went to Sarah's for dinner and a quiet evening at home (there was a DVD involved--what fun).

Tuesday we started out in earnest on our grand tour of Quito.

We started the day at the Grand Plaza which is surrounded by history and culture all over the place.  One one side of the plaza is the Presidential Palace.  I have to tell you, I was surprised at how relatively modest it is in comparison to some I've seen in photos.  Don't get me wrong, it's lovely and definitely large, but not garish or overdone.   

Just below the main floor of the actual palace there is a series of doors, each of them a shop of some kind.

This one is a barber shop.  I wonder if the President gets his hair cut here.

I think this may be one of my favorite parts about the Presidential Palace.  This plaque announces that the President of the republic was assassinated at this spot on August 6, 1875.  The carving above it says, "God does not die." Here's the part I like about it. The plaque is there to remind the current president, whoever might be in office at the time, that if he doesn't behave himself, this could happen to him. I wonder if it keeps them on their toes.

Walking down a side street I saw this stained glass window on the side of the Presidential Palace.  I'd love to be able to see it at night with the lights on inside.

We had hoped to tour the Presidential Palace but we discovered that Tuesday is school tour day.  These are just a few of the dozen or so classes of children we saw waiting their turn for a tour. I guess I'll just have to go back another time for that.

Across the plaza is one of seven huge Catholic churches in Old Town.  This place is huge!  See the door in the center?  Look below to see just how big it really is.

It was pretty darned impressive.

There are more pictures of the church, the plaza, and then the museums we went to see later that day but I have to confess that I'm totally beat and I'm going to head for bed.  I won't be writing tomorrow for sure because I'm going to be gone all day but I'll do my best to write something Friday and definitely something over the weekend.  Actually, it's not the writing that takes the time, it's editing the photos.  When I'm all done showing off the parts of Quito I got to see, I'll confess to how many photos I took in my five days there--want to take a guess?


  1. Hi Cynthia, I just found your blog today and have already read every entry from the time you started it. Very interesting and informative. Here are some things I would like to know. I wonder how you found your initial rental? Why did you have to limit your initial baggage to 250 pounds? Would a single older woman have any difficulty living in an even smaller town? Thanks . I look forward to reading more.

    1. Oh my goodness! Every single entry? That's a lot of reading.

      I found my initial rental by receiving an email that contains information basically from gringos for gringos. People put things on there like meetings that are coming up, houses and apartments for rent or wanted to rent (or buy), items for sale, etc. If you want to receive it for yourself, send an email to and ask to be added to the list. At any rate, there was an apartment on there to sublet for six months and I was able to rent it sight unseen both directions. How fabulous is that?

      I had to limit my baggage based on money. I couldn't afford any more than five bags.

      I don't think anyone would have a difficult time living in a smaller community if they spoke Spanish. I know a man who lives in a tiny community north of Ibarra (which is about 45 minutes from here) and he loves it. I don't think a woman would have difficulty doing that. People here are very kind to us single women.

      Thanks for reading. I'm hoping to get more posts up soon. I've been amazingly busy for someone who's supposed to be retired!