Beautiful Historic Quito

Trip Start Dec 29, 2012
Trip End Aug 15, 2013

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

On January 12th we arrived in Quito, Ecuador. The flight from San Jose was only a few hours long and the airline we flew, Taca, was ten times better than our previous American Airline flights.  On Taca you have several free movie and TV choices on a personal screen, free alcoholic beverages, and a nice little lunch included on a short haul flight.  

A driver from the company we booked our Galapagos excursion with was on hand at the airport to drive us to our hotel - a beautiful place in the middle of the historic district.  We had enough time in the afternoon to walk around the cobblestone streets and take in the sights of the churches on every corner and the people.  We were right at the bottom of the hill below the big monumental statue in Quito.  On our walk we bought the boys donuts.  They agree that they would like to try a donut from every country we visit and right now they think that nothing has beaten Tim Hortonīs!  The historic district is bitter sweet with the knowledge from the class I took in university about Latin America Political Science.  Although the buildings and streets are beautiful, one is reminded of the colonialism of South America at every corner.  The street we are staying on, Calle Ronda, has a history of artisans, poets and musicans.  There are posters along the street outlining the lives of these people and their accomplishments.  It was very interesting reading!  Our part of the street is closed to vehicles as the street is too narrow.  Instead they have games placed along the way such as ring tosses and Foosball.  The boys had a great morning of playing Foosball with a local teen before we left the city.  Oh, and we stocked up on Ecuadorian chocolate at the store next to the hotel!

After our night at Casona de la Rhonda, we took a taxi to the bus station and hopped on a bus to take us to Salasaka where we signed up to volunteer.  The director of the school had emailed us directions, but we were still apprehensive.  The public bus was actually quite nice.  Like a Greyhound but without a bathroom.  There was a large screen TV at the front which played an old movie dubbed in Spanish (I think it was Colombo).  At almost every stop locals hopped on the bus, walked the aisle to try to sell you food items. They was an American couple we talked with who were on their way to Baņos. a tourist town just past Salasaka.  In my limited Spanish I conversed with a local about our stop and where to get off.  It seemed no other passengers knew about Salasaka, and that had me worried.  Finally the driver came back to let us know we were arriving in Salasaka and we jumped off the bus.  We paid $3 for a four hour bus ride!  The offical currancy in Ecuador in the US dollar. 

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