R&R in Quito´s Old Town

Trip Start Nov 15, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Seeing Quito from the air, we were surprised to see it looked quite pleasant with itīs green valley and volcano surroundings. The city itself seemed to have more green space than is usual in a large Latin American city.

There are two distinct parts to the city which travellers usually visit. The old town and the new town. Both have their relative merits.

The old town as you can imagine is more atmospheric and a great place to appreciate architecture. The downside is that it is quite seedy in parts and not a place to wander around after dark. Men there leer at women and sometimes call out to them on the street. Normally in other countries I only get stared at when Iīm alone - here, walking around with Ed it seems to make no difference.

The new town has everything a traveller would want in terms of international restaurants and tourist agencies. It feels a little bland to us and from what we hear is no safer than the new town. It seems that when all the travellers migrated to the new town to stay, the thieves werenīt far behind!

The rest time for us in Quito consisted of getting our clothes clean, eating, sleeping, organising out jungle trip, going to the post office and internet cafe. Not very exciting stuff! One highlight however, was a good Japanese meal.

We visited Mitad del Mundo, a place an hour or two from Quito where the Equator line runs through the earth. Distinctly underwhelmed by itīs slightly themepark ambience (althought it is reputed to have a very good anthropological museum we didnīt have time for), we decamped for an eclectic small museum nearby about things Equatorial and cultural. We found it more to our taste, but in all honesty - if you are pushed for time - donīt worry about missing the Equator stuff full-stop!
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