Heavy Metal Ecuador Style.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Rincon Familiar

Flag of Ecuador  ,
Saturday, October 22, 2011

Black, black and more black.

A sea of swaying black, and a heavy metal band.

We couldn't believe our eyes. We rounded a corner on the tramcar, bringing us from the out of town bus station to the centre of Quito and right there in Plaza Dominingo, back dropped by the historic Iglesia Domingo Church, a late Saturday afternoon heavy metal concert was in full throttle!

The contrast was profound. Black on White. The pristine white of the Church against the milling crowd of Goths and Bikies. We alighted and stayed, taking in the scene awhile, listening to the (very bad and very loud) music and marveling at the surprises that are always in store when you travel. The further incongruousness was not lost on us, that, here we were, two, not so young Australians, looking "turtle like" with our backpacks on, and swaying along to a badly executed old Santana cover.

The 3&1/2 bus from Banos to Quito cost $3.00 each and the tramcar ride of 30 minutes a mere 25c. Transport is amazingly cheap in Ecuador, but you have to endure salespeople who get on the bus and spend 20 minutes extolling the virtues of their product from the front of the bus and handing around samples. It is quite exhausting and we can’t understand as the sales pitch is in Spanish. After exhausting all possibilities of sales (and the passengers from their voice) they collect up their samples again and just get off anywhere, presumably to catch a bus going back the other way to sell their product. The passengers seem to love it and listen enraptured, even if it is only about a chocolate bar. 

After enjoying a little more of the concert including some Jimmy Barnes covers, we found a hostel close to the plaza. Dropping our backpacks, went back out again into the streets to see the old town, which is all UNESCO Heritage protected. Magnificent and grandiose colonial Spanish buildings surround the many plazas and march up the steep streets. As dark descended we arrived at a little wine bar close to our hostel. Standing tentatively outside looking for a menu, we were greeted by a booming American voice, “Come in! Come in! Come and see my little monastery!” Our host, although living in Ecuador for some time, had not lost any of his accent and he was thrilled to find English speakers to show around his tiny monastery, converted to a wine bar. He didn’t have a menu but said he could rustle up some empanadas (little pasty like savory treats) and a plate of cheeses, olives and smoked meats. This suited us perfectly and we enjoyed the atmosphere in his candlelit monastery.

Next day, a steep climb up to see the Basilica earned us our delicious breakfast of fresh squeezed juice, fried eggs, bread rolls and coffee for $1.75 each - Ecuador is just so delightfully cheap!  Quito has built new bus stations in the outer suburbs and just as we had to catch a tramcar in before from the Southerly station, we now had to find our way to the Northerly station by means of, first a tramcar, and then a bus ride before we even got to the station. People are helpful, but we find no English is understood, so a notebook with pen is our constant companion. For the bus ride a helpful lad wrote down 5c and we thought he must be wrong but sure enough the fare was 5c each to take a 15 minute bus trip to the bus terminal. So we are now heading north towards the Colombian border, with a last Ecuador stopover in the famous market town of Otavalo. Whilst a little bit apprehensive, for our safety, in Columbia, we have heard so many good reports that we are not deterred.

Footnote: The City of Quito is UNESCO World Heritage listed.
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