Trip Start Jun 23, 2011
27Trip End Aug 30, 2011
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And then, about two months before we were to leave, I found out that I had to be in NYC for MBA orientation on August 19 and 20 and I could not get out of it. After we'd rearranged everything to get me there and back, Ecuador and Colombia had given up an additional four days, so now we only have a week total in those two countries. Due to our limited time, we really just chose one city in each to hang out in, and we ended up spending one night each in another city in each country due to the vagaries of the flight schedules. Quito was one of those cities.
We arrived in Quito early on Sunday morning. Ecuador does not have a currency of its own and uses the US Dollar, so we grabbed some dollars from the atm and hopped a taxi to the JW Marriott. After a nap, we headed out to enjoy the elaborate pool and waterfalls at the hotel and lie in the sun.
Although we really needed to do laundry after our 5 days in the jungle, we were moving on the next morning and couldn't find a same day place that was open on Sunday near our hotel. So we stayed stinky. We did not explore Quito much at all, staying at the hotel until it was time for dinner, when we walked out to the cool hangout area and went to a Mongolian Barbecue recommended by our book. While not quite as good as BD's at home, it was cheap and tasty and we had a few different cocktails with our dinner. The neighborhood looked like it would have been a lot of fun on a weekend night, with bars everywhere and cool-looking cafes, but none of them were open on Sunday night, so we went back to the hotel and packed back up for our trip to Banos. We'll be better tourists next time in Quito. There is lots left in Ecuador that we need to see, so we will definitely be back.
On our way out of Quito, we took a taxi from the Marriott to the southern bus station, which took about 40 minutes and cost $20. At the bus station, we got on a bus to Banos, which was about a 4 hour ride and only cost $3.40 each! We didn't take a single picture in Quito. I think it's the first place where we didn't even take our camera out. Wow. Coming soon: Adventure sports in Banos.