Quito Ecuador for Next Adventure

After finishing the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu, it was time to move on to the third phase of my South America trip.  Using another 20,000 United miles for business class service from Cusco to Quito, Ecuador on Avianca, I got into Quito in the early afternoon and headed straight for the JW Marriott in La Mariscal district.  This area is the “high rent” district of the capital and most visitors either stay here or in the Old Town area.

Old Town Quito from the National Basilica

Old Town Quito from the National Basilica

 

Quito holds the claim as highest capital city in the world at an elevation of 9,350 feet above sea level.  With a population of about 2.6 million people, almost all of whom live in non-high rise buildings, it stretches across a long plateau lying just below the active volcano Pinchicha.  On the day before the motorcycle tour was to begin, my friend and I spent some time walking around the old town area, visiting some churches, seeing the Presidential palace and then walking back up to La Mariscal with a stop in a karaoke bar where the others were apparently not impressed with my Spanish singing of a Paulino Rubio song.  It may have been a really bad song selection in a culture of machismo.

The Basilica del Voto Nacional

The Basilica del Voto Nacional – from the Belfry

 

With only spending a couple of days in the capital city, I cannot make too many conclusions or opinions on it but will say that it was more cosmopolitan than I expected.  Anyone I interacted with was friendly and helpful and appreciated our attempts at Spanish.  From what I understand, there are some real perils ahead for their economy but it was a good visit for us.  Finally, we stopped by Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental and did our final paperwork for the tour that would begin the next day.

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