Cobble stone streets, food and altitude: Quito, Ecuador

After spending almost two months by the water it was time to climb. Leaving the Galapagos we arrived in Quito to get our first dose of Spanish colonialism as well as our first altitude test. Quito sits at 2,800m above sea level and when you move you know about it. As well as being the highest official capital city in the world it was also one of the first cities to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978. We were here for three days on our way through to Banos. Here’s some of what we saw.

IMG_0393As if 2,800m wasn’t enough, when we arrived Al thought we should climb another 218m to the top of the El Panecillo hill  to get a better view of the town and check out the massive Virgin of Quito statue.

IMG_0442Ben’s breathing technique at 3,018m above sea level.

IMG_0404The Virgin of Quito statue that sits atop of the El Panecillo.

IMG_0778Downtown Quito.

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P8300193Entrance to the Presidential Palace. Whilst still guarded (with a much greater arsenal than the two guys featured with spears), the current president chose not to live in the palace, stating that he is “…one of the people” and prefers to live amongst them in his own home. Whilst a great public statement, our walking tour guide said it’s actually because he feels vulnerable living there as the several presidents before him have been assassinated in the town square out front coming and going.

P8300227The Old Town is a maize of beautiful cobble stone streets like this.

P8300212Missing her friends from the Galapagos, Al gets amongst the Quito locals.

P8300221Best street art we’d seen to date. The lady with the bird reminded us of local Australian talent Adnate.

IMG_0867Ice cream lady.

IMG_0803Sugar coated everything. The green balls in the middle were “caramelised figs with a light sugar coating”, the lady said. “We’ll take two”, we said. We threw out two.

P8300173Mercado time. Straight to the juice stand for a Jugo de Mora con Leche (Blacberry Juice Milkshake).

IMG_0837This looked like a good place for a bite to eat.

IMG_0832It was. Egg, rice, chorizo, slice pork, more pork, avocado and I think there is a piece of salad in there somewhere for garnish.

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