Flight was quick, and immigration and customs was equally quick. Swap out my Panamanian SIM for an Ecuadorian one ($30 for more gigs than I’ll ever use), and we were off to get a cab to the Hotel San Agustin central to the historic district. The cab ride was quick to start, sloooooow to finish. Mucho traffico in the narrow streets of the old city. Our cabbie, when we arrived at the hotel, simply stopped and turned off the car in the right lane. Seems to be the thing to do, since there are no places to park.
We got checked in, grabbed some rain gear for the inevitable T-storms that would be marching in later, and started to explore. On my personal agenda was going to a microcerveceria that was highly rated. I wanted to try some local, really local, beer. It didn’t open until 2:00 pm, and we found an interesting street market with mostly food and veg, some cool looking churches and a bullfighting ring. I didn’t get a photo of the ring, because it was behind a fence and as such, not photo worthy. Interesting nonetheless. It appeared to be still in use, which to me, is kind of ick.
Stuffed with both beer and nachos, we did what any sane person would do: seek out more food and chocolate. We spent the rest of the daylight hours meandering purposelessly through random streets, with some general idea of where we wanted to be: Plaza de San Francisco, and later, the Basilica del Voto Nacional. Along the way we discovered a family-run organic chocolate shop overlooking the plaza called Minka. I had a mochachino to die for, and B had a chocolate caliente thick enough to eat with a spoon. We bought chocolate covered cacao beans, and a ginger & chocolate combo.
While we were there overlooking the plaza, the rain came. Along with lightning and thunder. For the first time since December and Sicily, I was glad for the disco ball running raincoat. We put on the gear, and kept wandering. It was definitely not tropical warm rain, or tropical warm air. It kind of felt nice, actually not to be sticky with sweat nonstop. One thing of note about Quito though, you are either walking uphill or down. The only flat places are the plazas.
When we returned to the hotel for the night, I was pleasantly surprised to find an Amazon Firestick plugged into the TV, and that my muscle memory on how to use its remote hadn’t disappeared after 9 months. The Netflix selections seem to be the same as in Panama, though I didn’t see if Bosch was available on Prime. Maybe tomorrow night, after another day of city exploration. Later in the week, we’re planning the hike up a hill. We found some stairs to practice on, too. That’ll be fun.