Thursday, July 05, 2012

Quito

My first impression of Ecuador, and of Quito, was the demeanor of the two taxi drivers that we hired to take us to our hotel, "Casa Arbolitta." They were extremely helpful and kind, and worked together to determine where this place was. We ended up having the taxi driver call the hotel and find out for sure if we had the right place, especially since there was nothing to indicate that it was a hotel - no sign, no lights, no impressive building. He was assured that we were in the right place, and we were greeted by Patricio, a young man who spoke good English, and his mother, Jenny, who, with her husband, runs the place. It was a lovely home, with bright colors and interesting art pieces displayed. We were warmly welcomed and shown to our rooms. Ours was bright red, extremely clean, and had a nice bathroom. Jenny made breakfast for us and we were introduced to Lauren, a student at the University of Nebraska, who is in Quito for the summer. She is an architecture student and had come to Quito to work on a project there, was offered a chance to stay for the summer and she said she loved Ecuador so much that she decided to stay. She was renting a room from Jenny and said that Jenny was like her Mom away from home. She was delightful and we felt confident after talking to her that we would enjoy our stay in the country. Jenny hooked us up with a guy who had a van and would drive us to Cotacachi. We hired him for the day for $120 and he gave us a guided tour of Quito. We saw the cathedral, the main square, and the statue of the Virgin Mary on the top of the hill. I got some shots of the entire city. Then he took us to the "middle of the world" where the latitude is 00.00.00. There were so many amazing demonstrations of the coriolis effect. Will post photos sometime in the future. I have found that I can easily write notes on my iPad. My problem is that I don't have time! Tomorrow, a report about Cotacachi.
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