Quito - City of dogs, ice cream, Spanish & Salsa (La ciudad de Perros, Helado, Español y Salsa)

Quito Travel Blog

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The basillica

Some things you should know about Quito ...
1. If something has 4 wheels and crucially a horn then it´s fine to drive
2. Where people (or cars!) rule by day, the dogs rule by night, it´s a dog choir from sundown to sunrise
3. Quiteños love sweet things, nothing more so than ice cream.  I knew I´d love it here! 
4. They have 5 (yes 5) types of banana here and are incredibly proud of this
5. Crossing the road is an experience.  You pray and run and not necessarily in that order.  I´m pretty good at it as you can imagine!

Ah the life of a human snail!  I´d forgotten just how incredible it is that a room can look like a bomb site one minute and 10 minutes later the whole room has been squashed into your bag and you´re ready to go! I´d also forgotten the joy of finding that your hot shower is actually a luke warm, intermittent trickle.

The view of Quito
  Still that´s part of the fun isn´t it?!

 So I have been in Latin America for one week, it feels like i´ve been away for ages already and the week has gone so quickly.  I spent Sunday chilling in the Historic Centre of the city climbing up rickety ladders in the Basilica to get awesome views of Quito and test my nerve.  On Sundays they close the old city to cars and create cycle routes and host jazz concerts, a brilliantly laid back morning and my first ice cream ... Guanabana flavour.  I met my Family Sunday afternoon and they are incredibly warm, funny and patient.  I think the mum, Elvia, must hold a world record for the number of varieties of soup it´s possible to make ... all of them amazing. 

Spanish school was lots of fun, but also incredibly tiring.

For Mackie! The sunset from my room in La Floresta
  Learning 3 past tenses (1 clearly isn´t enough!), loads of new vocab and trying to explain English culture in broken Spanish has been an experience but I´m now so much more confident and it´s truly amazing how you can make yourself understood with only basic language.  I can´t wait to get going and use it and keep learning. I´ve met some really inspiring people at the school, Brenda who has packed up and sold everything she owns to travel - it´s true that the only barriers we have are the ones we create for ourselves. Marianne who travels 3-4 months of every year in Latin America.  I´ve also met a really lovely Swiss girl called Karin and we´ve had a great time in Le Mariscal knocking back incredible Mojitos at 3pm and getting tipsy on $4!!!  I love Quito!

I´ve had my first few salsa lessons .

Me and Karin enjoying Mojitos at Azuca
.. I now know where my hips are and apparently they´re not just child bearing!  It´s loads of fun but the professionals make it look so easy.  I think I´ll need a few more lessons before i´m brave enough to hit the dance floor. 

2850m isn´t quite high enough apparently for local people.  So today I took my life into my hands and paid my 8 bucks and took the Telefrico all the way up to an ear popping, short of breath altitude of 4100m.  The view was amazing but my god was it windy.  If that isn´t high enough you can also climb the additional thousand feet to the top of Mount Pichincha .... why you´d want to do that is beyond me but it´s there if you want it.  I for one was very glad to see the ground again!

I´ve leart to make Mojitos, taken my first few steps in Salsa and found that you never truly appreciate how easy it is to speak your own language when you have to stumble through a foreign one.  What a week, and it´s only week one!

2travel says:
you should get on one of those flying things and head back to quito to show me around. You look like you would have fun wherever life finds you! Jim
Posted on: Jul 20, 2010
Kliffy says:
mojito's are good depending really made to look and taste kool by the maker....
Posted on: Mar 06, 2010
Koralifix says:
Congrats on today's feature! Nice job!
Posted on: Feb 26, 2010
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The basillica
The basillica
The view of Quito
The view of Quito
For Mackie!  The sunset from my ro…
For Mackie! The sunset from my r…
Me and Karin enjoying Mojitos at A…
Me and Karin enjoying Mojitos at …
The top of the Telefrico
The top of the Telefrico
Estudiante español!
Estudiante español!
photo by: Bluetraveler