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December 7, 2005 – A journey to Quito, Ecuador in South America

Colorful Quito

Quito turned out to be a town sitting on top of a plateau/mountain, and then sprawling into valleys. Buildings are quite colorful and some of them reminded me of parts of Los Angeles and San Miguel town in Cozumel. The colonial buildings in "Old Town" Quito look reminiscient of the buildings in Macau. Other parts of Quito, the "New Town," look like any other city - with tall buildings, traffic, shops, and such.

flying into Quito

a plaza in Old Town

while I was taking a picture of the pink building, these kids asked to be in it, and then asked for some money afterwards

Quito is also at a higher elevation, and yes, I had to acclimatize to this. I was a bit dizzy and short of breath the first couple of days. To my surprise, the temperatures here are actually quite cool (dropped to 11 degrees Celsius last night around 7pm). The weather here changes fast and is mostly cloudy but pretty dry. I was expecting it to be hot and sunny, as it is the southern hemisphere's summer season.

As I was reading my LP South America book, I found out that the first week of December is Quito's celebration week of its founding. Sure enough, open-air buses full of people were parading around town, with music blasting, whistles, drums, singing, yelling, and just plain partying. Bullfighting events are also major celebratory attractions.

partiers in an open-air bus

Quitoians partying in "Gringoland" streets in New Town at night

We took the bus past colorful Old Town to El Panicello, which is the big hill with El Virgen de Quito ontop. Ontop El Panicello, you can get the best view of Quito all around.

view of Quito, south

El Virgen de Quito

After that, we took another bus to Mitad del Mundo (Center of the Earth). Funny little tourist attraction, but you've got to touch 0 degrees latitude once you're there right?

Mitad del Mundo (this small hidden tourist attraction, the real middle of the earth spot, is a few streets behind the main Mitad del Mundo, where the big globe is)

balancing an unboiled egg on a nail at 0 degrees latitude

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