Monday, October 27, 2008

Old Town

Today we slept in til 9 then walked to the GAP office to book a couple of tours for the next few days. We took a taxi to the old town for breakfast.

There are one million people suddenly waiting to use the internets so I'll just post some photos from the day and tell you what they're about later. While they´re uploading, I will say that the weather is beautiful in the morning and then turns torrentially rainy in the afternoon. We weren't expecting any nice weather so it's been a great surprise.

Later: internets secured and details will now be yours!

After breakfast, which was a bit dull (except for the papaya juice which was very exciting) but only one dollar and fifty cents (!!!), we headed back to plaza grande where the president was making a big appearance on the balcony. If you click to make the photo larger, I believe you will see him - he's the guy in the yellow tie next to the woman I'm assuming is his wife with the children I'm assuming are his offspring.

We walked around checking out some beautiful churches and then had some ice cream at a place that has been around for over 150 years. We couldn't understand the menu so got some surprise flavors - all good!

As we were cooling off with the ice cream, the weather outside was cooling off rapidly as well. We climbed the hill to the most amazing church of all, and it started sprinkling. By the time we got there and were getting some shots outside, the drops became gigantic and the thunder & lightening combo convinced us it was time to proceed inside the building.

It was breathtaking inside and we were the only ones there. We climbed higher and higher towards the clocks and my lungs nearly collapsed. The elevation here is much higher than I'm used to so I find myself winded a lot of the time. This is supposed to go away after a couple of days.

After we'd spent as much time as possible inside the protection of the church, the rain had died down enough that we felt we could brave an attempt to hail a cab. As one would imagine in a rainstorm, they were mostly taken. Turns out my waterproof jacket isn't really so much!
After a nap, we headed to a restaurant we've passed a few times: Araba
There's a lot to be said for setting aside the guidebook once in a while and just following your instincts. This was definitely the best food I've had since we arrived.

Tomorrrow we've booked an all day trip to the Cotopaxi volcano. I'm sure my lungs will be cooperative by then. Right?


Dan said...

Is that a cathedral? Damn impressive. And the food looks great, even if I can't quite fathom what it is. A Ecuadorian dolmas?

Leslita said...

Hi Dan! Sorry I'm such a bad tourist. Information leaves my brain almost at the exact moment it enters. But I still have my ticket. This is the Basilica del Voto Nacional and I'm sure wikipedia could tell you the rest. Otherwise from me you get: "It was huge! and beautiful!". No really though, it was absolutely breathtaking inside and out. I will share more photos on flickr when I return.
The food pictured is not Ecuadorian in any way but it was certainly delicious! They were the two vegetarian plates offered at an Arabian restaurant down the street appropriately named Araba.