Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 43 - Quito, Ecuador

RobT:  Today, Sunday, was a day to regroup, also known as, catching up on the blog, repairs (my right pannier leaks so had to waterproof items), maintenance on the bikes (bolts are starting to come loose and one bolt was missing on RobC's bike), washing clothes, wash the bikes and get some rest for the weary body.

This is what the washing attendant used to was the bikes ... diesel fuel ... then soap and water.  Apparently, the diesel fuel cuts through the grime and adds a protective layer to everything (including the brakes).  This is NOT what you want when riding through a city like Quito, with steep ups and downs!!  But the bikes looked good.

Our trusty attendant rinsing off the diesel fuel.

RobC:  At the service center we met Julio, who needed a wash for his beautiful SUV. Julio spoke pretty good English and we found out that he had worked in North Carolina for 10 years. In fact, he had his own business installing Dish Network satellite systems. Business decreased during the economic slump, so he went back to his native country, where his family has 5 ha (12.5 acres) of land on which they grow cut flowers: calla lilies and sun flowers. But Julio is actually looking forward to returning to North Carolina, where he has his house and several cool motorcycles.

Julio washing his SUV at the gas station.

RobT:  We went to see the Equator monument today, 23km back north of Quito.  When RobC was last at this monument (some 35 years ago) The monument was in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by farmland.  Now it almost seems like its in the middle of suburbia.  Sometimes progress takes away from the original ambiance of a place.

If you zoom in on the GPS legend you will see that the sign is not at the exact 0-0-0 coordinate.

So this is what I had for supper last night!! "Cuye" -guinea pig.  Be thankful I spared you all the close ups that RobC took.

Tried to purchase some rum at the liquor store, only to find out that everything is closed on Sundays in Quito.  Even in the restaurants, about the only things open, you can only purchase beer and wine and until 4 in the afternoon ... time to move on to Peru.

Historical Center of Quito.

San Francisco Monastery.

The altar in La Merced church.

RobC:  On the Plaza Mayor (the Main Plaza) there were several large display boards recounting the history of Quito. On August 10, 1809, there was a neighborhood-level uprising against the Spanish authorities. The rebellion failed and the perpetrators were jailed. The Spanish Governor resumed his duties as leader of the city of Quito and promised that there would be no repraisals for the rebellion, but that was not the case.

The next year, 1810, troops from several neighboring countries (including 350 soldiers from Peru) came to the aid of the Spanish Crown to suppress continued popular rebellions. At one point, on August 2, 1810, 300 political prisoners and other citizens were massacred by these troops and it was not until later that Ecuador was liberated from Spanish domination.

Judging from the graffiti on the walls in the historical part of Quito, the people still resent the Peruvians for having participated in the Massacre of Quito.

RobT:  We found a neat little restaurant (called "El Mirador" - The Lookout) on the fourth floor of a building.  As we were walking past, RobC happened to greet the doorman.  We stopped, inquired about the place and decided to have a coffee there.  Turns out it had a rooftop terrace and a cell phone antenna platform at the top of the buiilding, from where the next two pictures were taken.  The elevator was out of an old Humphrey Bogart movie with the scissor type door and the brass hand lever which when moved left would make the elevator go up.


  1. Okay.....admittedly, I'm vegetarian but still, I have to say that Cuye looks completely disgusting! Even Robbie looks a little grossed out and he's the guy that has the Pork Roast in Summer and spits the poor thing! LOL! Go nuts up ;) Just remember, you can't go to Pet Smart and act like it's a grocery store when you get home!

  2. Happy Thanksgiving, RobC (and a very belated happy Thanksgiving to you as well, RobT)!

  3. Thanks, Dick. We are celebrating on the beach in Máncora, Peru, with cebiche and lobster chowder. Tomorrow we will try to suffer again, but no hardship today. :-)