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.
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.
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.
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.