Having been on the road for a while now it’s quite exciting to think we’ll be at least a few weeks in the same location. We have even unpacked our bags. The luxury of time means that sightseeing can be at a gentle pace – at least to begin. This is a good thing in Quito as the altitude can affect you if you’re not used to it.
As we arrived late at night we decided to make use of the airport hotel, the Wyndham. This turned out to be an excellent idea after a long day, as the Wyndham shuttle meant that we didn’t need to negotiate taxis and unfamiliar city streets. And after a long travelling day it was nice to see a familiar face.
Quito is a busy city with established tourist areas, including Centro Historico, La Marischal, La Floresta and Guapulo. We’re near La Floresta, which means we’re within walking distance of many of the places to see. Our first major outing was to La Marischal – also known as ‘gringolandia’ and ‘party central’ – but when we were there (admittedly before lunchtime) there didn’t seem to be many gringos around.
We checked out the Museo Etnografico de Artesania de Equador, which houses examples of textiles, musical instruments, produce and artwork of different indigenous groups, side by side with a showroom with items for purchase. The venture is run by an organisation supporting indigenous communities and local artisans to maintain their culture and generate income. So much to learn. Both the museum and the showroom were fascinating, and the cafe next door was good too.