Sunday cycling in Quito

On Sunday mornings in Quito, a long stretch of road is closed to cars, and cyclists get to rule. Last Sunday we headed out in search of bikes to join in. However, we had forgotten there was a big fun run on, ending at Parque Carolina, so the usual Sunday bike trail was not available. We decided to walk on to Carolina to see what was happening anyway, and discovered that Ave Amazonas was closed and cyclists were out in force, along with roller bladers and a few walkers. We hired some rattlers ($3 p/h) after leaving a passport as insurance. The price turned out to be a bit high as M’s bike blew a tire (as well as getting  a tube puncture) about 40 minutes into our ride. A nearby bike mechanic fixed the tube (3 minutes, $1.25) but kindly pointed out that the tire itself was stuffed.  A short while later as predicted the tire popped again so we were back with our feet on the ground a little sooner than we had hoped. It was great being on a bike though and seeing so many others getting into it. And being offered bike pumps by helpful locals. Hopefully we will get to try the Quito riding experience again someday.

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Perfect day for a fun run
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Perfect day for a bike ride
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We finally found a bike shop with jerseys!

A walk in Guápulo Parque – Quito

One of the lovely things about being in a holiday destination for an extended time is that you have the luxury of doing ‘normal’ things – like going for a walk without a particular tourist must-see in mind. We took a stroll down to Guápulo park, which has one of the steepest paths I’ve been on in a city park. It was kind of like home with all the eucalpts, flowering callistemon and wattle trees.  But not really. I am enjoying surprising Ecuadorians by telling them that eucalypts are ‘de Australia.’

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La Floresta, Quito

We thought we’d go for a weekend stroll in La Floresta – and hit the jackpot! This weekend is ‘La Madre de las Ferias’ (‘the mother of all fairs’ says google translate), a fact we stumbled on while having morning coffee and noticing an interesting map in the window showing the cafes, artists studios and shops in the area. La Floresta is celebrating 100 years (and mother’s day fairs seem to be a thing) and many of the businesses were promoting their wares, providing tastings and generally being welcoming. We bought some produce at El Salinerito, and I want to go back to Fui, which recycles bike tyres and billboards into really cool things. So many amazing walls to admire too.

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