Travel: quito

I was in Quito for work from 12/7 to 12/14, an unexpected amazingly fun trip.

I arrived few minutes past midnight on 12/7. My reserved taxi didn’t show up so I took a cab from the airport ($20). The driver informed me that the bridge going to Quito was closed for construction, so we had to go through the old route. Imagine… I was alone and in a new city at midnight in a stranger car. I was a bit uncomfortable to say the least. Fortunately the driver seemed nice and kept small talk to be nice. 45 min later I arrived my hotel, exhausted. But I first had to pump and made sure they can store the milk in the freezer. I went to bed at 2:30am.

I woke up 4 hours later and got ready to start the day.

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Hotel’s breakfast was quite good. It had a juice section

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I made a green juice

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and started with local dishes: tamale, mushroom with veggies, platano cake and exotic fruits

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then the usual: an egg white omelette with veggies and more mushrooms

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the tamale was so good that I went for more

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Work work work

One night we went to a spanish restaurant and shared three gigantic dishes

grilled seafood

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seafood paella

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seafood stew

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i had an overload of shrimps

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soooo yummy!

The city of quito is laid on a mountain. As I walk around, the street blends with the view of mountain everywhere. Very unique scenery.

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country’s slogan: Ecuador ama la vida (Ecuador loves life)

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On Saturday, my colleagues and I went for site seeing. First stop was Quito teleferico, the highest in South America. It starts at 2.950 meters and ends at 4.050 meters.

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with my fun colleagues

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it was a gorgeous day. The view from the top was breathtaking

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we even took pics with llamas with ponchos and hat (only 40 cents per person!)

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we walked around to take in this amazing view

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then we went on horse riding on the mountain ($8 for almost an hour)

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The hour went by so fast as we walked around the mountain, climbed to the top and climbed back. There was part that was quite steep, but the horses knew the route very well and we felt safe although none of us knew how to ride horses.

When we got back to the base, some food was in order

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they had chicken mollejas… which we think was chicken heart. My colleague chose that.

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I opted for something safer… chicken breast with mole (gigantic corns)

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group picture at the top

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Bye little cutie

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of all the places we went, Osaka was by far the BEST of the BEST. It’s originally from Peru, a fusion cuisine (Peruvian japanese)

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the menu had several juices of fruits that we didn’t know so they bought the fruit for us to take a look

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this looks like a mini cherry tomato, the texture is like tomato but tastes like a fruit, hint of sweet sour fruit

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this is sour orange. Look like orange, has the texture of kiwi and tastes like lemon

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We shared two appetizers: carpassion (salmon with lemony honey)

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and wasabi ceviche

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both were out of this world!!! so good.

as entree, I had tako nikkei, grilled octopus with japanese chimichurri (forgot to take a picture) and my colleague had this spicy sour shrimp. He kept telling how good it was.

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for dessert I went with the most popular dessert in house: volcan oak (a chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream). Decadent, rich, smooth and so chocolaty!

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The next day we went to the Equator line.

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first we went to a museum where the real equator line lies

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middle of the world

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we were asked to try to walk on the line with eyes closed

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at middle of the world, we tried to stand a raw egg on a nail.

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It seemed hard at first but I got it after 5 mins. 🙂

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really cute and less known museum with personal guide for just $2.5.

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then we went to Middle of the World City

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it is more developed, more tourists

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and the line to take funny pics like this

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After a quick stop at mercado mariscal for some shopping, we went to the old town. There was a festival going on

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our first stop was the cathedral

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quite an interesting climb to get to the top

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the old town is one of the best preserved colonial town in Latin America

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interestingly, there were more locals than tourists that day. In fact we didn’t feel like visiting a touristic site but rather joining a local Sunday happening

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we stop at “Hasta la Vuelta Senior” for a quick bite

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as we walked in, I saw someone having a soup and I asked what was that. The waiter told me that it was not on the menu but rather a dish for the employee. That answer made me want to try it even more so I insisted to order that. 15 min later.. my fish soup arrived and it was AMAZING!!! A thick broth made with seafood, fish and potato, with two pieces of fried fish and a piece of corn. Best soup ever!

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then we continued to explore the city. Two colleagues of mine went for a church service while rest of us wandered around

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The old town in Quito is not only one of the best preserved one, but also one of the largest in Latin America

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scenic and vivid

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do you see the monument on the top of the mountain? there was our next destination: el panecillo which means “small bread” and it’s the name of the 200 meters high hill that marks the division between south and downtown Quito. From everywhere in the Old Town you can see the hill with its aluminum monument of the Virgin Maria.

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my colleague and I ignored the local advice on taking a taxi to the top because the way up there is steep and probably not safe. We didn’t feel threatened by local people, but the dogs… that’s another story

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at certain point, we went surrounded by 8 dogs and all balking. We had to divert our route and probably walked 1-2 miles more to get to the top. But it was definitely doable and you’ll see more of real life out there.

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the view from the top was nice

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we were hungry with the walk so got some street food

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I went for the corns (no surprise)

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and guys went for the chicken heart with fries

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it was the best business trip I’ve ever been! So much fun exploring Quito with these! 🙂

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Filed under travel

2 responses to “Travel: quito

  1. The small golden fruit is called ground cherries. They are so good! They grow here in NJ… My dad has then on his property and I always get a nice supply 🙂 The trip looks amazing.

  2. kristaskravings

    What a fantastic trip!

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