Saturday, January 15, 2011

FTA Ecuador Jan 2011 - Our final day in Ecuador! Well, for most of us...

From Brad

In Quito, Ecuador

Ecuador Volcano followers!

This will likely be the last dispatch as our time here is quickly coming to end, hope you have enjoyed following along!

After a sleepy morning yesterday, Friday, post Cotopaxi we all wandered aimlessly around the hostel and the Mariscal wondering what to pack where, whether or not to do laundry, and what our final tic list of things to do encompassed before leaving this beautiful place.

As a group we decided to catch a few cabs back down to the old town and do the obligatory tour of the Basilica. While officially consecrated by the Pope in 1988 the building is technically still unfinished as is evident by the multitude of construction workers on the roofs and catwalks. The amazing part is that the construction of this church began in the late 1800's! The historical pictures contained within are truly amazing! It is one of the most majestic things that I've ever seen. South American culture allows for visitors to climb numerous ladders and catwalks into the highest reaches of the towers. You could easily slip off one of the ladders or out one of the windows a few hundred feet to the ground...amazing, simply amazing.

From there we walked through the old city visiting a local market of goods, a local fruit, vegetable and food market (we were a bit more liberal in our sampling of local foods today!) and ultimately finished back at the Plaza de San Francisco for a late afternoon coffee and appetizers. The weather was stellar with bright sun, clear skies and even better people watching.

The large pack of wandering gringos dissolved in the afternoon to do some final shopping and reflecting on the last 10 days but reconvened back at the hostel for some guacamole, cheese and cervezas before heading out on the town one last time to get some local Ecuadorian dance culture at one of the nearby clubs.

It ended up being an extremely late night and even earlier morning as our first member, Kerr, caught a cab to the airport at 530 am. Next to leave was Kellie S. at 730am and she was followed by the Pedersen boys and Katie at 1030. All seem to be having flawless travels thus far though they surely have visions of empanadas in their heads.
Kellie D, Sarah and I head off to the coast on an overnight bus tonight to enjoy the beach and some much deserved R and R.

Signing off from this years Ecuadorian volcano expedition...and hoping for a small in stature bus mate for the journey west tonight at 11pm.

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