Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Quito City

Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is one of the most beautiful capital cities in the South American Andes, sitting at the base of Mount Pichincha. Diverse, cosmopolitan, rich in culture and colonial architecture, it has an altitude of 9200 feet, making it the highest capital after La Paz, Boliva. The weather is mild all year round with its two seasons: wet and dry (winter and summer), with the dry season lasting from June until September. Quito has been named the 'Heritage of Mankind' by the United Nations and has a population of approximately 1,500,000. Women travelling alone won't be hassled here and I felt totally safe day and night. Of course, ask the hotel staff where you shouldn't go at night alone, it always helps.

I didn't stay in Quito very long, only for a few days. But when I was there I stayed at La Real Audiencia which was expensive for me - $26.00 a night, but by the time I got to Quito I wanted hot water in a clean shower. The place was polished and the staff were very helpful. They had a restaurant/bar upstairs where they served breakfast with great coffee.

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There were many accordion players on the street in Quito, but the one who impressed me most was the fellow with the white accordion - he really knew how to play. It seemed peculiar that every accordion player was blind. Maybe I should give up playing the accordion forever or I'll go blind, or maybe I'll just keep on playing until I need the proverbial glasses.