Quito – The City of Eternal Spring


When you think of spring, what do you think of? Well, in Vermont it would be fresh, crisp air, vibrant green foliage, and frequent rain. And that’s what we have encountered in our first 24 hours of landing in the Capital of Ecuador. Quito, at 9,350 feet, is suitably dubbed the City of Eternal Spring. It’s cool, virescent, and looks like it could start raining any minute. We landed at the Quito airport at around 2pm yesterday after a painless two-hour flight south from San Jose. A taxi was waiting for us (send by previous arrangement from our hotel) and we were whisked away into the heart of the city. The hotel we are staying at – La Casa Sol – is located in the new part of town, which is also, apparently, where the liveliest backpacker scene is. Thankfully, though, we’re off of the main drag, so it’s quiet(er) and less crowded.

La Casa Sol is awesome (I hope my hotel choices continue to impress). The walls are brightly painted in oranges, reds, yellows, and pinks and textured so they look authentically hand-crafted. The wall-hangings are traditionally South American and each room has a distinct “homey” quality. C and I are staying up in the “Loft” which is on the third level and has it’s own balcony that looks over the inner courtyard and neighboring vicinity. It’s so cute I could even see myself living there (maybe not in Quito, but definitely in the Pacific Northwest, perhaps).

After settling in and relishing our new environs, we set out to explore the neighborhood. We didn’t get far because we were both starving, so we landed at a table at the Magic Bean. And I don’t think we could have picked a better spot. Fresh juices, towering smoothies, plenty of vegetarian choices for me and giant portions for C. It was great. I ordered a beet-carrot-apply juice and an avocado boat with falafel. I really wish I had gotten a picture of it because it was such a good idea. Half an avocado – mashed up and returned to its shell – was topped with small balls of falafel and served with pita bread, lettuce, and tomato on the side. C got a massive Hawaiian sandwich with chicken, cheese, and pineapple and a mound of potatoes. I don’t eat meat and it even look good. I have a feeling we’ll be going back today…

It was getting dark by the time we finished our meal and had started to drizzle, so we slowly made our way back to La Casa Sol. Back at the hotel, we discovered that our flight from Quito to Guayaquil was on April 9th rather than March 9th, so I spent a stressful two hours on Skype trying to get the dates switched. I did, finally, but it wasn’t the relaxing evening in front of the fire that I had envisioned. Hopefully that will be tonight, after exploring the city some more and searching for bike shorts for our upcoming adventure.

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