Quito y goodbye a los abus :(


Quito y Otavalo/Ibarra. 22 al 28 de Abril, 2011.

Después de un largo viaje y de una fría noche (el hotel no tenía calefacción) fuimos a visitar el casco antiguo de la ciudad. Como era sábado santo, muchas de las iglesias estaban cerradas, pero pudimos entrar a la Iglesia de San Francisco (muy linda, toda decorada con paneles de oro). Pasamos por la casa de gobierno, la basílica, la catedral y anduvimos por las callecitas antiguas que están muy bien conservadas. La ciudad nos gustó mucho, muy bien cuidada, y limpia. Pese al tráfico, la gente muy respetuosa. Como el hotel tenía pileta, la mayoría de las tardes después de la siesta la pasábamos ahí, además que como sigue la época de lluvias, todos los días entre las 2 y las 3 de la tarde se largaba a llover. El domingo fuimos a visitar el mercado de Otavalo, muy conocido por sus artesanías. Tenía muchas cosas lindas, ropa bordada a mano, ropa de alpaca, hamacas, calabazas de todo tipo talladas, instrumentos musicales, carteras/bolsos, bijoux y demás. Aprovechamos a comprar algunas cositas para nosotros y para regalar. El lunes volvimos al centro antiguo a recorrer las iglesias que estaban cerradas el sábado. Visitamos la iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús (muy impresionante, todo tallado y cubierto en oro) y la Catedral. El martes era el último día de los abus, paseamos por el Botánico, anduvimos en pedalines en un lago y de a poquito se fue haciendo la hora de despedirse. Todos un poco tristes, sobretodo los chicos aunque ilusionados pensando que los abus nos vienen a visitar pronto otra vez. Al día siguiente, nos fuimos hacia el norte, cerca de Ibarra. Ahí visitamos la laguna de Cuicocha, un cráter que se hundió y llenó de agua, con algunas islas en el medio. Anduvimos en lancha por ahí y después nos preparamos a dejar Ecuador y partir hacia Colombia. Ecuador nos sorprendió por los lindos y verdes paisajes, por la amabilidad de la gente, la limpieza de sus ciudades, el respeto de su gente, las panaderías exquisitas… realmente lo disfrutamos!

It’s rainy season in Ecuador. Since we arrived in Guayaquil we’ve had sun in the morning and heavy rain in the afternoon sometimes lasting into the night. Apparently this year is colder and rainier than usual due to La Niña. So we get outside early knowing we’ll have to go inside after lunch. T says it starts raining at 1.17.
In Quito we visited some very impressive churches and cathedrals including the Iglesia de San Francisco and Iglesia de la Compañia de Jesús. It is difficult to imagine how many people worked to create these churches. We also visited the Jardín Botánico (city gardens) that had tons of plants🙂 although we didn’t get to see many flowers. Yet it was another perfect place for hide-and-seek. On the same park we rented ‘pedalines’ to pedal in the small ‘lake’; it was more exercise than expected! On Sunday (instead of busy Saturday) we visited the market of Otavalo claimed to be the largest in Ecuador. By going on Sunday we missed some of the action (like animals being sold or traded) but we got to see (and buy!) lots of handcrafts. It was a long drive and probably no worth going all the way there since there are similar markets in Quito. We also visited the ‘Mitad del Mundo’ park, a tourist trap: you pay to park, to get into the ‘park’ and then once more if you want to go up to the monument that is not even really in the middle of the world. Still, we took lots of pictures Back in Quito we had a chance to be present for the change of guard ceremony featuring the president and lots of heavily armed police and army.
We also had some great food in Quito including food from Esmeralda (the coast) and sushi (three times!). We had an especially good time because we had company from the Abus. Unfortunately this was where we had to say goodbye and keep traveling by ourselves. We were all sad and it took some time to recover but we made a deal that they would visit us again in Guatemala and Mexico. See you later!
We continued North past Otavalo and stopped near Ibarra at Hacienda Chorlavi (originally a Jesuit monastery). We had the place mostly to ourselves and on the second night discovered a play room and M and T got to use lots of toys and play-doh. From here we visited several nearby towns that specialize in leather (Cotacachi), textiles (industrial textiles, Atoncachi), and wood (San Antonio de Ibarra), likely an attempt to attract tourists. Not far from Cotacachi is Cuicocha lake, a crater-lake that formed thousands of years ago when the volcano erupted and the walls collapsed. We took a boat ride that went around the two small islands in the middle of the lake and stopped to observe a few bubbles coming from the volcano. There views of the towns and mountains are great from up there.
That was our last stop in Ecuador. We were now ready for what we expected to be a long day going through customs and driving to the Laguna de La Cocha in Colombia.
We had a great time in Ecuador.

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2 responses to “Quito y goodbye a los abus :(

  1. Que lindo lugar!!! Y que lindos estan….
    Se ve que lo pasaron bien con los abuelos!
    Cariños Nati

  2. Roberto Laignelet

    Hola, hemos seguido con mucho interés su maravilloso viaje. Nosotros vivimos en Bogotá. Cuando planean pasar por acá? Si desean, pueden escribirme al Email y les ayudamos en lo que necesiten. Felices travesías,
    Roberto, Natalia y Martina

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