Sunday, Aug 21, 2016
It is another beautiful day in Quito. I love how blue the sky is here.
We woke up early and got breakfast out of the way so we could take the Teleférico Tram ride to get a view of Quito at almost 14,000 feet. We are headed to Baños early this afternoon so this will be our last event in Quito. We grabbed a Taxi in front of our hotel and it drove us to the base of the tram. The TeleferiQo runs up and along the east side of the Pichincha Volcano.
The Teleférico is also spelled TelefériQo to combine the name of the tram and Quito together. We bought our tickets ($4.50 with a cedula, $8.50 without) and stood in line for the gondola carriage to take us to the top. There is a hiking trail that one can use to hike to the top as well, but it is about a 3 or 4 hour hike going that route. Mountain bikers can also use the trail. The gondolas have a bike rack on them so a bike could be taken to the top and then rode down the side of the mountain…a very steep mountainside.
The views were breath taking to say the least. The background in the pictures we took almost look fake to me. The views are so clear today from the top you can see other volcano tops including Cotopaxi on the outer edge south of Quito.
On our way back to the hotel we stopped at the Mercado Artesanal on the corner of Juan Leon Mera and Jorge Washington. This market sells products from Otavalo. Since we didn’t have time to travel the two hour bus ride to Otavalo itself, this was the next best thing. It is filled with the bright colors and fabrics of alpaca blankets, ponchos, scarves, and clothing made by the indigenous people from Otavalo. There was also hand crafted leather bags, wallets, and jewelry too.
As we walked back to our hotel we cut through Plaza Foch where there had been a concert the first night we arrived in Quito. Right now the plaza is empty except for a 7 year old boy with a shoe shine kit asking us if he can shine our shoes. I’m in tennis shoes so that isn’t going to work. I hand this cute kid a dollar and give him a thumbs up. It makes me sad that kids this age have to work for a living. Seems like he should just be skateboarding in this empty plaza and driving old people crazy.
It’s been a great time in Quito, and now it’s time to head to Baños!