We woke around 6:00am but stayed in bed until around 7:00am. The dinning area for breakfast was very nice and the breakfast was good. Even though the altitude is only 2800m we are still feeling it a little.
Following breakfast we ventured out and caught a Hop on Hop off bus for a city tour. What a wonderful place, it is the first city to be named a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site and is wonderfully preserved and restored. It is also the highest official capital city in the world. Our tour bus barely manoeuvred through the tight narrow colonial streets. Up on the upper deck we were warned several times to stay seated to avoid the low lying power lines. Every which way you looked was a incredible building, church, interesting street or view of the Pichincha volcano. It was a feast for the eyes and a dream for photographers.
We completed the full three hour city tour circuit and then decided to stay on until we arrived back at the Centro Historico. It was threatening to rain and we were hungry so we ducked into a commercial centre that had at least 4 nice restaurants and many fast food places.
The building was an old Casa Grande or Mansion with three floors. Of course the restaurant we chose, specializing in Ecuadorian cuisine, was on the third floor. It was a great little place called Hasta Le Vuelta Señor and we chose a couple of small appetizers that were typical of Ecuador.
Rather than get back on the tour bus we stepped back into the Plaza Grande and hailed a taxi. Within a few minutes we were back in our hotel. As it was now beautifully sunny outside we turned around and walked the five blocks to the Mariscal Focha area – in the heart of the entertainment. We stopped at one of the cafés for a Happy Hour mojito and sipped it slowly as alcohol and altitude don’t mix very well.
One of the fellow at our hotel recommended the Mama Clorinda Ecuadorian Restaurant, so we walked the short distance and were seated outside on he third floor. Why are all the good place on the third floor? – ha ha. We ordered ceviche (done with and Ecuadorian flare) and a typical dish to share. Ecuadorian cuisine consists of a lot of corn and flour, and although the meal was very tasty, it gets boring very quickly. There isn’t much variety unless you like to eat cuy (guinea pig), no thank you!
We walked the short distance back to the hotel and although it was still early, the “entertainment” district was in full swing and a little unnerving. Our hotel is five blocks away but we can still hear it carrying on until about 4:00am. Thankfully it didn’t keep us awake for too long.