About the size of Great Britain, Ecuador has the highest population density in South America. There is a population of 15.7 million. It is divided into three distinct zones; the coast; the Andes; and the sparsely settled eastern lowlands which makes up the jungle rainforest region.
Today has been a rest day for everyone to just relax and get accustomed to the altitude prior to Scenic Tours taking us over for the next 4 weeks. Scenic are well known to provide the best and our accommodation in both Santiago and Quito have been exceptional and in good central locations. We are staying at the Swissotel (not Swiss Hotel) here in Quito.
After another hearty breakfast, we split up to investigate the city a little by foot. The sidewalks are in really bad shape and it is best to take it easy in case you roll over and do a few ligaments making the rest of the trip pretty painful. Lyn and I ventured down towards a market to see just what handcrafts were available and to buy large brimmed hats for us both. The alleyways were very narrow and each of the stalls was well stocked with very colourful clothes, bags and ponchos. We found what we wanted and came back ‘the long way’, no we didn’t get lost, to arrive in time for another short nap before lunch. We heard that SM, the guy that always ends up leading a bunch of females, got lost and SC took over the GPS role to return them safely back to Swissotel before their water bottles ran out.
The weather today is nice and sunny with 27 degrees. How nice it is to feel warm again after such a cold winter in Melbourne. We did bring a good supply of warmer clothes but we just may not need to bring them out apart for when we are at very high altitude in Peru.
As we enjoyed our evening meal, we were treated to some traditional dancing and music. The colourful costumes must make the dancers happy as there were lots of wardrobe changes. It is always good to be entertained by a local performance group dancing away and enjoying themselves after a heavy week.
LH has a habit of not getting her room card out in time to use in selecting the floor level for her room. Without notice, the lift doors closed and took her up to a level which she didn’t want to go to. The doors opened and then closed, and then the lift returned to the ground floor. After this happened a second time, she was happy when the doors opened at one level and some of our group were there to join her. “Why can’t I get to my level? This bl…. lift keeps going up and down and I don’t have time to get out of it.” “Don’t you have your mykey card out. Swipe it!” was the response.