Day 231: Quito – Ecuador – Feb 3rd

The first thing on our minds was this: Get our Galapagos trip booked up. We ended up going the easiest way and booked our flights and ship package out with the agency our hostel works with. We were in a rush, and the guy seemed genuinely helpful and forthcoming with everything. Turns out though, we could’ve done the exact same thing if we just headed to the Galapagos ourselves and booked everything there, and saved a lot of money!!! Oh well….

It was a Sunday, and we spent the day wandering around the old town of Quito, a UNESCO heritage site. Did we say it was Sunday? Apparently, everyone in Quito spends Sunday with family and takes the day off, leaving us tourists with nothing but closed shops and starvation!! It was still cool to wander the streets though, as most of the roads in the core were closed off for the bicycles, and there were some pretty cool buildings around. We climbed their basilica, which gave a pretty good glimpse of the city. Quito is cool in that it is surrounded on both sides by volcanos and the streets are hilly, while the flat strip in the middle is where all the buildings are.

We needed to do some last minute shopping, and took the bus up to Quicentro, an upscale mall with one of the best food court designs we’ve seen. One thing we loved about Quito, is the abundance of outdoors-y shops in the malls, which sort of tells you that the general public are really into outdoor activities.

At night we headed into the tourist area of Mariscal, which was located in the New Town and sort of looked like Queen St in Toronto. Problem was, EVERYTHING WAS CLOSED!!!!! Seriously, we’ve never seen such a sad tourist zone, with closed shops, graffiti everywhere and nobody walking around. Eventually we stumbled upon an Irish pub, and spent the evening there watching the Superbowl and eating wings. What a great game!

Note: Apparently, there is an prohibition bylaw that refrains bars in Ecuador from serving alcohol past 4pm. That sort of explains why bars are closed??

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