Old Town Quito

Once we FINALLY found the street on which the hostel we were looking for was on, we breathed a sigh of relief.  One last hassle, of course–we realized the hostel recommended to us by Lonely Planet was waaaaaay out of our price range–like $20 for a dorm bed!  Luckily, we were saved by the small, not-trendy-but-perfectly-functional Hostel Belmont down the street.  While it didn’t have the bar, restaurant, art, and hip vibe of the last place, it did have $12 double rooms with private bathrooms and free internet.  Score!  Actually, the really nice young woman who runs the place is looking for a female volunteer to help her with her English.  If we had been staying in Quito longer, I totally would have obliged in exchange for the free room she offered!  (Someone jump on this!)

Anyway, after decompressing from our stressful intro to Quito, we hit the town for some exploring.  First we hit up La Ronda, a narrow street in the Old Town which really gets hopping on weekend nights.  The street was filled with musicians performing, artist’s shops, cafes and bars.  The highlight for us was trying our first canelazos:  a hot drink made with rum, sugar, cinnamon, and fruit juice.  These are on offer at every stop along La Ronda, so we tried two different places.  I preferred the orange flavor to the blackberry, and be forewarned that a whole pitcher gets to be almost too sweet by the end!  We also got some plantain and cheese empanadas as we sat relaxing and beginning to forgive Quito.

The highlight of Old Town Quito is the architecture.  Intricate stonework and beautiful white-washed bell towers fill the sky everywhere you look.  Our problem was that we really only had one day, and it was a Sunday so almost everything was closed!  Hence we just did a lot of walking and picture taking!  Take a look!

La Virgen de Quito

I wish we would have had more time to get to know Quito.  But we had to move on quickly to Baños for our second WWOOFing adventure!  Coming up next!