bob looking down at lake mojanda
Whats the best place to get help finding your hotel in a city of 4.5 million people - the KFC drive through of course (wasn't that obvious?). Back to that later.
We slept in until 7:00 and then proceeded to have breakfast at the largest market in South America, watching the vendors set up their wares.
After that, we headed for our first climb - an acclimatization trek up to the top of Fuya Fuya (13,900 feet). Before starting our trek, we had to drive 17kms on a poorly maintained cobblestone track, but in order to make it more exciting, we picked up an Ecuadorian who needed a ride back to his home. We dropped him off and soon headed up (what we thought was) the steep trail. Turns out the real trail was much more gradual, and David went up the rest of the way himself, while Bob did some maintenance on the vehicle at the trailhead.
After 2.5 hours on the mountain, we headed for Quito. Not before we saw our friend from earlier in the day wanting a ride back down, this time with his entire family of five (with another on the way). They all piled into Manuel and we took them back to Otavalo.
The infrastructure in Ecuador is astounding - they have spent billions of dollars on roads, blasting up, over and through mountains, so getting here was pretty easy.
Finding our way with a dodgy GPS through a city of 4.5 million people is impossible. So we pulled over to a KFC and inadvertently ended up in the drive through! There was a cab behind us so I asked him if he would take us to our hotel- no problem. For the next 30 minutes he drove like he was trying to shake us, but he got us here fine!
Our hotel is almost 250 years old and is in the heart of Quito. It used to be a convent, and still has a shrine with a 300 year old Virgin Mary in an alcove!
Tomorrow Bob will take it easy while David attempts to climb Rucu Pichincha, a 15,600 foot peak overlooking Quito.
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“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
- Mark Twain