Ecuador is quite different from Colombia. I would say after Colombia Ecuador feels almost empty. While there is quite a bit of traffic and crowd in Quito, other than that the streets are more quiet. No more crazy motorbike and scooter drivers swarming around! Ecuador roads, at least from Riobamba to Ibarra are quite good quality and the road tolls are waaay lower than in Colombia. While from Ibarra to Riobamba we paid $5.60 USD, on the same distance in Colombia we paid 5-6 times more. The diesel price in Ecuador is $1.04/ gallon, while we paid $2.30-2.60/gallon in Colombia. As for food, Ecuador has very good quality food, organics are gaining ground and the prices are similar as in Colombia or even lower on certain products, depends. I will write up a separate post on this, but a quick mention on affordable PB!
After stopping by Mitad del Mundo from our way back from Mindo we strolled through Quito’s old town one more time. It’s nice but does not have the charm and colours of let’s say El Jardin or Guatape, neither has exhausting feel of Medellin. It’s different, more like heavy colonial stone buildings, I found that it was still worth seeing it again. You can sit down in one of the small restaurants and have a decent, quite filling two course lunch with drink (lemonade) for $2.50 USD. Just don’t try to get almuerzo after 3-3:30 PM, the pots might be all empty by then.
Quito is not running short of churches.
The main ‘almuerzo rush’ is between noon and 3 PM. Many small eateries are out of food and empty after those hours.
The old downtown and basically the whole city of Quito is full of small stores selling cheap Chinese stuff, just like Medellin.
The rich decoration of Quito’s churches is mind blowing. It is gold, even if it’s thin layer, but it’s gold. Some churches are charging a small entry fee.
The governor’s palace.
Street performers in ‘Plaza de la Independencia’.
Blaze sitting the second time on the Zero (Ecuator) line. I know, we did this already once.