Nestled in the Guayllabamba river basin, on the eastern slopes of the Pinchincha volcano, the city of Quito bubbles with energy. Streets are lined with fruit vendors and food stalls. Colorful fabrics spill out of corner stores, and sidewalks brim with locals and tourists alike.
To get a feel for the city, P and I took a free walking tour of the Old Town. Over the course of three hours, our guides Ovi and Paul shared the history of colonial Quito and pointed out famous sites and monuments along the way. We learned about politics (including the 1999 economic crisis which led to the adoption of the U.S. dollar as Ecuador’s official currency), food (through a quick tour of the mercado, where we tried delicious mora (blackberry) and guanábana (soursop) juice), and Quito’s pre-Incan history.
After six years, I’m back on the South American continent, this time to explore bits of Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. My trip will start in Quito, then I’m off to Cuenca, followed by Lima and Cusco before starting work in Ollantaytambo. Towards the end of August I’m hoping to spend some time in La Paz and Uyuni. Follow along!