12 days in Quito
Yesterday, we left Quito and arrived in the next city on our journey, called Cayambe. It’s named after the Cayambe volcano 🌋, which we had planned to visit today, but the weather was very rainy, so we’ll probably go there tomorrow. Right now, we’d like to tell you a bit about our time in Quito.
12 days in Quito
We spent 12 days in Quito, and during those 12 days, we stayed in three different places, all through Couchsurfing. First, we stayed with Edwin in a very nice neighborhood called “La Carolina.” When we arrived, there were already three other Couchsurfers staying with him: a couple (a Frenchman and an Argentinean) and another Frenchwoman. It was great to chat with them, especially since they were traveling from north to south, while we were going in the opposite direction. We learned a lot of useful information from them. On the weekend, Edwin’s mother came to visit, so we had to scatter and stay elsewhere.
We moved to Marifranci’s place, which was a bit closer to the city center. She is transgender. The next day, another transgender friend of hers came to visit. It was also very interesting spending time with them. Marifranci is a passionate traveler and, in general, a very active and positive person. We spent three or four days with them before moving back to La Carolina. However, this time, we stayed with Carlos, not Edwin.
Carlos is a travel agent who travels extensively. He has even been to Russia, in Moscow and St. Petersburg. We stayed with him for another five days, worked, engaged in sports, and had a good rest.
The Historical Center of Quito
We also met our friends Oleg and Elena. They are from Russia, but we got to know them through Instagram while we were in South America. We visited them in Peru, and it was our first time meeting them in person. They are also heading north, mostly hitchhiking, just like us.
Here in Quito, our paths crossed again, and we decided to go on a walk together to the historical center of Quito. It was a wonderful stroll; we explored almost the entire city center, saw the main attractions, and even wandered through areas without tourists. In short, if it were just Nastya and me, we probably wouldn’t have ventured into those areas.
Many people we met along our journey throughout the country had told us that the historical center of Quito is very beautiful. However, to be honest, we didn’t like it very much. It was crowded, and there were many “unusual” people, and while some parts were beautiful, it lacked a certain cultural atmosphere.
In general, we didn’t return there. Instead, we spent our time at home, completing some pending work, strolling around La Carolina, and doing some shopping. We even considered getting local bank cards and visited a couple of banks, but in the end, we decided not to bother with it for now.
Overall, it’s worth mentioning that everything is quite expensive in Quito. This was one of the reasons why we decided to hit the road again sooner, but we really liked La Carolina.
We were particularly impressed with the park, which reminded us of Central Park in New York City, and the neighborhood itself – very modern, clean, with beautiful architecture, surrounded by mountains, and lush palm trees lining the streets. We truly believe that La Carolina Park is the most sports-oriented place in South America and one of the most sports-oriented places in the world.
Thousands of people engage in sports here every day. In the evenings, there is an incredible atmosphere that is truly inspiring, and we also went to the sports grounds every evening to do calisthenics. If you’re into sports, you should definitely visit this park and see it with your own eyes!
El Niño is approaching
We would have loved to stay there longer, but we decided it’s better to continue our journey because the El Niño rainy season is approaching. People say that this year it will be particularly strong.
El Niño affects a large part of Ecuador, Peru, and a bit of Colombia. Along the coast, they are expecting severe flooding, but even in the mountains, people are preparing for the worst. Landslides often occur, destroying homes and sometimes entire villages.
From Ecuador with love, Vasya and Nastya.