Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ecuador – Banos To Quito



Banos Church Back in Banos, I take in a few sights before with  a sense of road confidence, I set out for Quito.






Banos Street

With proper timing I might get a glimpse of Cotopaxi, the world's highest volcano which is on the way to Quito.






Farming Hills Through mountainous farmland, across bridges and rolling hills I head toward Ambato.





Dust fills the air as the pavement disappears and I follow buses and cars that I think are going to Quito. Signs for Quito appear but are missing as I approach a circular intersection. In a new neighborhood I find a delivery driver and inquire … “Que via a Quito?”. Another 180 then … a la derecha, again!


Rain is falling and the weather is deteriorating. At times the rain is heavy and I am driving by braille hitting a few potholes along the way. Road construction delays and detours adds to my dilemma and my visit to Cotopaxi is scrubbed.


Old Quito Square It's around 7pm as I enter south Quito. The traffic is crazy but most drivers are courteous. I drive through Old Quito headed to Mariscal.






San Augstin

A drive to Mariscal and I have a single “Happy Hour” beer with kebobs before heading to the airport.



I pass on “The Special”,  for $5 I can have 3 beers!


I return my car to Advantage and discover that my braille driving came at a cost. The front driver side rim is bent. The staff checking the car is friendly and professional but the expression on his face concerns me. He makes a few calls and I prepare to do battle against excessive charges.


Chevy Spark For $50, war becomes unnecessary as “The Chevy Spark” and I have taken a code of silence about our 5 Day Ecuadorian Road Adventure.



Map picture








I am surprised Ecuador is not talked about much as a vacation destination except for expensive trips to The Galapagos. However, if you enjoy the great outdoors and want an affordable vacation, mainland Ecuador should be high on your list.



The Quito Airport is a modern well run operation and the $41 departure tax seems to be well spent. Security, Customs and Immigration personnel are courteous, friendly and efficient. It's a late evening departure and the lights of Quito twinkle “Adios” as Delta 680 accelerates and heads north.


Delta 737 Buen Viaje!






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