14th – 20th October
I had an interview with Chris from the Amateur Traveler on Monday morning, then Zab, me, John, my mum and I went out to catch the sightseeing bus around Quito, which proved to be a bit more tricky than expected. We then stopped for lunch at a Chinese place, where John realised he'd lost his camera so he and Zab went to the tourist police to report it.
Tuesday morning we decided to take the TeleferiQo up to the top of Pichincha volcano with hopes of great views over the city, but mostly we were stuck inside the cloud. The ride up, which took us to about 3970 meters above sea level was quite lovely, though. In the afternoon we looked for camera shops for John and rested back in our apartment.
We left the apartment after breakfast on Wednesday to visit the Basilica around the corner, but were slightly unimpressed with it and ended up sitting in the attached café for longer than we'd spent inside the building. We then took a taxi to look at more cameras for John and had lunch by a park. After a rest at home, we visited a nearby art gallery, but keeping in form, spent longer in the very nice café than looking at the art.
Taking advantage of the sunny weather on Thursday morning, we took a taxi up to a hill overlooking the city and had some spectacular views. From there, we went over to the central city park to visit the botanical garden where we saw many different types of Ecuadorian fauna, including some particularly gorgeous orchids. After lunch, we returned home as my mum was feeling the effects of the altitude and heat.
Going to the laundrette was the first order of business on Friday, after which we sat in a café for a while before visiting a contemporary art museum in the former military hospital, where the architecture was perhaps more interesting than the art. We lunched, rested and worked at home before going out for a final meal at a rather fancy restaurant all together.
Zab and I got up early on Saturday morning to see my mum and John off in to their taxi that would take them to the airport to catch their flight to the Galapagos, and then ate breakfast in the empty apartment. We then decided to visit the botanical garden again to see the temporary butterfly house that we'd missed, which was, it seemed rather unwisely, in the same greenhouse as the carnivorous plants. After lunch, we came home to escape the sun and work a little, then headed out to get cash and happened to run in to a British couple we'd met previously in Samaipata, Bolivia, 17 weeks earlier, so we ended up sitting in a café with them and catching up.
On Sunday, we met up with Sarah and Henry, the British couple from the previous day (who, strangely, are named the same as my mother and brother) while they tried to sort out their hotel situation in anticipation of Henry's mother and sister coming to visit them. We then all went to lunch together at a lovely vegetarian restaurant in a residential part of town, then said goodbye and Zab and I came home to spend the rest of the afternoon working.