With a quick stop-over in Miami, my Ecuadorian adventure began in Quito. Having some free time to explore before my Intrepid Travel adventure began, I decided to wander the cobbled streets of Ecuador’s Capital and head up to the TelefériQo. As if I wasn’t already at a high enough altitude, (Quito is 2,850 meters above sea level) I decided to go up even higher by taking the Gondola which runs from the edge of the city centre up the east side of Pichincha Volcano. Having never been at an altitude this high before, I decided to pack a couple of bottles of water and go for it:
We met up with our tour leader Diego who is a local and he gave us a walking tour of Old Town Quito where I was immediately captured by all the amazing churches. Although I wouldn’t consider myself a very religious person, I still felt it was important to take some time walking through these historic buildings and take a seat and be thankful for the fact that I was in South America experiencing a whole new culture.
These buildings were absolutely stunning and I could write blogs about each one… seriously. I hope you have the opportunity to experience them for yourself one day if you haven’t already.
After spending the day exploring, it was time to refuel with a nice warm Ecuadorian meal. I was pleased to see Avocado in so many dishes and was thrilled to be served a soup with two large slices of Avocado in it.
The one thing I didn’t expect? Popcorn. Little did I know that popcorn is a common thing you see in restaurants which can be eaten as a snack while you wait for your meal, or used as a garnish for your soup. I also enjoyed the Ceviche (seafood marinated in lemon, onion and spices) and even tried some Cuy (roasted guinea pig) which was surprisingly delicious!
Beginning my Ecuadorian adventure in Quito was the perfect start to my trip, and I’m truly thankful for all the amazing people I was able to meet on our Intrepid tour.
It was a small and intimate group of 10 other travellers from around the world, enjoying our first meal together and sharing stories over bottles of red Chilean wine. It’s nights like these that remind me why I travel in the first place :)