Donkey Crossing

Welcome to Donkey Crossing! Donkey Crossing is an on-line account of one Limey and one Yank living one Dream. From September 2006 until the end of 2007, we plan to visit friends and family on five continents and immerse ourselves into various cultures, natural phenomena and ways of life. We hope you enjoy our tales and visit often! Cheers, Jason and Rachel Napoli

Monday, September 25, 2006

Life in Quito

As Rachel beautifully wrote below, we´ve had a wonderful time discovering Quito...visiting old friends and making new, exploring old locales and welcoming the new. Our first day was very relaxed as we checked into where I first stayed in August 1998, the Crossroads Hostal The view from our room is the photo above.

Friday was our first full day and we went exploring right away. Our first stop was Parque Carolina, followed by a visit to our favorite little village just on the other side of Quito called Guapalo. Guapalo is a small village popular with the local Bohemian community, as well as the Spanish embassy. It has a beautiful old cathedral too. After we had enough of Guapalo, we took the long way around the mountain and ended up in Rachel´s old neighborhood called La Floresta. We had an excellent seafood lunch ($6.00!) and made our way back down to Crossroads. I think we walked around 7-8miles. Not all challenging if it wasn´t for the 9,000 ft. altitude knocking us in the lungs.

Being tired, we decided to stay close to the hostal that night, and conveniently enough there was a big concert in the square a block away in celebration of Un Dia Sin Autos (a day without cars...which was sponsored by the local bicycle federation.) We joined in the chanting at one point, "Quito en bici, no es dificil...Quito en bici, no es dificil." It roughly translates as "Quito with bicycles, is not difficult." We enjoyed the rock, hip hop and breaking dancing acts, but not the drunken youth.

The next day brought us to Old Town where we went to the central market (Rachel bought a $10.00 watch), visited the presidential palace and simply observed the sights of the old colonial center. It was a great walk, but the Old Town can get a bit dodgy at points. Later that night Jeff (a friend and the owner of Crossroads) had a surprise birthday party on the terrace of his hostel for one of the long term guests. It was a great night with a keg of Pilsener and plenty of encased meat and fruit...una fiesta tipica!

Yesterday (Sunday) we spent most of the morning recovering from the party the night before and then headed out to one of the most beautiful places in town, Gill´s (one of our old bosses) house. There we met a few of their current associates and were treated to a grand Ecuadorean feast of tripe soup w/ dried lamb´s blood, fried empanadas, fritada (tasty fried pork chunks), mote and choclo (large boiled kernels of white corn), platanos, llapingachos (potato and cheese fritters) and more Pilsener than we needed. It was a great afternoon and wonderful to see Gill and Sandra (who´s another partner in the school...Key Language Services

We´re off to the tranquility of our friends´ hostal (La Luna) in the outskirts of Otavalo tomorrow. Stay tuned for pictures and details.




Blogger bsides said...

Glad to hear you are off and running! Heard about the Farbs story before I even got on, how the legend of Jason & Rachel has reached such heights!

We'll chat soon, and safe travels my friends.

3:58 PM  

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