Today’s adventure would take us to TelefériQo and Mitad Del Mundo. If you have been to Quito, you will know this is one if the highest cities in the world meaning that generally most humans entering it will get altitude sickness which is horrid. Safe to say, we both have it, albeit mildly. Our headaches are horrible, and it makes you feel constantly hungover. However, we hate staying in so after a great breaky we hopped in an Uber and headed to TelefériQo Cruz Loma.
I was really excited about this as I love mountains and great views but it is so high. A bit of background about this activity – it’s a gondola lift running from the edge of the city centre up the east side of Pichincha Volcano to lookout Cruz Loma. It is one of the highest aerial lifts in the world, rising from 3,117 m (10,226 ft) to 3,945 m (12,943 ft). The ascent takes about twenty minutes, traveling 2,237 linear metres. WOW – I KNOW RIGHT!
The accent up was actually quite terrifying for the first 5 minutes as it’s really high but the views of the city are spectacular, so you quickly forget that you are in a small hanging bubble. Once you’re at the top (a mere 4100m), you can hike to the summit of Rucu Pichincha (4680m) – but there was no way in Earth we were doing it. Instead we wanted to go to the swing at the edge of the world and take photos with Llamas! There is also oxygen tanks up the top if you are feeling really ill and want to pay a few dollars for a quick fix – we didn’t but a few people were using them when we got there.
Tourists for the day...
So, after a month away we have arrived back in the freezing cold, busy AF, noisy, aggressive city of Quito. That’s not quite true, most people are actually lovely here but aggressive sellers what I should mention and we have been warned multiple times of how dangerous it is here – WE ARE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE!
We arrived last night after 12 hours of traveling – yes, I can’t believe it either for a 2 hour domestic flight there is so much nonsense of public busses, and boats, and taxi’s and aeroplanes that by the time we arrived last night we collapsed.
Today however has been filled with fun. Kind of. We spent the morning sorting our lives out as the WIFI here at ‘Hostal Imperial’ is fantastic. I had 17 blogs to post and we have a bunch of new work.aways to apply for. This time round we are staying next to Plaza Foch or as it’s better known the party capital of Quito – why I booked it, I still don’t know… but the Hostal is pretty good.
We left around midday to take a 3km walk to ‘Mercado Central’ or Central market for lunch as we had read it’s great to try local food and it’s cheap – yes, it’s cheap. For stall after stall of some of Quito’s most traditional foods, this is the place to be nestled between Esmeraldas and Manabí.
Upon arriving at the market we were greeted with big smiles, lovely warm welcome from most stalls and then it was like a free for all of who could grab us first. Slightly concerning from 100 year old woman but still we eventually sat down, got a fresh juice and llapingachos ( fried potatoes and salad) for $2.50USD pp.
From there we strolled back into the old town – which I am simply in love with the colours, architecture and vibrancy and headed straight to the Basilica del Voto Nacional. The basilica is the most important work of neo-Gothic Ecuadorian architecture and is one of the most representative of the Americas. It is the largest neo-Gothic basilica in the New World. The building is noted for its grotesques in the form of native Ecuadorian animals such as armadillos, iguana, and Galapagos tortoises so I was dying to take a walk inside. It costs $2USD pp and I highly recommend it. The place is fantastic, filled with beautiful stained glass, stunning craftsmanship of the building itself and you can climb to not only the bell tower but another of it’s highest peaks – definitely not passing any health and safety rules for sure!
After that we went to the 6th floor where you can actually sit and have a coffee or beer in a beautiful little café overlooking the city! This was a great way to spend a cloudy afternoon when both of us wanted to just crawl back into bed. We have another free day here before heading to Quilotoa and then Brazil but I reckon tomorrow will be spent watching movies as we are both feeling a little under the weather with the altitude of Quito.
Hey! I'm Ally. I left the UK in 2011 to move overseas and ended up in New Zealand - my new home. This year we are taking a gap year to loop the world stopping in some AMAZING destinations - and I'm passionate about sharing these adventures with you!