Quito

El Panecillo hill, 9895 feet altitude, topped with a statue of the Virgin Mary. Houses on the hill are shacks.

Quito is the capital of Ecuador and a city of over 2,00,000 people and at 9350 feet altitude, the second highest capital city in the world (La Paz Bolivia is much higher). I could tell we were in a big city when on the first day I heard a long, loud car horn honk in complaint. Not like the short warning taps or thank you taps that we usually hear. I never heard another long honk but it definitely has a big city feel.

The weather is slightly cool and rain is common.

Quito is working on a subway but in the meantime they have a very good bus system. There was a stop ½ block from our apartment that went into downtown/old town. Some of the bus routes (like this one) have bus stations that are about 3’ off the ground and the bus has a small ramp that goes down when the door is opened so people can get on/off and it is wheelchair accessible. Other buses are the typical ones that may be a climb to get into or out of.

Buses are used extensively. We often entered extremely crowded buses. One time I didn’t think Dan would make it on it was so crowded. Standing room only although the riders will often give up their seat to someone with a baby or who is older. I welcomed it the several times a nice person gave me their seat.

Our guide said that people can’t wait to get cars so they don’t have to ride the bus. I didn’t like the crowds but I liked the price ($0.12 for seniors) and I like having a smaller carbon footprint than a car gives. Plus parking is limited and not cheap…our guide paid $0.75 per hour which wasn’t too bad except it added up to $3.00 by the time we got the car back.

Traffic in Quito wasn’t too bad. Heavy at times but it kept moving.

Two car bus
3 car bus

We were usually on a 2 car bus (connected in the middle by an accordion type connection) but they also had 3 car buses. I was amazed watching the 3 car bus turn a corner with no problem.

Black Panther was released while we were inQuito. We were going to see the English version with Spanish subtitles but there were only about a half dozen seats left and they were in the front row so we passed. Never got around to it after that. My guess is that all theaters had costumed actors to promote it but I could be wrong. Fun to see them anyway.

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