Friday, June 8, 2012
Day 39: Quito - El Panecillo and Calle La Ronda
El Panecillo. Though the hill is only a mere 200 meters (656 feet) away, it's pure vertical from where we're staying and the neighborhood on the way up is, according to the travel guides, rather "rough". So, the only safe way to go is to get a taxicab, which only cost us $2. And yes, the neighborhood looked very rough. In the States, this hill would be prime real estate, full of exclusive estates with a view.
The view from El Panecillo of Quito and the mountains was AMAZING! Highly recommend this location to get a good view of the city. And oh, did we mention that the main attraction is a huge aluminum statue of the Madonna overlooking the city from its southern point? There is a swanky restaurant on the hill called Pim's, where we had a relaxing lunch, overlooking the city. Apparently, this restaurant was a site in Amazing Race All Stars episode 3.
We ventured out AT NIGHT to possibly the only street that has anything going on at night in the Old Town area - Calle La Ronda. Here is a beautiful street full of people walking leisurely at night, great restaurants, artisan shops, street performers and musicians. Since it was only a few blocks from our hotel, we did end up walking both ways at night. There was some foot traffic and a few Policia still guarding the streets, so we felt relatively safe. This is the place to go in the evenings to get some food and feel the charm of Old Town.
This was our last day in Quito. Tomorrow, we head to Baños Agua Santa - about a 3 hour bus ride. The whole getting a bus ticket and getting on the correct bus for a long haul bus will be an entirely new experience for us, so wish us good luck. Adiós!