Thursday, 16 February 2017

Friday January 27, 2017

We started our day with another breakfast at the hostel. A young couple were chatting about how they had gone up in Teleferico (gondola) yesterday, for aerial views of the city. They explained how they got there, and highly recommended this activity. There was a single lady from Germany sharing breakfast with us. She said she would like to experience the gondola, so we made plans to share a taxi and enjoy the experience together. Our new friend Martina told us that her friends always ask her why she doesn't mind travelling alone. She explains to them that she frequently meets other travelers along the way and joins them for sightseeing or actvities.
The taxi was only $4, although the ride in the gondola was $8.50 per person. We boarded the gondola with a couple from Argentina, and were chatting with them during the 20 minute ride to the top station. The views were stunning. When we got off at the top, we followed a trail that went even higher to some stunning lookoutspoints. The highest point of this trail is more than 16,000 feet or 4000 meters. Martina and I had slight headaches from the altitude, and needed to drink extra water to help with this. When we returned to the base of the gondola ride, we talked to an artist who had a display of his unique works at the station. He showed us some of his finely detailed paintings done on feathers that he collects from the ground. We were so impressed with his talent, we ended up purchasing a small feather painting of a bird, and Martina also bought one of his artworks. We met up again with the couple from Argentina, and decided to share a taxi back to the hostel. We piled 5 of us into a small car and chatted all the way back to our location in the old town in Quito. Martina found out that the couple from Argentina were going to the Galapagos at the same time as she was, and they made plans to meet at that location.
After a brief rest to recover from the elevation, we headed out with our new friend Martina, to try to find a restaurant recommended by two of the other guests at the hostel. Despite not knowing the name of the restaurant, we were able to locate it on Venezuela St. They served us an excellent lunch, with chard soup, meat brochettes and rice. After lunch, we returned to the hostel to rest before heading to the airport. When the power went out at the hostel around 4 pm, we decided to head out to the airport.
Thanks to our amazing hosts at Friends Hostel, we had excellent directions for getting to the airport using public transit. We took a metro bus to an exchange station called RioCoca. At this station, we asked an employee to direct us to the green buses that were headed to the airport. The metro bus fare was 25 cents each, and the airport bus fare, for a 45 minute ride, was $2 each.
When we arrived at the airport we had many hours to wait, due to our midnight departure time. We rested and charged our electronic devices while waiting. We were given boarding passes for all three flights at the check in desk. Thankfully we experienced no delays or disruptions on our trip home. We arrived back in Ottawa on time at about 2:15 pm. on Saturday January 28, 2017. Our daughter Erin picked us up at the airport and we returned home to tell tales of our trip to our two youngest daughters, Erin and Sara.
Photos from 16,000 feet above sea level

These horses live on the mountain and are available for trail rides

The only time on our whole trip that we needed pants and long sleeves

Amazing local artist with display at the site of the gondola

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