Sunday, October 23, 2011

Slowly picking things back up - a Sunday in Quito

Sunday, October 23, 2011

So we're on day two of "taking it easy so my body can heal." Sunday is a very quiet day around here. Most everything is closed, and people take their families out for walks or bike rides or to play in the park. Quite a few of the streets near my hostel were closed off to vehicles and there were cyclists everywhere of all ages, shapes and sizes. Temporary bike mechanics were set up on a round about and there are bikes for hire. The Secret Garden rents them out as well, but I chose to walk.

You see... I decided this morning that I would test out my body by going for a short walk. My destination was a park down the road a ways that I've gone by several times that looked like a pretty place to sit and people watch. One thing I have to say for being sore all over... it's causing me to slow down and pay more attention to the way I move my body. Including my breathing. So that's good!

One of the things I discovered today is the Quito Observatory. It is set up in the middle of the park that I chose to explore today. A beautiful building, and I regret not bringing my camera on my walk. Today was observation only, though. The observatory was not open yet when I walked by, so I made a mental note to revisit another day. Quito is so high that I'm sure the views will be astounding.

Setting up on the other side of the park near the pond were some food stalls that smelled divine! I'd already eaten breakfast, though, and I don't tend to think of Mystery Meat as breakfast food anyway. So I found a bench and sat and just enjoyed watching people moving around, playing, and enjoying their Sunday morning.

I eventually got up and began the walk back to my hostel. I decided to take a different route back, to figure out the lay of the land. And along the way I found a little bookstore! This was the most difficult time I had trying to express what I wanted, as the woman trying to help me just could not understand that I did not want a book in English, nor did I want an English book that had been translated into Spanish. I wanted a book for children written by an Ecuadorian author! After so many misunderstandings we *FINALLY* got things worked out and I ended up with a little book called Todo el Mundo en un Solo Lugar by Ricardo MartĂ­nez CantĂș. It appears to be fairy tale-ish in nature. A nice addition to my collection of childrens books from around the world!

Got back to the hostel only a little stiff from the walk, so I settled in with my computer in one of the common rooms and chatted with folks back home online while hanging out and relaxing with folks here in the hostel as well. I decided about mid-afternoon though that I wanted to head back to the park to see if any additional booths had been set up. You see, I am heading up to Cotopaxi on Tuesday, and I am still in need of a nice warm sweater to bring with me. So I walked back down to the same park, where unfortunately, there were no sweaters for sale. I did get some mystery meat on a stick, though. It really hit the spot about then. I'm guessing it was chicken, but I'm not going to make assumptions!

I wanted to test another way of getting around, so even though it was only about a 15-20 minute walk back to the hostel I decided to take a bus! 25 cents, and got packed into a blue bus tight as a sardine. Am used to that, though, living in Boston. I still have no idea how I'd get on or off at the little stops, so tomorrow will expand my bus taking experiences as I continue my quest for a warm sweater before Tuesday.

The rest of the day was spent hanging out with folks here in the hostel. Met Ryan from Ireland, and two girls from Belgium. I taught them how to play Shithead and much fun was had playing cards. :) I was also propositioned by a guy from Australia. It was quite nearly "g'day! dyawannashag?" I declined. But it was very amusing.

My entire room of dormmates left this morning to head out to the Galapagos. Tonight I have three new dormmates. Haven't met one of them, but the other two are an elderly couple... having the time of their lives. This is their first experience staying in a hostel and Jim said they are loving it! We got shushed by the mysterious third before our conversation could continue, so I am looking forward to talking to him and his wife more in the morning.

And there we go! No pictures of Quito today, so I will leave you with a picture of my poor injured finger.

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