My 3+ months working in Ecuador are over as well as 3 weeks holidays around the Galapagos islands and Peru.
I’ll leave work aside. A fair amount of stress but overall good fun and successful. Just the way I like it.
I did not have too much time to do much else mind you.
Nevertheless, I did a few things tourists have to do. For me one of the best way to discover a town is on foot. However it helps to have an idea where to head for. One of the best way is to take a touristic bus ride around town.
The historic center of Quito has one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centers in the Americas.
I stayed the whole 3 months at the Le Parc boutique hotel which I can recommend.
It is minutes away from the Carolina Park which with With 67 hectares of land is one of the greater urban parks of the district, of the country and of South America.
I walked around at a fast pace at the weekends. Let us not forget that Quito’s altitude is 2.800m and one can get a little short of air at first.
I was lucky enough to get invited to the Ecuador v Argentina football match. What an atmosphere! Somehow more boisterous than our European matches.
Mittad del mundo
There is the original site / spot which was believed to be the equator by the French expedition led by Louis Godin, Pierre Bouger and Charles Marie de La Condamine. A monument was built to commemorate this first Geodesic Mission in 1735 of the French Academy of Sciences.
The actual spot when measured by GPS is actually 240 meters to the north and is a favorite spots where you can brag to your friends and family back home: this is the place where you’ll can stand and say that you’re in the center of the earth. One of the most famous activities/tricks you can try here is balancing an egg on a nail.
There is also a couple of small museums and even a head reducing tutorial…
A relatively short flight
There are a couple of ways to get there. I certainly would recommend the train alternative from Cusco. Early departure in the morning for the 3.5 hours ride through the mountains. But the scenery is worth it. There is also a breakfast service included in the ticket price and and excellent service.
Once in Machu Picchu which is a 20 minutes bus ride from the train terminal, you need a few hours to walk around and take it all in with the occasional stop at some of the more picturesque spots.
I woud not want to spend more than 1 day there though and apparently the local hotel is extremely expensive.
So it is another 3.5 hours on the train back to Cusco. This time some entertainment is also thrown in…
Peru – Lima
Stayed in Lima’s Miraflores quarter at the Radisson hotel for 9 days.
1. Mr Radisson, your music in the bar, restaurants, reception is crap. Apart from that the hotel and rooms are very good.
2. There is not enough to see in Lima to warrant a 9 days stay.
On the positive side, the ocean view is superb and there are excellent walkways through well maintained parks for the daily walk.
Nothing better to work up a thirst and an appetite. I did enjoy the local beers and of course the Pisco Sours. The food is good too.
From Lima, it is back to Quito for one night but more importantly to pick up the luggage left in storage at the hotel and a last chance to have dinner at Segundo Muelle which happens to be an excellent Peruvian restaurant.