Wednesday, March 23: Later on

After a brief rest and a liberal application of SPF 35 sunblock, we set off to explore a new section of Quito. We turned left at the Simon Bolivar statue and soon encountered this small square.
Small square

The street became more crowded as we proceeded towards Plaza Grande.

Crowded street
There were several interesting street vendors such as this man selling fresh coconuts with the shells removed and this lady selling ice cream cones.

coconut vendor
Fresh coconuts by the barrow full.
ice cream vendor
Ice cream cone vendor

The Plaza Grande is a large square with plantings and walkways in the center.

Plaza Grande

Here is part of the statue in the center of the plaza.

Statue in Plaza Grande

There are important buildings on each side of the plaza. These are the doors to the Archbishop’s palace. Note the crossed keys, the symbol of Papal authority.

Doors of the Archbishop's Palace
On the way back to our hostel we stopped for a very late lunch at Caravana – the Ecuadorian equivalent of MacDonald’s.

Caravana Fast Food Restaurant

Caravana - the Ecuadorian equivalent of MacDonald's.

After lunch we walked back towards our hostel along a somewhat less traveled street. All of a sudden I felt something wet and then two women rushed up to Nancy and I and started brushing at our clothes with Kleenex saying that we had been hit by bird droppings and needed to get it cleaned off. They urged us into a passageway where they said there was water. We resisted and said well would walk to our hotel and clean up there. They persisted but we were resolute and walked off. We escaped from that band of pickpockets and theives with all our possessions and money. When we got back to our room it was obvious that the brown, stinky stuff had been shot from a water pistol or equivalent. We changed clothes and took the soiled items to the laundry next door and they were clean and dry by evening. After that we were not quite as enthusiastic about exploring Quito further.

Although the encounter with pickpockets did dull our enthusiasm for Quito, the other people we met were friendly, kind and obliging.