Tuesday, April 19: Last day in Ecuador

Our last day in Ecuador began with breakfast at our usual corner restaurant. As we ate we noticed that someone had climbed up on the Simon Bolivar monument and given Simon a bib. The addition did not last long, it was removed shortly. As we left the restaurant for a walk around Quito we passed the Registro Civil and saw the very long line of people waiting to get an identify card. Looks like you need to get there very early if you are trying to get your Cedula.

Breakfast at the corner restaurant
Breakfast at the corner restaurant
Simon Bolivar with a bib
Simon Bolivar with a bib
Lineup for ID
Lineup for ID

As we walked towards the Sucre National Theater, we were passed by a woman making a bold fashion statement in black and white! The square in from of the theater is surrounded by interesting buildings including this one that wraps around a corner of the square.

Bold fashion statement
Bold fashion statement
Sucre National Theater
Sucre National Theater
Wrap-around building
Wrap-around building

We walked around the colonial district for a while seeing several interesting Colonial-style buildings. This was the shoe district and we passed many small shoe store. However, we were surprised to see a large Payless Shoe outlet.

Military center
Military center
Colonial-style building
Colonial-style building
Payless Shoes
Payless Shoes

Since we had already walked through the Colonial district, we decided to hike up from the San Blas church to the Itchimbia Cultural Center at the top of the hill south of our hostel. It was a very long hike up steep streets and several sets of stairs. We finally reached the cultural center at the top of the hill. From the hilltop we had a wonderful view of the Basilica.

Climbing up from San Blas church
Climbing up from San Blas church
 Itchimbia Cultural Center
Itchimbia Cultural Center
View of the Basilica
View of the Basilica

The view of the Colonial district was spectacular! The cultural center is part of a very large hilltop park that contains this interesting moving sculpture.

The Colonial district of Quito
The Colonial district of Quito
Mobile sculpture
Mobile sculpture
Map of the hilltop park
Map of the hilltop park

Although the view of Quito was beautiful, time was passing and all too soon it was time to hike down the steep streets and steps to our hostel. hail a taxi and head to the airport.

The view of new Quito
The view of new Quito
Hiking down a steep street.
Hiking down a steep street.
Down the steps to our hostel
Down the steps to our hostel

Departure gate at Quito Airport
Before long we were at the Quito airport. We went through the usual security check. But, then we went through a second search of our carry-on luggage at the gate. Seems as though they really do a thorough check of passengers traveling to the US. However, our flight left on time and we arrived in Miami about midnight. Since our flight out wasn’t until 6:20 am we tried to catch a few winks in the Miami airport. When we went to check our bag for our 6:20 am flight, we were informed that the flight had been cancelled and were rebooked on a 7:30 am flight to Chicago and then on to Minneapolis. We reached Minneapolis about 1:00 pm, picked up our car, had a short visit with Jeff. and headed for home about 3:00 pm. On the way north we had to make several detours because of flooding. Despite the detours and delays we would have made it home without incident – except that a deer decided to run out in front of the Camry at about 11:15 pm about 5 km south of Carman, Manitoba. We called Dan and he came to pick us up. We eventually made it home about 3:00 am on Thursday morning and collapsed into bed!

Flooding of the Red River near I-29
Flooding of the Red River near I-29
Damage to the Camry by the deer
Damage to the Camry by the deer

It was a wonderful trip to Ecuador. We really enjoyed our time there and are looking forward to another visit – perhaps next winter.