We arrived in Quito early this morning after crossing the border and catching a night bus yesterday evening. During the night, we ascended over 2800 meters and woke up considerably colder. The drive in to the capitol is actually quite beautiful, as the highway follows a verdant valley. Quito just kind of appears, sprawling across the valley and up the mountainsides, like so many other South American mountain towns.
Once settled, we began our day by walking to the Botanical Gardens. It was a few miles away from our hotel, but we got to see a lot of the city. Surprisingly, it’s a really nice city. Green mountains rise above either side of the city. The streets are wide and clean, as are the sidewalks. The old town has been nicely restored, while the new town is clean and seems well maintained. There’s good public transport as well, something Bolivia and Peru sorely lack. I guess I just didn’t expect Ecuador to be this developed or look this nice. The botanical garden was interesting, since Ecuador has so many climatic regions. Afterwards, we ate at one of the many KFC-type fastfood restaurants. I usually like to only eat local food and avoid fastfood for a variety of reasons, but almost all the food I saw in town today was fried chicken or beef fillets. So given the options, I’ll take chain-restaurant food over street stall food purely for sanitation. It seems that we’re regressing foodwise again, which is what I expected of Ecuador. Anyways, just a couple more days here.