Felix Viajamous Sud de Equatorial : Ecuador
In our initial explorations of the capital city we pleasantly found it to be much cleaner, safer, with less military or police personnel than most Latin & South American countries we have visited so far, and the people are very friendly. Although on the equator the altitude significantly moderates the temperature to be spring like all year. With the climate they say you can experience several seasons each day. We watched men working on a cement road and marveled at the lack of power tools. We would be more accustomed to see the repair work they were performing being done by a pneumatic jackhammer. Instead a team of men were on their knees using hammers & chisels in order to make the road repairs. The streets seemed strangely void of people and activity for a large city – we learned this was a holiday weekend and “ most or many “ people head to the beaches for the weekend. We enjoyed a panoramic view of the city atop the 9 stories Chalet Swisse and had a lovely dinner for two including red wine for about $ 10.
Fresh fruit, vegetable, meat, and fish markets are everywhere, and we visited the world famous indigenous artisan market in Otavalo. Sunday most stores are closed, and watching the street you see families heading to church dressed in their best Sunday clothes and the Indigenous people in their traditional colourful dress. This is a very warm loving society, where people still hold hands, value family traditions, and openly express affection. Children are laughing and playing in the streets late into the evening. Perhaps subconsciously part of Deb & my deep respect and affection for these people has to do with their shorter stature! Conversely they will not hesitate to join together and take control over a situation with vigilante action where they have been wronged: lynching a thief, or corrupt politician!