Thursday, September 17, 2009


After a not so good night´s sleep, we headed out into the street of old town Quito.  It is quite a beuatiful city - lots of colonial archeticture and people wandering about (during the day, of course).  We wandered the plazas (lots of them) and went to some chruches and museuems.  Quito is pretty high in altitutude (a little under 10,000 feet) and surounded by mountains, some of them volcanoes.  It is also pretty dry - similiar to Cusco, in many ways.

We went out to dinner while it was stilll dark.  There were still some people walking around, but the shops cloase up not long after sunset and people did a lot of looking at their watches.  The place we ate dinner at was literally two blocks away from our hotel.  The first block was fine (still a fair amount of people), but the secind block was deserted and made us a bit nervous.  The guide book suggests taking a taxi for a block or two, if need be, and I can see why.  The taxi drivers are what makes the City operate after dark.  I think the problem is more physcological than anything else - people think it is dangerous, so they don´t go out, there fore the streets are empty and it is really sketchy.  Perception is everything, and I think the perception of unsafety is preventing a critical mass of people from taking the streets back.

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