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Title: We are going to MISS the tropical fruit
Location: Quito, Ecuador
After finishing our two weeks of Spanish lessons in Peru, we were ready for our next adventure. We got a bus straight from the border of Peru to Quito which took 12 hours. The trip was exhausting, but I have to admit that it was not too bad considering that it only cost us 10 dollars (US).
La ciudad de Quito is split into 2 parts. The old city which is a UNESCO world heritage site and the new city which is full of hotels and restaurants for tourists as well as being the main business centre. Enjoying a privileged position in the high Andes, surrounded by beautiful valleys and cupped by spectacular mountains, Quito is so close to sky you can almost touch it.
We are impressed with the food, people and the vistas, not so much with the old churches and museums which is what Quito has a lot of. We don’t enjoy those things too much. “Different strokes for different folks”. As aunt Cloe would say. : )
The Ecuatorianos are warm and friendly people. The food is very simple, but delicious. Ecuador seems to be blessed with a wide range of fruits, vegetables and edible creatures. The Andes are the birthplace of the potato, for example, and several hundred species are grown here. The Incas knew ways of treating potatoes so that they could be stored for many years. They valued the potato not only as nourishment, but as a unit of time measure, the unit being the length of time it took to cook one. And, we will miss the tropical fruits when we leave, they have all kinds of tasty delicious varieties you never knew existed. The various forms of passion fruits, melons, mangoes, papayas, pomegranates, kiwis, kumquats, custard apples, bananas, guavas, and tamarinds number in the thousands. My favorite is a berry-sized tomato known as tomate del árbol (tree tomato) which makes a delicious fresh fruit drink. Another unusual fruit is a vavaco, which looks something like a papaya but tastes more like a pineapple. Naranjilla, a greenish orange type fruit, also makes wonderful juice (jugo), as do maracuyá, taxo, the white guanabana juice and mora (blackberries).
We toured the historic heart of the city. Quito's Old Town is pretty large and very preserved. We enjoyed observing the vibrant energy that the residents bring. to every street, avenue and alleyway.