Quito day 2 (Old Town/Las Basilica del Vota)

Last night was fun. We started drinking in the hostel around 6 playing games and what not. It started to get blurry when the bartender asked me to watch the bar for ten mins while he went outside to have a smoke and that I could drink all I wanted while I was tending.

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One of the guys in the hostel bought a mannequin for $15 and we brought it outside, tore it up and burned it. I guess it is tradition to do that and jump over the fire. We didn’t make it to the main party which I guess is in a sketchy part of the city, they call this area “Gringo Land”.

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After the burning we went to a club, and somehow I ended up offering to pay cover for our entire group, we were mostly the only ones in there. Stayed out til 3 or 430 or so, then on the way back we were locked out and I ended up breaking into our hostel by climbing over a 10 ft stone wall with glass shards on top then 3 ft of barb wire. Soo.. yea, some poor decisions were made.

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Today everyone slept until like 2pm, then I met up with a couple of my friends and we went to a historic place in the city called old town. We caught a $.25 bus about a 20 minute ride into the city.

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We intended to talk around a planned route but instead ended up just waking to the coolest looking church, called La Basilica Del Voto. I honestly wasn’t very excited about the historical district, but this place completely changed my mind. An amazing piece of architecture.

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It was a hike up a steep hill for a ways to get access, as it was perched at the top of a hill

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Entrance was $2 for foreigners or $1 for Ecuadorians. Inside, there were crazy colored glass and lots of marble

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To access the top, they had a sketchy stairway that would never be allowed in the US

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After this, there was an even sketchier steep access to get to the top tower, the couple I was with were afraid to go up so they stayed down

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Once in the tower there were some pretty awesome views of the city and the rest of the church

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The level of detail was so crazy. It took over 100 years to build. We saw areas that had been damaged, but I could imagine that it must take constant maintenance due to the level of detail in everything.

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The food here is disgusting, I am getting pretty sick of it. So salty. And drinking tons of soda since we can’t drink the water here. And we have been eating in all the touristy places out of convenience so you pay 2x what you would anywhere else, like $12 a meal instead of like 6. “Gringo Land” didn’t seem sketchy at all until we went out tonight, weren’t as many cops around and it got a little sketchy, crack head came into subway while we were eating.

Back at the hostel, booked the next leg of my trip. I am heading over to Banos about 3 hrs away where they have tons of outdoor adventure like white water rafting, mountain biking, waterfalls, hot springs, active volcano etc. Very excited for this stop. Touched base with Jose he is going to meet me in Banos in about 5 days so I will just chill out there until he comes. For now, I am tagging along with the LA couple I met, since they are also going to Banos. Its always nice to travel with someone if given the opportunity. I am staying at a different hostel than them in Banos however, since a different one seemed more solo-traveler-friendly.

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