I am not a great fan of cities and particularly city sightseeing but today we “did” Quito (highest capital in the world) and it was brilliant fun.
We took a taxi to the cathedral and looked around inside and out. It was “cathedrally” and huge and maybe worth the two dollars entrance fee. Then we went round the corner, paid another two dollars each and climbed the towers. Wow! Over one hundred meters of steps took us to the top and breathtaking views across the city and to the surrounding mountains.
Notre Dame has Quasimodo in the belfry. Quito has Lenin. Lenin Pat Borhorquez runs the restaurant near the top of the tower. He is an accomplished linguist who effortlessly switched between Spanish, English and German. We spent an hour in conversation with him, all the time with the city far far below.
We wandered through town until we spotted a long flight of steps heading up the mountain to a huge winged statue. As soon as I saw the steps I knew this was a “Heidi sort of thing”. 945 steps and over 200 meters of climbing later we reached the top.
Some time during the first century Saint John went off on some mind altering trip. He must have been very very “infected with the spirit” and afterwards he wrote the last chapter of the bible – Revelations. By Chapter 12 he has the Virgin Mary wearing the wings of an eagle and fighting a dragon. In the 1970s the Ecuadorians built a 41 meter high statue of winged Mary atop the chained dragon on this 3000 meter high hill. Amazing!
Next we met a real person who was just as amazing. Jan is the founder and owner of Biking Dutchman, the company who we cycled Cotopaxi with yesterday. We enjoyed his life story over a coffee. People think we are crazy but Jan leaves us standing. Failing to get deported from Australia, sailing in front of a military fleet and couriering gold for the Chinese mafia – we want to buy a signed copy of his autobiography.