Galapagos Trip: Arrival in Quito

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANote to readers: I just returned from a captivating trip to the Galapagos. Since I couldn’t blog from the islands themselves, I’ll be recapping the trip in a series of day-by-day posts based on the journal I kept and photos I took.

The purpose of this trip wasn’t originally tied to my interest in science communication; I simply had the pleasure of keeping my Dad company because my mother has a thing about reptiles. But after I finish combing through my 900+ photos, and get over this lingering case of boat-induced vertigo, I do hope to draw out some science comms connections.


 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADay 2: After a surprise night in Miami, thanks to American’s malfunctioning cargo doors, finally got to Quito. Carlos, the driver, took a liberal attitude towards lane markings. But for that, the drive was enjoyable. He coasted gently, though rapidly, round the bends and down the deep hillsides, like a skier carving a path in fresh snow. Traffic was remarkably light, as if the roads were undiscovered. Indeed, most of the asphalt was new, as was the airport itself.

Hazy blue mountains and deep green ravines swung into view from time to time. Then Quito revealed itself, tall hotels perched like a dinosaur’s spikes along the spine of a sharp emerald ridge.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe narrow buildings of the Carolina district, mostly 10 stories or so tall, stand shoulder to shoulder. They’re nearly all of a 1960s to 1980s vintage, unattractive taken in isolation, but a pleasant hodgepodge all together, with their jostling attitude and their pops of color. Lying here on the hotel bed, I yearn to go out and taste more of the city, but I ought to be here when my dad gets back. I also fell behind with my altitude sickness regimen, due to the delay in Miami, so not surprisingly I feel myself in a languorous stupor.

A maid just knocked on the door and offered a basket of cute little pastries. I have no idea what this means – as I’ve had to point out with shame to two people already, I don’t even speak “un poco” of Spanish.  I said, “No, gracias” to the nice pastry lady and closed the door.

Finally decided I had to escape for a bit, and spent a pleasant hour in Parque La Carolina.

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Ran across a jubilant crowd of black-and-yellow clad sports fans, drumming and singing in the permanent grandstands that occupy a long stretch of Av de los Shyris:

And here are the grandstands from the back:

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