Ecuador 2006:  The Andean Highlands

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Hare Krishnas chanting on Avenida Venezuela as we walk towards La Compañía.

A doorman in the old town of Quito.

  Children racing up to the 400 year old Palacio Presidencial in the Plaza de la Independencia in Quito.

The Infamous Street Vendor Posse.

We asked if we could take their picture. They said yes.  We took the picture. Several demanded that we purchase things from ALL of them.  Lorenzo and I purchased candy bars from two of them.  They were not satisfied.  Two grabbed my camera bag and pulled.  I yanked back, prying their fingers off, and promptly left, one of them yelling out "¡Ladrón (thief)!" as we made our way down the stairs.

We brave marauding gangs of Andean street vendors just to bring you these pictures.


Street musicians of Quito.

La Compañía, considered a masterwork of Ecuadorian Baroque, Arabic, and indigenous decor, and covered in beautiful gold-leaf.  Absolutely stunning, it's often considered the most beautiful church in all of South America.  It's certainly the most beautiful I've ever seen on the continent. 

Tragically, photographs were not allowed inside, so you will simply have to take my word that it's all that and a bag o' chips.

Or better yet, go there yourself.



41m La Virgen atop El Panecillo in twilight.

The magnificent La Basílica lit up at night.

  La Virgen de Quito.  The silver, serpent-stomping virgin raises her hand in benediction over Quito.

On the deck of La Virgen in Quito.



We flew south to Cuenca, which at 2530m is noticeably lower in elevation than Quito .  This is a picture of one of the houses in El Barranco, hanging off the cliff above Río Tomebamba.  There are far nicer houses than this, but something about the higgledy-piggedy nature of this house really appealed to me.

We stayed in Cuenca for five days, absolutely loving the beautiful colonial city.  Our stay was made even more pleasant by the wonderful people at Hostal Todos Santos, a place I highly recommend for both their service and comfort and nice hot showers.


Cuenca flower market with Catedral de la Immaculada Concepción towering in the background.



One of the lovely windows along Avenida Malo in Cuenca.

That very same lovely window with a view of the textile vendors below.

 The flower market in Cuenca.

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