At the moment I’m totally exhausted,siting at the table while a small black dog is scratching at the window facing the garden….( I need to get on with what’s been happening before the cook tries to sell me some type of Ecuadorean Avon … its too late.. i have a weakness for samples ..any way.. Quito..)
So Quito was initially a city mainly inhabited by the Quitus an indigenous tribe, [the cities namesake] After years of war with, the ever-expanding Incan empire , Led by emperor Tupac, The Quitus decided to form a marriage alliance between Tupac and a Quitenio princess , prince Atawalpa Was the result, and Quito became part of the Incan empire at least until Tupac died and divided his masive empire between his first son the Incan prince of Cuzco —- and Atawalpa… Well like most older siblings —- did not want to share and war raged on, and finally— betrayed his bother to the Spanish, not wanting to pass up a chance to colonize the Spaniard conquistadors, executed Atawalpa, and built their colonial Grid system on the foundation of the captured Incan city.
Today modern-day Quito ( the official capital of Ecuador) boasts a population of 2.3 million and growing, largely in part to the heavy influx of Colombian migrant workers and ,surprisingly a strong Haitian population (Pr. Correa offered asylum after the massive earthquake), Quito continues to be a mix of old , new, and ever evolving traditions.
So… upon arriving at the , international airport ( 30 min from Manta) Rocky, Willie ,and myself are met by Liz and David (they’re basically the Quito office for Bethel Coach Tours) , now Liz is Ecuadorean by birth and David hailed from Wisconsin, USA, initially, [however] after five minutes in the car , I realize he has become a true Ecuadorian ; switching lanes like a NASCAR driver , ignoring the lane dividers and keeping the little Chevy Vitara in 5th as much a humanly possible… For good reason we need to be at Liz’s mothers in time for lunch.
Lunch on Monday is a savory almuerzo of Caldo de Reyes , basil chicken with rice and strawberries in cream, dinner is fire roasted chicken skewers and chocklo in chimichuri sauce with something that basically looks like cracklings all over it potatoes and Lima beans are served in a similar fashion as chips and salsa (if this sounds nasty good … It was
Tuesday was a parade of colors for breakfast papaya /banana /scrambled eggs sat next to my espresso and fresh squeezed orange juice,and fresh bread with marmalade , Lunch was a puree of plantain soup fresh cheese and chicken in mushroom sauce with fresh juice of course…. By this point I could see why David and Liz came here, and I was beginning to wonder if I would go back, yes we all worked , errands were run , chores were done but every meal was a family meal eaten together and in spite of how much I’m eating, I’m still losing weight (the food is fresh and life is good)
Wednesday was a trip to the center of the world (well at least the center of the world monument and the real geographical monument) now the world monument is housed in an artisan type city representing the different areas and indigenous groups that give Ecuador its unique flavor but I need to wrap it up for now. Tomorrow is Otavalo and Cotopaxi which means blankets and boots…. Do I really need to explain myself?
Until tomorrow kidos—-pj