No Mosquitoes in Quito

Nestled at 9,350 feet on the slope of an active volcano, Quito is our first stop in a three-city tour of Ecuador. Not to worry. The volcano last erupted in 2002 and seems quiet at the moment.

Quito is an old city, established by the Spanish in 1534 on the ruins of an ancient Inca city. We’re camped out, along with Flat Stanley, in the old colonial city center.


Our spacious apartment is in the orange building pictured above. Flat Stanley spotted it right away, can you?

No Longino foray outside the USA is complete without visiting at least one of the local churches. Blame France. My visits to that cathedral-filled country got me interested in the Catholic iconography and the architecture of cathedrals/churches. San Sebastian’s, a local church, here in Quito didn’t disappoint.


We meandered over to the Grand Plaza earlier today and stumbled upon a grand ceremony at the presidential palace. Quito is Ecuador’s capitol.


The changing of the guard was an impressive ritual, attended today by the former and current presidents of the country.

The popular Rafael Correra is the current president (perhaps best known by Americans for providing sanctuary to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange) standing front and center with his predecessor seated behind him slightly to the left.

We didn’t stick around for all of the pomp and circumstance, but made our way back to the apartment for an afternoon nap. Flat Stanley pointed out that while there are no mosquitoes in Quito, there’s also a decided lack of oxygen at this high altitude. Even he feels a little thin.

We’re all trying to acclimate — negotiating headaches and fatigue after logging just four miles this morning. Later this afternoon — we’ll be taking a bus tour!

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