Today was our first full day abroad and we kept it intentionally slow due to lack of sleep and altitude. We got in late (landed at 10:45 local time but felt an hour later) last night and crashed at a hotel near the airport. We were all a bit amused (kids confused too) to discover to get to the hotel the taxi had to go through a hole in the curb between trees to a dirt road. It was somewhat startling after the efficient and highly modern Quito airport and its immediate surroundings which were only a few hundred yards away. We didn’t much feel the altitude there as the airport was intentionally built quite a bit below the city (something like 7800’ vs 9200’).
Our downtown Quito apartment arranged a taxi to pick us up at the airport hotel and let us in at 11am which was great. Our driver was very nice and I quickly realized how terrible my Spanish has gotten! Terrible.
We arrived at our apartment and rested. (After figuring out the WiFi of course) and checking out the view of the basilica from our bedroom! We really started feeling the altitude now though. Short of breath on any exertion and just tired. Nothing terrible and likely will be much better soon!
We then walked to a local grocery store as we will be cooking some of our own meals. I love grocery shopping in other countries it really shows so many cultural norms and differences. Nothing too remarkable at this one besides how little fresh fruit and veg they have (and how little frozen too, actually). After lunch at home and a nap for some of us we took the short walk to the Plaza Grande and the heart of the historic center. Some gorgeous architecture (see below) and some tourists, but mainly not. Then back home for dinner and an early night! We got kids starting in daily journals (part of their schooling) too.
Kids have been troopers if a bit whiny. They’ve never been to a developing country. Though they haven’t much expressed it I think they are a little freaked by the level of “finish”’on things. Everything is a little dirtier, stray dogs here and there (all look well fed) too.