To the top of Telefériqo

Trip Start May 05, 2013
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Trip End Nov 06, 2013


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Flag of Ecuador  , Pichincha,
Sunday, May 12, 2013

Waking to blues skies we decided today was the day to take a ride on the Telefériqo, ( cable car) up the slopes of Volcán Pichincha to the peak of Cruz Loma at 4050 metres above sea level. The cable car ride starts at the base station on the lower slopes at 3050m and the ascent, in six person cars, takes 8 mins., which, given the foreigners fare of $8.50, works out at $1 a minute. Expensive by Ecuadorian standards but still a good deal.

Before we get on the cable car we have to pass through VulQano Park, surely one of the highest fun fairs in the world? Upside down in a roller coaster at 3050m? I don't think so! I am not great with heights at the best of times.

Once in the cable car we begin to see the true extent of the size of Quito, a long thin city sandwiched between the two mountain ranges and now creeping up the sides of the mountains. When reaching the top, the difference in altitude is not immediately noticeable, but as we start to walk upwards along the pathways away from the cable car station, we do begin to notice the 1200m difference in altitude from Quito city.

We all slowly along up the ridge passing an enterprising local selling photo opportunities of her llamas to passing tourists for 50 cents a shot. A bit further on there a coral full of horses with there owners selling rides around the mountain. The horses look so miserable we decide to give it a miss. Close to the horses is a ramshackle hut housing a parrillada selling all manner of grilled meat, but, bearing in mind the proximity to the horse corral and the recent horse meat scandal back home in Europe, we decide to forego the delicious aroma of grilling meat and eat when we get back to Quito (plus, the meat and charcoal seemed indistinguishable!)

After a couple of hours we head back into Quito and wander back down through the residential neighbourhoods we passed through on the way up. Even in the residential areas, every fourth building along the main streets seems to be a restaurant. We settle on a small place and are seated at a small table with two other diners, 5 minutes later, another two join us around the VERY small table and we all tuck into the best locro (soup) we have had yet. Followed, by corvina ( Sea Bass) and a dessert of cheese and blackberry. At$ 2.50 one of the best meals we have had to date.

All in all a great day out and a rest from the intensive Spanish lessons. A must do for any open visiting Quito, although bearing mind the altitude at the top, best left for a few days after arrival unless acclimatised.
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Comments

bob kimball on

have fun

Trev Kirby on

Looks like you are making the most of it. Incredible views from that cable car.

Turned TV onto Escape to the Country the other day and it was a repeat of yours. Unfortunately it was nearly finished when I put it on. Was a bit of a surprise though as I had forgotten that you had been on it.

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