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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hair of the Dog of Old Quito

Gothic basilica from a street in the Old City

We are now in Otavalo having broken the slough of infirmity and confinement, first in the hospital and then in the confined comfort and cordon bleu beefsteaks and breakfast buffets of l'Auberge, where I could only move on the ground floor and couldn't in my current condition get out the door.

Altar of the church in the first image above

Yesterday was Monday and it was time to get a taxi across Quito and make a police report. We have had experience of this before making a complaint about a bus theft in Thailand and found the Thai Tourist Police to be an enclave in the most unapproachable suburbs f Bangkok set up primarily to accuse the victims of misrepresenting their claims, as well demanding all statements be translated into Thai script and verified before an acknowledgment could be forthcoming. In the end we had to grab the reports, jam the half prepared documents ourselves into their photocopier and run down the back stairs from the building in fear of imminent arrest.

Traditional hair knot

The situation in Quito was different but recognizable. Having waited for the one legitimate Tourist Police Office to open we arrive by taxi to find three flights of stairs I have to climb in crutches to arrive at an office where a young police officer who seemed barely able to read Spanish given the time it took him prong over a few paragraphs we had translated and back translated to ensure clear expression, gave us duplicate forms to tick boxes and in a friendly manner duly stamped our forms and returned us a signed copy for insurance.

Traditional clothing and hat

The it was back to the Hostel to pack and get Taxis Lagos to Otavalo to avoid having to get a taxi to the Northern bus station wade through the crowds and try to get a ticket on a bus to Otavalo.

Plaza de la Independencia

But before we leave we need to get back what was stolen and that is the images of Quito we actuall saw on our walk around the old city, so what I have done is surf the net for images as close as possible to those we actually shot on three themes, the streets and buildings, the churches and traditional attire.

Here is a bit of a gallery that reflects what we did see.

Ornate church front

The redemptor el Pancillo from a distance

The gothic basilica

with rich stained glass windows

el Pancillo closer

Piety before the altar

The plaza and government building where Hilary Clinton was meeting Raffael Correia
was filled with riot police like those below except with crash helmets.

Andean peaks above Quito bristling with transmission aerials

The steep alleyways heading up the hillside from the old city

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