About 3 months ago (during my summer vacation), my mother came to Peru and we had the opportunity to travel to Quito, Ecuador! We went on a 4 day trip and had booked a horseback riding excursion for 2 days in a volcanic crater! Talk about amazing, right!?!
We started out with our first day in Quito. We were able to walk around in the many shops and we went into a lot of different churches. We pretty much walked around all day and stumbled upon the Calle La Ronda, which is an old brick street with colonial-looking building on both sides of the narrow street. At night, there are games sprawled out on the street, music and lots of restaurants open for business…which happens to be mostly tourists. We went to La Ronda during the day so there wasn’t much open which is a shame! Also, the whole time we were in Quito there was rain, so I’m sure the games and things would not have been going on due to the weather.
The real highlight of our trip was going on a horseback riding adventure for 2 days in a volcanic crater! This is one of 2 craters in the world that are inhabited. It’s called the National Reserve Pululahua or the Green Volcano Valley. The valley is about an hour or so ride out of Quito, but it was a nice ride and we arrived at the ranch safely and excited! We got paired with our horses and began our trip riding around the forest of the crater. It was a little weird being back on a horse since I hadn’t done it in forever, but it was really nice. Just being out in nature for a quiet couple of days was nice. We stopped and ate at a hostel and we were served a Tortilla Espanola…which is awesome. Basically, it’s a potato tortilla. We continued riding until about 5pm and then my mom and I headed to the neighbor’s house and that’s where we ended up staying for the night. The neighbor is a man from the Czech Republic. It was super awkward staying in this guy’s house, but our tour guides came over to eat dinner with us and the leader of the group stayed in the house as well. It wasn’t so bad after we got over the awkward phase, but it was interesting. It was a nice way to warm up after being rained on during our riding trip.
The next morning it was just my mom and I with the tour guide riding once again, but this time making our way further down into the crater, to the more tropical region. The amount of plants, trees, and flowers was amazing. There were trees that appeared to have silver leaves, which is really just a play on the light reflecting off of the surface, but it was really cool! We reached a spot where we were in the middle of the two mountains and there was a field which was stripped and leveled. This means that once ago a civilization was founded here. Most likely these were a pre-Incan society who had found a home in this volcanic crater. Pretty cool, huh? I had an awesome time riding the horses! I love going pretty fast on them…it’s like I’m flying! Anyways, the trip was pretty amazing and pictures cannot do it justice.
The last day in Quito we made our way to the infamous Mitad Del Mundo mark! We are in the center of Earth!!! Then of course, we had to go back to the markets just one more time and make sure we get all the little souvenirs we wanted. It was a little weird for me to be thinking in dollars once more. I can only imagine how terrible that’s going to be when I return! Everything is going to be so expensive! No more $1.50 lunches.