Trying to make up for lost time in resting on Sunday, we tried to pack a bunch into Monday. We never did make it to El Mitad del Mundo (the equator line), but hopefully we will get to it on our way back through Quito.
We went to a neo Gothic cathedral with a ton of stairs, but did not go inside. Then we went to another cathedral, the Iglesia La Compañía. I had read something about it and wanted to see it in person. I have never seen so much gold in my life! Gold leaf covered almost everything! The walls, the ceiling, the statues! It is truly amazing how much money the Catholic Church has accumulated. I took a couple of surreptitious pictures (they don't want you to as they want you to buy the postcards).
After that, we walked around trying to find an almuerzo (lunch special). A man ( who said he had been to California but, oddly, only to all the cities with Spanish saints' names!😏)tried to sell us on a trip guided by his brother to El Mitad del Mundo and, when that didn't work, on Panama hats. Trying to find a good hat, we followed him off the main road to a small, semi-hidden shop that had visions of being mugged racing through my head. Needless to say, we did not buy a hat there.
Then we stopped at a tiny hole-in-the-wall café for our almuerzo. No gringos and no English spoken. The food was good and only $2.25 each for soup, main course, juice and banana. However, ordering was an adventure. The waitress offered several types of soups, including meat, fish and cheese. Three of us ordered meat and one cheese. The soups ( I identified Lima beans, potatoes and cilantro) came out, sprinkled with cheese, but with no evidence of meat except for Frank's, which had fish(?). After that ordering fiasco, I just ordered chicken for all of our main dishes and let the waitress choose the juice. Dad was upset, because he wanted meat, but I wasn't willing to risk it! The juice (mango) came, and then the meal. Rice, chicken, fried plantain, and a bit of tomato/cucumber salad. It was delicious!
We finished eating and then caught the bus. We debated going to the equator line, but it was getting late and everyone was starting to get tired, so my parents went back to the hotel to rest.
Frank and I went to the Botanical Gardens. By this time, it was becoming overcast and we were pretty sure it would rain soon, but we took a chance. The gardens were lovely. Gorgeous flowers and the cutest little bonsai garden. It started to rain a little as we were going through the Prehistoric Gardens. Then we found the hothouses. As we explored the carnivorous exhibit, it rained harder,and, by the time we got to the orchids, there was a full thunderstorm raging. But we had a great time! A newly wedded couple, in all their formal finery, were also inside- having pictures taken in beautiful surroundings despite the rain.
When we had waited out the rain and gotten some hot chocolate at the snack stand, we made our way out of the park and to the main road where we caught a cab back to our hotel.(only $2.50! 😃)
I'm a Certified Massage Therapist, a book lover, a happy wife, a teacher, and a fiber arts specialist. Oh, and I may be moving to Ecuador!