Ecuador Andes – these guys were great

This group was playing at Parque La Carolina when we were in Quito.  I like the pan flute but these guys did not do the standard stuff you hear they did their own take on Andes Music with a young contemporary approach.  We watched them perform for almost an hour they were very entertaining.

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Back to Quito to finalize our residency

On May 16, our attorney had us come back to Quito to complete the final phase of our residency.  We spent another few weeks taking in the beauty of this great city especially the area surrounding Parque La Carolina.  Our stay at Finlandia Hotel was exceptional, everything was perfect even though they were in the process of adding a 4th story to the building and we were on the third floor.

We again got to eat out at some of my new favorite restaurants including a great place for steak La Barcarola located in Plaza Kendo (Av. República El
Salvador y Portugal).- under the owner, Oswaldo Martinez’s tutelage we were made the most tender perfectly cooked steak with a spicy red and green pepper sauce it was to die for. We actually went back three times in total to feast on this excellent meal. The waiter/bartender was a Cuban born genius with his version of a Mojito Cubano.

We found a bakery that made the most decadent pastries filled with Chantilly cream and tarts with an assortment of berries. They also had flautes (french breads) and sold different cheeses cut from huge wheels of brie, cheddar or the Holland cheese they love so much here.  We would pick up a loaf of bread, a sweet tart and a few slices of brie, walk next door to the fruit market and buy a box of raspberries or Joe’s favorites the Uvilla, pick up two bottles of Lemonada Natural and have ourselves a picnic in the park – the weather was beautiful a bit crisp when the sun went behind a cloud but just beautiful for an impromptu picnic.

Police presence - Parque La Carolina

Police presence - Parque La Carolina

We walked the park each day in search of encebollado which is a fish soup made with tons of onions – what a treat it is served with a bowl of popcorn and plantain chips and aji sauce.  Or the choclo cart with it’s over sized kernelled corn on the cob that they coat with a queso fresco or even better an avocado  sauce that made your mouth leap with joy.

Joe enjoying his first bowl of encebellado May 24, Parque La Carolina

Joe enjoying his first bowl of encebellado May 24, Parque La Carolina

We left Quito on June 1st after receiving our resident cards, censo and our stamped passports.  We are now legal residents of Ecuador.  Hi Ho– Hi Ho it’s off to the beach we go… to find a home for Joe and I,  Hi Ho — Hi Ho!

Arrived in Ecuador

On March 17th after living in a hotel in David, Panama for almost three weeks we finally flew to San Jose, Costa Rica and then on to Quito, Ecuador.  Upon landing we found the city of Quito to be fascinating.

Welcome to Quito

Welcome to Quito

What we saw first was how beautiful the weather was it had just rained and the air was cool and not humid at all.  We had lived with constant high humidity for the past several years so this was a real change for us.  Our hotel picked us up for our short ride to the Parque La Carolina area of Quito.

Parque La Carolina, Quito, Ecuador

Parque La Carolina, Quito, Ecuador

This area was just lovely, a nice big park that has soccer fields, jogging and running tracks, a paddle boat pond, botanical garden, biking, roller blading and skateboard tracks, aerobics on the weekends, food vendors. The park has soccer fields, jogging and running tracks, skateboard, bike and inline skate tracks, a pond with paddle boats, a botanical garden, vendors with food and drinks as well as aerobics on the weekends and other special events.

Quito, Parque La Carolina Botanical Garden

Quito, Parque La Carolina Botanical Garden

It is  surrounded by apartment buildings similar to a NYC residential area — shopping, restaurants and stores on the lower floors with office and residential on the upper floors.  We could not get enough of this area, shopping was incredible with four malls within walking distance of our hotel.  We found Japanese, Thai, Italian as well as Ecuadorian restaurants.

Parque La Carolina

Parque La Carolina - Site of Pope John Paul II visit in the 80's

Quito is a very metropolitan city with so much to offer.  We spent the next two weeks traveling the areas around the city from the Old Town with it’s beautiful historic buildings, museums, churches and the Presidential Palace, to “La Mariscal” the new section with trendy places to stay, shop and eat.

Old Town, Quito - Presidential Palace

Old Town, Quito - Presidential Palace

There is also an artisan mall that covers almost an entire block filled with Ecuadorian treasures from Alpaca blankets and shawls to silver jewelry and Panama hats.

We found the area around Parque La Carolina to be very safe and quiet.  We had heard the stories about being attacked and robbed but we used caution and did not walk around at night.  Most of our travels were during the day, we used marked cabs and were aware of our surroundings.  I purchased one of the locally made small bags and wore it between Joe and I when I was out.

Our first appointment was scheduled for early the next week with our attorney.  She turned out to be the best find in our planning and preparations for our move.  With two apostilled documents and a one page application with maybe 8 questions on it we were in and out of her office in 30 minutes.  Within a few days we had our passports back with our 6 month visa and were happily on our way down the coast.