A walk in the park – take 2

This afternoon, I decided to walk to Carolina Park. We passed by this park last Saturday when we took the bus to Otavalo and at the time I was very surprised by the size of the park and by the number of people in it, not to mention all the runners. The park was about ten minutes north of our hostel straight down Rio Amazonas.

La Carolina is a 165.5-acre park in the centre of the Quito main business area, bordered by the avenues Río Amazonas, de los Shyris, Naciones Unidas, Eloy Alfaro, and de la República. This park started from the expropriation of the farm La Carolina in 1939. The design of the park was made by the Dirección Metropolitana de Planificación Territorial (DMPT). Pope John Paul II headed a great mass in the park during his visit to Ecuador in 1985. A giant cross has been built in this place.

I began my walk around 2:30 in the afternoon. The traffic was so heavy you would have thought it was rush hour.  Just crossing an intersection can be tricky business.  Often there is no pedestrian signal.  So you must guess when it is safe to go.  If you’re in someone’s way, they will be sure to honk you.

We have a view of these mountains from our hostel room.

 

 

Within a block of our humble hostel sits this grand J.W. Marriott Hotel.  Quito is a city of contrasts.  As I continued, the area became more and more upscale.  Beautiful condominiums lined the street. The shops were a little classier, and of course, more expensive.

 

 

 

 

Even in this posh neighbourhood, condo prices were downright cheap by Canadian standards.

 

 

 

 

Graffiti is everywhere in Quito.

But notice the bike path – cycling and jogging are very popular here. Every Sunday, Rio Amazonas, a major thoroughfare that runs North – South, is closed to traffic and open to cyclists and runners.  Reminds me of Ottawa.

 

 

A sculpture of a bull in front of a large office tower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon a large, modern shopping mall that would have rivalled any in Canada.  Once inside this three-story shopping Mecca, I could have been anywhere.  It reminded me of both the Eaton Centre in Toronto and Bayshore in Ottawa.  There were many familiar stores in the mall and the prices were equally familiar – no deals in this place.  It made me wonder: who besides tourists could afford such luxuries? And yet, I was the only tourist in sight!  Clearly not all Ecuadorians are earning $300 per month.

 

 

 

 

 

My first impression of the park:  it’s huge and empty.

 

 

 

 

 

Football (soccer) is very popular here.  There was a game on yesterday afternoon and many restaurants in our neighbourhood were advertising the game.  Even our school organized a “field trip” to watch the game somewhere.

 

 

 

The Botanical Gardens are within the park.  Our school has planned an excursion here tomorrow afternoon.  Chris and I have signed up to go.  These excursions cost a few dollars each and students are accompanied by a teacher.

 

 

 

 

 

This beats work any day!

 

 

 

 

A large skate board park, covered in graffiti.

All school children where uniforms.  We have observed so many different colours of uniforms that we are wondering if every school has its own.  Notice the uniforms the girls are wearing in this photo.

 

 

 

A school bus.

Notice how the people are dressed. This is the typical attire I see everywhere – dark jackets, jeans and the young girls wear slouch boots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This area seems to be thriving, with new construction all around.  This building caught my attention as these construction workers were manually hauling rods of metal to the top floor.

 

 

 

 

 

In case you were wondering, gas costs $1.40 per gallon.

The vendor in the foreground is very typical – street vendors are everywhere.  But they are not aggressive.

 

 

 

 

And that’s it for my walk in the park.  Hope you were able to get a sense of the area from the pictures and descriptions.  And I hope I haven’t crashed any computers with all these images on one page.

 

Category: Ecuador, South America
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4 Responses
  1. Marc says:

    Hi Christina and Chris!
    I’ve followed your trek for the past week and I just love what your sending back to us here with such nice pictures and great written details of your travels! I look forward to seeing more of the world through your eyes and words!

    P.S. The book I told you about before you left (Flashback – by Dan Simmons) is pretty good! I’m about halfway through, and I think you’d enjoy it! There are several more titles to chose from this author that are very good as well.

    Take care!
    Marc

    • Christina says:

      Hi Marc,
      Glad you’re enjoying our adventure. I’ve loved every book you’ve recommended to me so far, so I have no doubt I’ll enjoy this one too. I’m going to see if I can get it for my Kindle. Thanks for the positive feedback on the blog. I’m really enjoying myself here in Quito and I love writing about it too. I’ll be happy when my photographer husband is back on his feet again as he takes much better pictures than me.
      Take care,
      Christina

  2. Jessie says:

    Chris,

    I have to say that I am hooked on the blog and reading the posts. It has become a part of my daily routine and I can only say that now that you have me totally captivated, you better not lose any steam in posting :) Remember me, starting work, logging on to the network, and starting up my day by firing up my browser to check for your post :) Absolutely no pressure :)

    Seriously, regardless of how often you write, I am going to be here reading.

    Thanks so much for taking us on this adventure with you!

    Love you both a ton,

    Jess

    • Christina says:

      Hey Jess,
      Glad you’re enjoying the blog…..I can’t promise daily entries, especially when Chris gets back on his feet again, but I will do my best to keep ‘em coming and keep ‘em interesting. I hope my friends and family will tell me when/if I’m too boring or long winded:)

      Honestly, I love having this website to maintain and the posts to write. It fills my need to be productive (I can’t help it, I’m an Adcock, what can I say). I really do love writing and who knows, maybe this will help me to pursue my dream of being a writer one day.

      I so appreciate the positive feedback. In fact I’m quite taken aback by all the great feedback we’re getting. It warms my heart, because the whole reason behind this website was to share our adventure with our friends and family – as a gift to them. So nice to feel so appreciated by everyone :)

      And it helps us feel so connected too. Doesn’t feel like we’re thousands of miles away.

      Looking forward to having you guys catch up with us next year in Europe. That seems too far off to even imagine right now. It’s one day at a time on this adventure!
      Take care, give a big hug and kiss to Maya from auntie,
      Chris