Tuesday, Feb. 5
Despite the use of ear plugs I was awake at 7:30 am so I'm very sleep deprived. We took our time having breakfast at the hotel and then set out to explore the La Mariscal district of Quito. Mike feels the effects of altitude right away by just feeling "out of shape". I don't so I must be careful not to overdue it or I will pay later. I can run up the three flights of stair just fine while he's puffing (not normal) but when I stop, I feel my heart racing incredibly fast. It's a weird feeling.
We checked out of the Othello and into the Hilton where the group was to meet later and then set out to explore the historical district of Quito. There's a beautiful park with enough play ground equipment to amuse all ages of kids for hours. It's all up hill and we were careful to take it slow. The plan was to come back to the hotel for a siesta and relax before the meeting.
It's a busy city and we learned quickly that cars have the right of way and will honk if you get in their way. The light rain was annoying but not cold so we just tried to find things to walk under. My map skills really suck so we spent a lot of time lost but you do see a lot that way like the kids playing in the fountain in front of the Mariscal flower sign. :)
The Iglesia Basilica is a beautiful, huge old church with amazing stained glass windows. We climbed the bell tower (slowly, always conscious of the racing heart) and just wandered around it leisurely. By the time we got back to the hotel it was 4:45 so Mike took a quick shower and we went to find the group. We found one. Clare from the UK was sitting in the lobby and we realized the group had already gone to a meeting room in this huge hotel. After several people and trying 3 times we finally located them. There was no mention of dinner together so we just headed to our room. Mike went out and got some snacks but I decided the lunch we'd had at 3ish would do me fine.
Tomorrow we've got an early start as we've got to leave by 6 am which means I've got to get up at 5 if I'm to eat the included breakfast. I'm not missing that! I'm exhausted and hoping to sleep well tonight.