Posts Tagged With: Cable car

Day 32/164: Rest Day in Quito

A month since we left Cartagena today! I decided not to weigh myself before I left, as I knew I would not like the result (plus I was worried the scales might say “Only one person at a time”) but I did my measurements, and decided I would re do these measurements each month. Today is the day! So out with the tape measure. And what my clothes have been telling me is confirmed, I have less of me to drag up those hills than I did a month ago 😀
Stomach (fattest part) – down 10 centimetres
Bust down – 4 centimetres
Thighs – down 3 centimetres
Hips – down 7 centimetres
Waist – did not originally measure, but have measured this month.

I went to sleep at 8:30pm last night but did not sleep well. I skyped with Shellbe at 4am and then never got back to sleep. Shellbe is in Bangkok for two more days before she goes to Sri Lanka to volunteer for a month (Editors note: this blog is from 11 August, so Shellbe was well out of Bangkok before the bomb attack). It was good to catch up with her news. I skyped Lizzy yesterday and got to catch up with her and talk to Lucy also. Lizzy was minding Lucy as Kelly was at work. I did not get to talk to Xavier (Jig) as he was at day care. Shellbe told me that when she skyped Lizzy and Lucy, Lizzy asked Lucy where Aunty Shellbe was. Previously Lucy had said Shellbe was in Asia and Gran was in South America. Today she looked at Lizzy like she was a halfwit for asking the question, and said “Aunty Shellbe is in the iPad, with Gran!”.

Today was glue hunting and tourist activity.

The Plan is to go Quito old town, Plaza Grande and the various historic buildings in those. Plus the cable car – Teleferico – which goes up to 4,050 meters. Quito has a population of 2.671 million, and is the second most populated city in Ecuador.

I decided not to have breakfast at the hotel. Sue was feeling a bit better so decided to join me on the tourist tour. First of all we caught a taxi up to the entrance to the Teleferico. Once we got dropped off we had to walk up about 5 minutes to the ticket office. Then waiting in line for a cable car – 6 people per car. The ride up took about 15 minutes and certainly was steep.

Inside the Teleferrico looking down

Inside the Teleferrico looking down

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The cable car going up the hill

Looking down at the city (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

Looking down at the city (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

When we got to the top we had a drink and something to eat, and walked around. Given that we were at 4,050 meters I found walking up any of the steps a challenge. Sue however does not suffer at all from altitude sickness and zoomed up the path (luckily not all the way, as we found out afterwards it went for 5 hours). I found a nice rock in the sun and sat and waited for her to return. There was a man selling small toys and Ecuadorian music which was really good so I bought a CD.

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At the top, view of the city

Volcanoe in distance top of the Teleferrico

Volcano in distance

Sue coming down from the walk

Sue coming down from the walk

Me up at the top

Me up at the top

Another view from Teleferrico cable car

Another view from the cable car

We then went back down again and caught a taxi to Plaza Grande. The traffic was pretty full on and the taxi driver took a number of side streets. Some were quite steep so I ended up feeling a bit carsick.

Plaza Grande Quito (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

Plaza Grande Quito (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

Plaza ground square

Plaza ground square

Policia on horses

Policia on horses

In the square we saw a line of shoe cleaners. There were two small boys, aged about 10, in the square who said for a dollar I could take a photo of them. I declined the offer but appreciated the initiative and gave them both a dollar each (this turned their frowns, when I said no, into delighted smiles).

Shoe shining in Plaza Grande Square

Shoe shining in Plaza Grande Square

View of houses from Plaza Grande Square

View of houses from Plaza Grande Square

We went into Catedral Primada De Quito. The order was founded in 1535 but the original building was demolished in 1545 and this building bulit. It houses an important collection of art, paintings and sculptures, but you are not allowed to take any photos.

catedral Primada de Quito

Catedral Primada de Quito

Policia on segways

Policia on segways

We also saw from the outside, but did not go into, a beautiful church called Basilica Del Voto Nacional.

The church in the background is Basilica Del Voto Nacional

The church in the background is Basilica Del Voto Nacional

Sue was feeling a bit unwell due to the antihistamine so we went back to the hotel. I had a nap, downloaded some photos, and packed my bags again ready to depart the next day. A small group of us went out to the same restaurant as the first night in Quito. My gastronomy seemed better so I had pork spare ribs (yum) and red wine. Some of us never learn!  I went back to the hotel for an early night.

When I got back I saw the white board – Quito to Papallacta: 64 kilometres. This sounded ok but we are already at 2,820 metres, and we would be riding up to 4050 metres (I can’t even climb up steps at 2,820) . I have not been taking altitude sickness medication as I had been told we don’t need it again until Peru!

Categories: Ecuador, South American Epic | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 18/164: Rest Day Two in Bogota – The tourist!

Bogota has a population of nearly 8 million people. With the surrounding towns this goes up to 10 million. Bogota is amongst the 25 largest cities in the world, and is situated 2,640 meters above sea level. Also it is the second highest city for elevation in South America (highest is Quito).We have approximately two more weeks in Colombia before we cross into Ecuador.

Before going off onto tourist activity we needed to go to the laundry (lavanderia) to pick up our laundry.  The bike clothes certainly look better having been washed at a laundry rather than in a sink.

Sue and I got a taxi to take us to the cable car to go up to the Monserrate monastery, at 3,152 metres above sea level. The ride with up in the cable car takes about 5 minutes and is pretty steep.

The cable car station (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

The cable car station (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

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The cable car to take us up to Monserrate

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View of the city from the cable car

Not a fan of heights, so gripping on tight (Photo and caption credit: Sue's blog)

Not a fan of heights, so gripping on tight (Photo and caption credit: Sue’s blog)

We had decided beforehand to have lunch up there. When we got up there the first restaurant we went to was a fine dining French restaurant. We thought what the heck, tomorrow it is dirt roads and sandwiches, so we sat down to a delicious  meal.

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The French restaurant we went to on the left

The French restaurant at the top of the cable car at Monserrate

The French restaurant at the top of the cable car

Kaye and Sue at lucnh You can't see in this photo as it was raining but about 5 minutes later the mist cleared and we had a glorious view of the city

Sue and I at lunch
You can’t see in this photo as it was raining but about 5 minutes later the mist cleared and we had a glorious view of the city

We had French onion soup, and salmon. Sue had flambéed bananas for desert and I had creme brûlée – yum. We had a half bottle of sav blanc to go with it. Plus coffee. The cost was 125 pesos each, which is about 65 NZ 😀

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With my delicious salmon meal (Photo credit: Sue’s camera)

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The waiter about to flambé Sue’s banana desert at the restaurant

We then walked around the monastery for a while.

the monsastry

The monastery

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View of city from Monserrate monastery

Overlooking Bogota (Photo credit: Sue's blog)

Overlooking Bogota (Photo credit: Sue’s blog)

We had to go to the toilets (banos) which costs 500 pesos and you get your own individual packet of toilet paper!

Sue with the little packet of toilet paper

Sue with the little packet of toilet paper

We then caught the cable car back down and jumped in a cab to go to Bolívar Square which is part of the historical old town. However there was a protest going on and the first few roads were closed by policia. The taxi dropped us off as close as possible.

View of Bolivar square

View of Bolivar square

In the square you could buy corn and feed it to the pigeons, and they will eat it out of your hand. We wandered back to the hotel looking at all the street stalls. We came across Rhonda coming out of the French bakery. I was looking at the cakes. There were some amazing looking little cheese cakes. Cheese cakes always make me think of my daughter Tracey, who loves cheese cake.

The little cheese cakes made me think of my daughter Tracey

The little cheese cakes made me think of my daughter Tracey

Back to the hotel to download photos from the camera, then out for a quick small meal as I was still pretty full. Back to the hotel to catch up with the blog, pack, and get ready for another 6 days riding – and take one more hot shower.

We have to be downstairs with our bags by 5:30 am tomorrow, so a 4:45am start.

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A cat having a snack at the bottom of the cable car

Categories: Columbia, South American Epic, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments