Landing in Quito was the wildest we’d ever experienced. As the plane descended, pirouetting to make the supposedly toughest landing ever! (as Quito has an altitude of 2820m, nestled at the base of Volcano Pichincha), Jay held on for dear life suspicious of every new sound from the aircraft, while Sandhya couldn’t get enough of this wild ride….she was taking pictures of the stunning landscape below and in same cases at the same level or Mt. Cotopaxi towering above us!

Driving to Joanne’s parent’s house, this was our first glimpse of Mt. Cotopaxi.

Plaza Plaza at centro historico.

Famous church in the city center, burnt many times. The interior is mostly of gold.

After taking the previous photo, we were told that it was prohibited. Sandhya clinched this last one with Jay and Joanne providing cover.

Strong leaning of the youth towards socialism.

Poster for the release of the five Cuban prisoners.

What fun! We found salted nallikai a.k.a groncella a.k.a gooseberries…bringing back childhood memories of over eating these berries marinated in brine.

Youth! Communism! Revolucion! At the Universidad.

Ceramic mural at the Universidad by the famous Oswaldo Guayasamin.

Gordita and Flaquita

The famous fish face!

At the top of Teleferico.

At Mitad Del Mundo. The building behind us housed a beautiful exhibition on the culture of Ecuador. We were stunned by the number of exhibits packed within.

We were told that this remarkable cloud covers the crater of an inactive volcano, where an ethnic group has settled for several years.

Joanne and her people, mas bella!

We love the technique used in making this exhibit; wherein a colored necklace is added to a black and white photograph.

Exhibits at Mitad Del Mundo

At the beginning of our journey to Guallabamba, Cochasqui, San Pablo, Otavalo, Cuicocha, Cuayanmbe and Cotacachi with Joannes famiy. Fourteen of us in a van eating all kinds of new food (for us), chatting, singing, made for a fabulous and endearing experience!

Fruit stall at Guallabambe selling Chirimoya (custard apple), Tomate de Arbol (passion fruit) and plums.

At the entrance to the Cochasqui museum.

The use of section to illustrate the complex profile of the earthenware exhibited.

Chair used by the royalty!

Allison, Joanne's cousin was initially shy but opened up very soon. This kid has incredible energy!