After years of research, a ten-day exploratory trip to Ecuador in 2009, much soul searching and prayer, and the months long terrifying yet liberating experience of giving away and selling virtually all of our household goods and possessions, on December 11, 2011 Mary and I boarded a plane in Cleveland, Ohio to fly first to Houston where we met up with our friends, Jan and Wayne, and then on to Quito, Ecuador to begin our Ecuadorian adventure!
Goodby Ohio Winters!
Quito is situated very high in the Andes and because the air is so thin there and the runways are comparatively short, planes must land in the night when the air is cooler and denser. So it was after mid-night when we arrived at our hotel in Quito, the Stubel Suites. It was not until the next morning that we were able to appreciate the views from the hotel of the surrounding city and mountainsides.
We spent two days being tourist visiting sites like The Mitad del Mundo (middle of the world) at the equator, Old Town Quito where we saw several cathedrals and buildings showing off the Spanish architecture. We also ate at a quaint restaurant on the third floor of a building with a courtyard. It was there that Mary fell in love with Ecuadorian sopa de papa (potato soup) complete with queso blanca and aguacate (white cheese and avocado).
On December 14th we rode in a van down the side of the Andes, through the cloud forest area and into the coastal plains on our way to San Clemente. In just five or six hours we went through three distinct climate zones and dropped over 9,000 feet from the cool early spring-like Quito weather to the pleasant summer beach weather of our new home.
- Our first Sunset in San Clemente, Ecuador