Some friends and I have gone out looking for geocaches in Quito the last two Sundays. There are about 20-30 here, which is a small number considering the size of the city, but the activity hasn't quite caught on here yet. (If you missed my first post on geocaching, here: http://simplyontherun.blogspot.com/2012/10/geocaching-dc-without-gps.html.) Anyway, most of them are in one of the best places in Quito: Parque Metropolitano. There are a few in another awesome park near me as well (Parque Itchimbia) and maybe one or two just outside of the city. My friends and I don't have GPS devices, so it was a bit of a ridiculous task since both of these parks are huge. But, we found two out of the five we looked for!
My friend Danielle (also an English teacher here) and I looked for a cache near Guapulo as well--which is a beautiful neighborhood at the edge of the city, with an old church and narrow, steep cobblestone streets. But we were unsuccessful. Unless you consider a nice walk and some delicious ice cream successful, which I do, actually. So never mind.
Also, I should mention here that parks in Quito are one of the best things about the city. They are huge, and in the case of Metropolitano and Itchimbia, almost impossible to learn because of how many different trails there are. I like to go for runs at Itchimbia because I can get above the pollution and get lost in some trees while enjoying an incredible view of the city below me. On the weekends, they are almost always full of families having barbecues, flying kites, and playing soccer. There are also playgrounds for adults! And by that I mean, a ton of exercise equipment and workout type areas within the park.
Anyway, both days were huge successes. Last weekend at Metropolitano, we made our way to a forgotten edge of the park to find a small cache hidden in a hole in a brick wall. Then, we ate cookies, played frisbee, and even met a guy who was slacklining who let us jump on his line for a bit.
|Dan (hostel owner and fellow Idahoan) looking in the wrong section of wall.|
|The right section of wall!|
|There she is.|
|My first find in Ecuador!|
This Sunday, we went to Itchimbia and made a day of it with a picnic blanket, some mimosas, and a frisbee. We walked all along the perimeter of the park looking for one cache to no avail, but Dan found his first without much problem not too long after we got there.
|The cache was hidden down inside this tree.|
|Dan showing off his first cache.|
|Pretty flower near the cache.|
|View of the south of the city, looking for the other cache.|
|View from the top of Guapulo.|