Quito Ecuador. Awoke early, measured light coming through the thin curtain. Quiet. The room was freshly painted white with a yellow accent wall. Simple furniture; minor cultural touches. I got up and looked out the window facing the local street running between “CarpeDM Hostel” and the church I mentioned. Across the street on the third floor balcony of a rustic “Spanish-like” structure with short cement pillars, stood an elderly woman with an apron, who was watering her flowers in the morning light. It was a captivating scene. It could have been of any age. I felt like this was my first exposure to the beauty of Ecuador. I would look out each morning with camera in hand to take her photo—no luck.
After dressing we went to the third floor of the hostel to the small 3 table kitchen area—The length of the room had wall to wall windows. OMG—"La Virgen de El Panecillo" directly ahead of us on the elevated hill overlooking “Old Town”, the historic district of Quito which is in the valley where we were located. This was the second breathtaking view of this country I had in a matter of minutes, especially seeing in the light for the first time the thousands of multi-colored homes and buildings crammed together in all directions. I sat at the window seat to savor the view while at breakfast.
Breakfast was good: fresh, strong Ecuadorian coffee & free breakfast. A cook offered eggs any style. You could have fruits, juices, bread, and yogurt. All had to help out and wash their own dishes. Team work each morning. Good to note that bottled water was available always.
The proprietor of CarpeDM Hostel was an outstanding gentleman. The facilities are top-notch and newer for this area. As well as being informative, he communicated in a calm and friendly manner that relieved the anxiety of our transports and day-trips. I found out later that he also runs CarpeDM Adventures which is discussed in Lonely Planet.
According to Paul, the proprietor, our airport driver an older man owning the large van was actually an owner /general contractor to build our CarpeDM Hostel. The building was started after the ancient façade of an old structure owned by that neighborhood church collapsed. No building while the façade existed. It was supported by wood stations, but one night the stations mysteriously fell, the façade collapsed and cleanup and construction began.
On our second day, the breakfast room was packed. We sat with a couple from Wimbledon, UK. Very friendly. We talked tennis, of course, as the US Open was in full swing. We would leave them only to reconnect in Mindo, the antithesis of Quito.
When we checked out, our proprietor actually walked with us to the taxi stand where his driver was present, joking with us about some imaginary route to our next stop. Thank you.