When I explore a new country, I like to get to know the music. So early this morning I Googled my way to the music of Fausto Mino and bought his most recent album, Solitario Corazon. Fausto is 35, born in Ecuador, and his singing pumps me up for the month ahead roaming this amazing country. I am beginning to understand Fausto’s lyrics enough to know he sings a lot about matters of the heart.
We ventured forth into Quito this afternoon by taxi, looking for Hasta la Vuelta Senor, a restaurant recommended by the flawless front desk at Hotel Reina Isabel. It took about 20 minutes to reach the Plaza Grande and another half hour to locate the eatery on the third floor of an indoor shopping edifice more like a colonial mansion than a mall. I first asked one of six policemen seated on tall horses, and he pointed to a pair of his fellow officers on foot, across the plaza. One of them pointed us toward the restaurant, but before we left he asked all three of us to fill out a sign-in sheet on a clipboard. It asked where we were from and a few other non-invasive questions, plus our signatures. Proof of assisting tourists? If so, I was glad to oblige.
The restaurant was terrific, with a pleasing view from the third floor looking down to the entire galleria. Afterward we wandered without goals until Darlene and Deb struck gold at Boutique De Adornos. I wasn’t impressed at first, as I examined little May basket items containing brides and grooms tied together with golden ribbon. But further into the store, Darlene and Deb discovered fabric and ribbons galore that will figure in future artwork. I helped out with minor translation duties, but they made out just fine speaking the international language of love for fiber.
Our Overseas Adventure Travel tour begins tomorrow with a return to the Plaza Grande in the company of our guide, Juan, and 10 other guests. I will bring Fausto Minio with me in earbuds as we snake our way through this old city of color and bustle, nestled in a valley of the Andes.