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Quito 4: A Flavorful Farewell

My Cotopaxi adventure behind me, I returned to the hostel in Quito, dusty but exhilarated. A quick shower and a short rest later, I ventured into the hostel's common area, drawn by the enticing smells and sounds of a local cooking class. I was warmly welcomed by a group of locals, eager to share their culinary traditions. They introduced me to Tigrillo, a traditional Ecuadorian dish made with plantains, cheese, eggs, and onions. With their patient guidance and more than a little help, I managed to chop, stir, and sizzle my way to a surprisingly delicious result. I discovered that the warmth of Ecuadorians extends far beyond the food!

Viajero Hostel
Viajero Hostel

As evening fell, the hostel's bartender invited us to a tasting of local liquors. Some were smooth and sweet, while others packed a fiery punch. Many had a distinct anise flavor that I found surprisingly delightful. As more travelers and locals joined in, the tasting turned into a full-blown celebration. Music filled the air, spontaneous dancing erupted, and conversations flowed in a mix of English and my ever-improving Spanish. It was the perfect ending to my time in Quito – a night filled with laughter, the taste of new experiences, and the genuine warmth of its people.

Salut with the warm locals

The next morning, with both a full heart and a slightly heavy stomach from my farewell feast, I started packing. But before leaving, I couldn't resist one last foray into Quito's historic center. I found a cozy spot called San Francisco, a local restaurant where I tucked into a hearty plate of Seco de Pollo – a traditional dish that was both delicious and incredibly filling. It was the perfect way to fuel myself for the journey ahead.

Back at the hostel, I ran into Ingrid, a fellow traveler also heading to the airport. We decided to share a cab, and as we rode along, she regaled me with stories of her Galapagos adventures – swimming with sea turtles, hiking across volcanic landscapes, and encounters with those iconic giant tortoises. Her enthusiasm was infectious, and I added the Galapagos Islands to the top of my "must return to Ecuador" list.

It was a bittersweet moment – the end of my Ecuadorian chapter, but the exciting anticipation of my next destination – Medellín, Colombia. As I boarded the plane, I knew I was leaving a piece of my heart in Ecuador. ¡Hasta pronto!

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