Friday, May 14, 2010

A Walk in the Park

Looking at Pichincha Across Carolina

My day ran away from me, but I had to take advantage of the wonderful sunshine and warmth, so I walked the few steps to Carolina Park and decided to explore each corner, venturing to parts I had not dared visit before. It is a huge park, with alot more in it than I imagined. I walk across the soccer fields and equavolley courts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to bring Maya to and from orchestra, so I am accustomed to seeing a narrow corridor of energetic men and a few women playing in the late afternoon hours. It was earlier when I finally got out of the apartment, and the playing fields were empty, but there was a scattering of people strolling about, having picnics, sitting with friends.

No Morotcycles Allowed

Motorcycle Cops

Motorcycles on Grass

There is a large blue structure with covered seating to view parades and ceremonies on Shyris (where the president and his closest aides sit when participating in an event. I was surprised to see that on the side facing the park, there appeared to be a small office with a man behind a desk and cabinets packed with files behind him. Next door, a women was hanging out clothes to dry and it was evident that her home was under the bleachers. A sign prohibited dogs off leash in the park, but next to the sign, two dogs lay in the shade, perhaps belonging to the woman who lived in the 'Tribunal'. A bit further on there was another sign, this time prohibiting motorcycles, but motorcycles were a frequent sight during my walk.

I headed for the Jardin Botanico, and ran into a science museum, a dinosaur exhibit, a theatre for children, the offices for the park and what looked like a church associated charity taking care of children. I decided not to enter the botanical garden, since I wanted to explore the park further, and found a bicycle obstacle course and a skateboard park as well as a set of pools and canals where paddle boats could be rented. A large airplace is enclosed in a wire fence, perhaps it was once an exhibit, but looks tired and abandoned for now.

Far on the other side of the park along Rio Amazonas, an exhibition facility is used quite regularly (the international bazaar occurred there). There is a child amusement area with small rides for tots, and a concentration of kiosks selling local specialties on the northwest corner, as well as kiosks scattered all over the extent of the park, offering barbecued meat and seafood and ice cream and flavoured ice.

Dinosaur Museum

I saw doves everywhere, which I suppose are like pigeons and considered pests, but they are more beautiful and more graceful than pigeons. There are always rufous collared sparrows and dark birds with orange beaks, as well as the occasional hummingbird. I certainly hear the birds singing each morning and very early they are all one hears, before the traffic begins and drowns out their singing.

Large ugly statues were scattered throughout the park. I like that attention is paid to providing for art in public spaces, but I did not see anything beautiful. Graffiti was limited to the skateboard area. My impression was that the park was well taken care of, and much appreciated.

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