Too many hours scrubbing walls and carpets and sofas today. When I was finally satisfied, Maya celebrated with an ice cream at Corfu, and a walk around Carolina Park in the glorious sunshine. We took the Ecovia to Alameda Park, where Maya and I decided to try the paddle boats in artificial canal, and Maya did a remarkable job navigating and steering us along the route in the thirty minute allotted time. It was hard work!
Maya was not thrilled to be back in the Centro Historico, complaining that she had seen all there was to see, and of course I had seen even more, but I wanted fresh air and a walk, and there is no better place to stroll than in the centre, where one always encounters something new and different. And today the church of Carmen Alto was open for the first time (I have walked by dozens of times and the grand doors are always closed. There is usually access to the convent where one can buy items produced by the nuns through a window next door to the church. When I saw the church door ajar, I could not pass without checking. It was empty but for a priest sitting quietly next to the altar. It is a small and simple church, with the usual baroque gold altars and statues, but with a measure of lightness compared to other similar churches. Later we found the doors to Carmen Bajo open; the church had been under renovation for most of the year that we have been here, and now the altars and art are gradually being replaced. I felt lucky that we were able to see these two structures that have been closed to us in the past.
Open Doors at Carmen Alto
I remember that we had been to the Museo de la Ciudad the first week we arrived in Quito. It was fitting that we return for a visit today. The museum outlines the story of the establishment and development of the city since the arrival of the Spaniards.
We strolled through the centro and caught the Ecovia home just in time to go through the apartment with the owner and the landlady. I thought everything looked great, and was surprised and disappointed that I was asked to have the place painted by the time I leave next week. I am now scrambling to find someone reasonable for the job. I wonder if we are being taken advantage of (I asked Patti, the dueña of the gym downstairs, and she was the one who suggested that) and I feel burdened by having to arrange for the job immediately. I had hoped that now Maya and I could relax and enjoy our last few days in Quito. Perhaps everything was going too well for us, and there had to be a glitch, and this is it, but it is not too insurmountable a task.