Quito Colonial Chatter Mitad del Mes newsletter brings you the latest news and additions to Quito-Colonial website.

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Changes in my Website

My page on Our Lady of Good Success at the Conceptionist page has been updated.

Also, keep an eye out for more dining info.

Around Quito

Time flies when you're at your favoritest place on the planet. From December 30 through February 9, I trekked the streets of colonial Quito searching for the new and unusual... taking a brief break to Cuenca - a smaller city a very short flight south of Quito - on New Year's Day and a day.

I love the river at Cuenca so close to the colonial area, so I stayed nearby.

In Quito in the early evening on the Feast of the Three Kings, January 6, I first heard the drumbeat beckoning me to come to my balcony and watch the procession... what a pleasant surprise!

Bands from local schools led the three sets of the Holy Family complete with angels coming down Garcia Moreno from the Basilica.

Roses in Quito now sell 6 for $1 or $2 a dozen. Food prices rose also.

El Condado Centro Comercial, the new mall at Calle Prensa and Mariscal by Mitad del Mundo treated me to a spectacular view from the food court on the third floor.

The first sign indicating you've arrived is on the glass door as you enter. That's why you need to pay attention to the street names!

Long ride from San Blas area in the Amazonas bus - transferring to Mitad del Mundo bus at El Jardin Shopping Mall - but the whole trip costs 50 cents... 48 cents for those of tercer edad (senior citizens). It takes a good hour and a half to arrive.

On the way back, I met a 79-year-old lady who was glowingly showing me the velcro shoes she bought at "peles" (Payless Shoes) at the mall.

Tourism in Ecuador

The procession from Christmas to the Feast of the Three Kings that passes by the Cuenca Catedral between 9:30 and 10:00 AM is a mini with the Divino Nino of Bogota (in pink). A shrine in His honor in Bogota, Colombia brings pilgrimages of its own.

The Christmas Eve procession carries the miraculous statue later set up high above the front altar of Carmen Alto.

In Cuenca, I recommend Hotel El Dorado at approximately $70 a night. I dined at the restaurant - open on New Year's Day - on a succulent dish of salmon in mango sauce.

The Eucalyptus Cafe a block or two down the street - where the expats meet - isn't always open... so I couldn't check out the food.

I tried out a $6 a night hostel on Calle Larga one night, Turista Todo El Mundo... very clean. The hostess, Esperanza, excelled in charisma. I got a room with a bed, a table and 3 hooks to hang clothes... good lock on the door. Bathroom was next door.

Great for one night.

The Santa Lucia Hotel Cafe that I discovered on my way to church served a great buffet breakfast... for about $7.

The Dollar Tree charged me $3 for a powdered (probably Swiss chocolate) drink. The powder wasn't even mixed right for me.

400th Year - Our Lady of Good Success

From the evening they brought out the miraculous statue, the 22nd of January, to when they took it down on the evening of February 3. the faithful kept coming to leave their petitions.

On her feast, the Feast of the Purification, even the weather from 4AM through the whole day was awesome. Here in the US, blizzards and what-have-you prevailed... some would call it the worst possible weather. Purity and humility are required of us. I think God made that clear.

Thousands attended from all around the planet. Suddenly the enormous church was too small. But everyone fit outdoors for the rosario del aurora (rosary of the dawn)... one of the rare days the Iglesia de Las Concepcionistas is open all day or any time other than Mass time.

Tour Guide

Angel, of Quinde Adventures made it to the beginning of the Rosario del Aurora. He has a sister by the name of Aurora.

Then he had to leave to take a tour for several days.

Contact him now to give him your dates and find out his rates.