Mike: Our last day in La Hesperia was a Saturday. After lunch we gathered our stuff and make the long, hard walk down the hill with all our bags. At the bottom we flag down a bus and chucked our stuff inside. A few hours later we were back in Quito (again). We checked into our hostel and relaxed. In the evening we tried to arrange to meet up with Sandra, who has come to Ecuador to catch up with us and Christina (from Makikita too) - unfortunately we missed Christina by only a few hours though. It was nice to see Sandra again and we hopped into a taxi and headed over to La Mariscal. We met up with Sebastian and Tanja in an Irish pub. We had bought Sebastian a "trago" present from the village which he was extremely happy about. Unfortunately me and Sandra had been pretty ill for the entire week previously so we didn't really feeling like drinking. But we had a couple of games of pool and started a table football tournament (Sandra is pretty good at it!).
The next day, we all headed up the steep hill behind our hostel towards Itchibamba, this is a big park located on top of hill with fantastic 360 views over the city (if you take the time to walk around it, which we did) it also has a big Victorian-esqe building that looks like it could have been an expo building or massive green house. This building you could see see pretty much anywhere in the city and investigating it was the main reason for heading up to Itchibamba. The outside was impressive but disappointing on the inside with it being a big empty space with a map and a couple of boards about local wildlife sparsely dotted about. After, we visited the building and walked around the park via the cycle track, we got to see the other side of the city for the first time, we also found a play ground with a huge, odd-looking statue of a "bruha", ("witch" in Spanish), that you could spin around. When we got back to the park we all bought an ice cream, Alicia even got to indulge her latest obsession of batido de coco, as she found an ice cream made out of the stuff. We sat down on a bench and played a bit of UNO before deciding it was time to head off. We then headed over to La Mariscal to wander around the market. Alicia and Sandra both bought scarfs, Sandra had that feeling of getting ripped off as he paid 10X the amount Alicia did ($2 which is about £1.60).
For the evening we stayed around La Mariscal again. We went for a meal at a Mexican restaurant (I had a massive burrito boat - it came with two burritos in a wooden canoe) then we headed over to a fancy cocktail bar for some cocktails, I chose Pisco Sours. Unfortunately it was a very poor attempted. Alicia went for a hot chocolate and Sandra went for Coffee (the party starts here!.....), but they couldn't even get that right. They forgot Alicia's order, when it did finally come out it was cold, after complaining it came out luke warm after some clear microwave reheating. Just goes to show, the places that look the best aren't always.
Next day all 3 of us went to the bus station for the 10 hour bus journey to Manta.