We started scouring the standard websites for a place to eat on the night of our arrival. After doing a long walk to find some of the restaurants that looked good from the websites, we discovered that the pandemic has taken a toll on the local restaurants – at least in the tourist area by the hotel. We could find very few of the top rated restaurants still in business.
After a long walk and debate, we finally settled on one called Hast la Vuelta, Señor. It turned out to be a good choice.
The waiter asked us what we would like to drink, and after a long day of travel, we probably looked like a deer in headlights until we heard the word “wine”. We ordered the special house wine and he brought the bottle – it was then we realized we hadn’t asked the price first, it ended up being a surprise when we got the check.
One thing that was interesting with Ecuador – they use the US dollar as their currency – no exchange needed.
David ordered the Corvina en salsa de camarón (Sea bass fillet in an exquisite seafood sauce accompanied by potatoes and salad) and I had the Chugchucara (Fried meat pork, accompanied by boiled white corn, potato tortilla, fried sweet plantain, pop corn, “tostado” maize, avocado and fried pork rind).
It did feel like a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving with the pop corn on the plate. Both were good, but I think I liked David’s bass a little better than mine. With my dish, I didn’t realize how many ways there were to prepare corn.
We mentioned to the Celebrity rep that we wondered around and he told us to be careful (which we always are). Later we did hear about someone getting hit with the ‘bird poop pick pocket scheme’ while out and about. Same as any big city – you have to keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings.
And a side note – the wine ended up being $33 for the bottle which wasn’t bad as it was good.
Quito Airport was impressive. Immigration and customs was quick and painless. We were met by Celebrity Cruises staff right after we picked up our luggage and they put us in a bus to the airport.
I think it was because of CV protocols, we were in this bus by ourselves. Ecuador wasn’t requiring pre flight CV testing for arrivals if you are fully vaccinated, so I think Celebrity was being cautious until they could get us to the hotel and do the pre-cruise testing.
We got our welcome drink (which was very good and we got an extra for the road) and information for pre-cruise CV testing on arrival to the hotel. Since everyone comes from the airport in small groups, it is very organized and crowd free getting to your room.
We were treated to a light show at the hotel. A thunderstorm moved through with lots of lightning, and being in the mountains the thunder reverberated making it even more dramatic.
I discovered the next day that there was actually a tornado associated with this storm. I do have to say Quito puts on quite the arrival show for visitors 😜.