Taking a few days to hang out as a tourist before flying home. I am staying in the charming historical center of Quito, at yet another restored old mansion, in yet another World UNESCO heritage site!! …. this one has belonged to the Gangotena family for the past hundred years. There was a major fire that just about destroyed the whole house in the early 1900’s. It required a complete restoration … a team of Italian architects and craftsman were hired … easy to tell from the Italian arches and pillars everywhere, not to mention fountains 🙂 I woke up this morning (around 4:30 am … thankfully I had crashed early 🙂 to loud music blaring in front of the hotel …. the hotel overlooks the wide sweeping cobblestone Plaza San Francisco, backed by the mountainous backdrop of Volcan Pichincha. A stunning location! There was a running marathon starting up!! I listened for a few hours, dozing fitfully on and off and finally around 6:30, realizing sleep was impossible, joined everyone in the square, a minute’s walk from my room … some 13 and 20 km runners had already finished … there were 13, 20, 40, and 60 km runs organized!! Apparently a yearly event in Quito … seems wherever I hang my hat in Ecuador, I bump into these yearly festivals or events unawares … it was a pleasant sight that greeted me in the square … those finished their shorter runs, were participating in a warm down exercise class, which I also joined in on 🙂 Not a bad wake up call after all 🙂 … loved walking these old streets today … totally exhilarating to get some exercise and sunshine in after the last few weeks where it just never seemed to work out time wise … this cobbly town is just fabulous!! … street musicians and entertainers on every block! …. it is Sunday! ….. even managed to sit down to mass at one point in the Monasterio de San Francisco, Quito’s largest colonial structure and a convenient few steps from Gangotena 🙂 ….. love the Andean Indigenous flute music best … I was in heaven, strolling here and there all day, music following me everywhere …. could not have asked for a more delightful day to finish my time here in Ecuador!