A Travellerspoint blog

At what point do you heed a warning?

There is a point above this city called El Panecillo. It is topped by an impressive statue and is a popular viewpoint. The guidebooks say that the neighborhoods at the base of the hill are not safe to walk through alone and there have been muggings. I have read on various websites that tourists should take a taxi to the top and pay the driver to wait for you while you look around. They also say that security has been improved recently and police now patrol on the weekends...hmmm...what to do? Well, we are not alone - there are three of us. And by any measure we are not small people. We have encountered only the most friendly people since we arrived....I'm sure you can see where this is going. We started the arduous climb toward the beckoning statue. About halfway to the top we met a very animated group of older ladies cooking on the sidewalk who practically threw themselves in front of us to keep us from walking up the road. They pointed us to another set of stairs to avoid the neighborhood of robbers waiting just around the bend. At the top of the stairs we met another pair of sweet old ladies who insured us that the rest of the way was perfectly safe and a very peaceful walk. The top was bustling with tourists, locals, taxis, and souvenir stands which would not have seemed half as wonderful if we had just been deposited there in a vehicle. In the end, I'm glad we squared our shoulders, stood tall, walked with confidence and carried on. If my money is a little sweaty from being stuffed in my bra, and having my phone and credit cards in the waistband of my shorts was a little uncomfortable, the walk was worth it and in the end we did evaluate our personal risk taking limits. I love travelling.


(More pics in the gallery)

Posted by Pelham Family 11:02 Archived in Ecuador

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Oh, Leslie!!! You scare your mother! My blood pressure just went sky high!

by MOM

Love the photos! And thank goodness for sweet little old ladies!!

by Sissa

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