|Pichincha / Imbabura|
|Dispatch 2 - El Quinche|
|Out of Quito is a broad valley etched by rivers. Immediately over the edge is Guápulo Church -- a neo-classical style building -- much more understated than the grand baroque and rococo churches in the city . It's down this valley that the first Spaniards walked on their 1452 expeditions to discover the Amazon. Descending, there are a couple of places with beautiful views of majestic Mt. Cotopaxi, Ecuador's second highest volcano and peak.|
The most serine was to traverse this
area is along an abandon early 20th century railroad line. It winds along the edge of the hills,
always ascending and descending with gentle slopes. The route is enhanced
by vintage bridges and tunnels, and some rugged landscape.
|The white and blue Cathedral of El Quinche faces the central square. In late November, every year, thousands of people walk down the Quito valley to visit the shrine of Our Lady of Quinche. They carry torches or pocket lamps and tell stories of miracle healings.|
|Part of the draw of the Cathedral of El Quinche is the Virgin of El Quinche. If you drink the water there (right) it is suppose to bring good luck.|
|On a long wall outside of the Cathedral is a wall of plagues with hundreds of testimonials attesting to all the miracles and good luck people have had after praying at the Cathedral of El Quinche.|
|The cemetery of El Quinche|
|Children playing a tradition Ecuadorian game where one top is used to try and know other tops out of a circle. With this spin the girl is about to knock one of the other tops out.|
|The clerk waits for customers at one of several bakeries in El Quinche (left) and a man pulling taffy by hand in front of a confectionary shop on the main square in El Quinche (right).|
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