9:30 we were on the bus crossing the border to Ecuador. When we arrived Loja in the early evening and we were greeted by a rainbow. What a good welcoming from a country less known to us. Loja was a small nice town with a European feel. Before the bus in the direction of Quito (but we supposed to take off in Riobamba and then Bano for the hotspring and the Volcano there) starting at 10pm, we had some time for dinner. Here like Ecuador and Peru, most restaurants served fried chicken or salty steak (asado as they said) and it was getting too boring for us. As we were a bit hungry and we just went to one family restaurant for a chicken menu (costing USD 2, here in Ecuador people spend US dollar, which was a problem fror us due to the high rate). The soup and the chicken rice were less salty as expected and tasted soothing.
We walked a little of the downtown at night. There was a European city gate which was also a gallery and restaurant. Then we went to the bus station for the bus.
Too bad, when we woke up, we were in Quito. The bus ticket that we paid (USD 13) actually was enough for Quito and we would be losing the value if we took off at middle. However, we missed the mountain and volcano; and went into a big city that we always want to avoid.
Too early in Quito, also too early in the morning. We took some time to find a less-expensive hostel. The first one was USD25 for two of us with private toilet, it was a little expensive and the next one we found was USD20 for two of us with shared toilet, wifi and shared kitchen. Then we started finding a couchsurfing host, or else we shall leave next morning due to the high cost of living.
Afterward we went to the downtown for some museum and church visits. At first we went to the central food market, where we bought shrimps and vegetables for our dinner, then for lunch we had roasted pork and juice. We also bought some cookies in a nearby bakery; they were so crispy. We kept eating by trying a maze cake with coffee. Then we went to the center of culture where there was some contemporary art exhibition and photo exhibition about events happened in Colombia. That took us a whole afternoon.
Before dark we went back to our hostel, where we made fried eggs with shrimp and zucchini with chocolate mousse for dessert. That ended a comfortable day in Quito