Quito 2

September 3, 2005 and we are still in Quito, Ecuador waiting for the motorcycle.

But we had success today locating our first photographic targets.

Our first find was the Monastery at the San Francisco Church.

This picture was scanned from a book printed in 1948 called "Fireside Travels in South America", written by James Fitzpatrick. 

Our copy of the book is signed by the author, making it quite a treasure to us.

This is how the Church appeared on September 3, 2005.

Not many changes, but the palm trees had grown, the paint is fresher and you can see, on the right of the screen, some restoration activity.

We met a "Father"  as we where walking the grounds who was puzzled as to why we were walking around with a computer and cameras.  When we showed him what we were doing, he was very polite and interested.  Then we showed him the old photographs which were taken from the steeple, and asked if we could have entry to the tower.  He stated politely, "No, that is unlikely to happen".  We then left the grounds to take other photos.  Four hours later we returned to see if we could get shots similar to the pictures taken during the morning hours, but with better lighting.  A friendly police officer approached us and was also interested in the computer.  We showed him approximately 4 "Then and Now" photos which we had acquired during the day.  He noticed the old pictures taken from the steeple.  He asked if we would like entry to the locked towers.  I had to choke up a "YES"!  He stated he would return with the keys in a few minutes. 

Seated under the bells was the Spanish born Padre, Urtaza.

This photograph was also scanned from "Fireside Travels", printed in 1948.

Notice that there where no trees on the ridge in 1948.

Where the Padre's knees were located you can see the growth in the monastery (red brick building in the lower left).

Just to the right of the ropes, located directly above the brick building you can see the white building with 6 windows, which still exist today.

The following old photograph was taken from almost the same location 6 years later.  It was scanned from a book written by Sydney Clark called "All the Best of South Americas West Coast", printed in 1954.

Notice trees on ridge that did not exist in 1948. Trees on ridge are now missing, but a palm tree is showing it's head from a church patio.  Also, many more casas on hill side!

Entrance to the tower was through this old and thick door.
Then up this staircase.

I know, I got the picture on our egress.

Sandy, resting after the climb up the tower, near an old bell.
Close up of old bell.

The floors in the Monastery were beautiful!

This was the next object for our hunt.  This search was elusive and took hours.  We showed the old photograph to many Ecuadorians, with little luck.

This photograph was scanned from "Carpenter's World Travels, Familiar Talks About Countries and People".

It was written by Frank Carpenter in 1926.  This is a 20 volume book set almost like a set of encyclopedias).

Frank took trains, steamers and walked the planet from 1917 to 1926, in order to write this set of books.

We were starting to believe that the Church no longer existed, then we met Joe.  He was about 60 years old and about 4' 9" tall.  That is Joe leading Sandy (black and red jacket).

He walked us approximately a mile and a quarter. 

I was huffing and puffing (remember we are at 9,250 feet).

Question:  How many citizens in the U.S.A. would go out of their way to walk a stranger for a mile?

Question: At 60 years old?

Very friendly Ecuadorians!

Joe took at least 45 minutes out of his Saturday, to lead 2 strangers across town.

He was proud of his country, and described every building which we strolled past.

The search was elusive, but with a reason.  Sandy and I have walked at least 25 miles during the last 5 days attempting to locate the buildings in the old photos.  We had walked by this church, which was under restoration, but never tried to figure out if it was one of the churches which we were looking for.......  It was......

Then Now
This church is one of 7 churches on "Calle de las Siete Cruces", each of which is marked by a large cross.

As a break from the "Then and Now" here are some miscellaneous photos.

Hostal de Carluja was our home for the first 3 nights of our adventure.

This home use to be the British Embassy for many years.

Street entertainers in "New Quito".
This was the interior of a very nice ice cream shop.

Very modern.

Just another typical street in Quito.
Just another church.
As this church grow, it required building over the street.
The tunnel under the church.
Another shot of the Basilica.

The old "Banco Central del Ecuador".
Close-up of top of Banco.
The University.

But, back to the "Then and Now".

This one was going to be tough photo to duplicate, based on the fact that the picture was taken from approximately 40 feet up!

(note the long building on the right... it is the University... see photo above)

In order to get the picture, we will have to gain access to this building across the square in the picture above.  It was an old hotel which had long closed down.  It was all locked up, except for a guard at a side interest.  The inside of the building is in the process of being torn out, and shafts for elevators be dug.  He stated if we came back in 3 hours he would let us enter the building if we were careful.  We returned a 1:00 pm and as the final workers left the building, he led us to the top floor.

Sandy, walking across a 2 by 10.

Many holes in the upper floors had 30 foot drop offs.

This was the 4th floor and doors which we were hoping for access!

This was the reward for returning.

Then Now

Notice the large statue on the hill that is visible form everywhere in Old Quito.

This is the statue from close range.  It is nearly the size of the "Statue of Liberty".

As a closing picture for today, this is the patio of San Francisco church as seen from our fortunate access to it's tower.

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