During my time in Quito, it was Ecuadorian Independence Day! I actually didn’t realise this until we had stumbled across a massive fiesta in La Floresta, an area of Quito known for its lively night market.
We had been at the cinema earlier that evening, planning on a ‘quiet night’ (typical). The art house cinema Ocho y Medio was showing a movie called ‘Sin Otoño, Sin Primavera’ (without autumn, no spring), as part of an Ecuadorian Film Festival so we decided to check it out. I really enjoyed the film, it was mainly set in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest and most populous city exploring themes of anarchy, death, drugs, adultery, broken families, love, amongst other things and intertwining stories and lives of multiple characters. After the movie, we expected to take a little walk to the night market and have a relatively early night as we planned to travel to Mindo the next day for a night away and some adventure sports.
The music was pumping at La Floresta market, a big plaza where a night market is held in the middle of a neighbourhood. There was a stage set up with a live band and singers, a huge fireworks display, lots of bouncy castles and attractions for the kids (and big kids), a fussball section with about ten different tables, as well as lots of food and drinks stands mainly serving the local speciality canelazo which is aguardiente mixed with canela served HOT! It was a pretty chilly evening so we started off with each getting a shot glass of canelazo, but after one or two it turned into a bottle (which you could buy for about $2 each) and that turned into MANY bottles! (See below, an Ecuadorian solution to finding a table for your bottle of canelazo!)
The energy of the fiesta was infectious! All around us locals were dancing, singing, playing, watching the many fireworks displays, and the party just kept going and going! I think the dancing only started to die down at about 4 in the morning!
Viva la independencia!!!