The Gúapulo Viewpoint or how Quito goes from blue to gold


Only a few weeks before leaving Quito, I attempt to refresh my memories by visiting the places that made an impression; from the flavor of a good cup of coffee in the Historic District, to the intense feeling of the cold wind in my face as I climb to the top of Rucu Pichincha.

 

I’m worried I will leave the city without having gotten to fully know it, so with that idea in mind, and thanks to an old friend, I decide to visit a new place, one that until now had not been more than part of the urban landscape I’d seen on several of my trips.

With a coffee in hand I crossed a small bridge, a bridge that took me to the wooden fence that divides Quito into sky and earth, far and near, visible and blurred, palpable and immaterial, concrete and nature.

There are a myriad viewpoints in the city, and despite the fact that we are used to watching the sunset in the West, at the Guápulo viewpoint we can see the opposite at dusk.

Guápulo

The ideal time to get to this place, located on Rafael León Larrea street, is before 6pm, for the purpose of finding a fixed point on the horizon to watch for the next hour. It’s time to leave behind distractions and look forward, to admire the spectacle in the sky through a natural window formed by two hills.

It’s an entirely blue sky, which plays with the intensity and the white of the clouds. Later, a slight reddish glimmer begins to slowly disperse from the center, giving the illusion of orange haziness throughout a Quiteño evening. Blue has given way to a red hue that covers the horizon, but only for a few seconds.

The camera has to be prepped in advance, because if the phenomenon surprises us and we decide to capture it at that moment without being ready, Quito’s sky will trick us. If you look away for a few seconds, the color will have disappeared and night will have begun, as if the reddish colors had never existed.

What happens during that briefest of instants is unique. The intense red glow in the sky will have reached its maximum extension, and just as suddenly as it appeared, it will begin to vanish. The smaller it gets, the more intense the color. In the end, at a vanishing point, the last orange cloud crosses the sky. The blue once again covers the heavens and darkness begins to fall, giving way to the caravan of golden lights: some placed along the streets, avenues and highways; others blink, filling the mountains and valleys of Quito with light.

Guápulo

Written by: Nathalie Mena / Picture: Ramiro Garrido - Archivo Quito Turismo

See
The shades and the colors of the clouds, the Monjas hill and Metropolitan Park. Tones that shut off in the light of day and light up the night

Hear
Night starts and the rhythms of Guápulo bars light up it.Down the stairs and discover them

Taste
A sanck or a bite, accompanied by a warm wine or a "canelazo"in any of the establishments of Guápulo, heat up the atmosphere to those who hope that fall afternoon in this place.


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