Quito sprawls right below a volcano, with a gondola going up to one of its ridges at 4050m elevation. We walked from the gondola station through the beautiful grassy paramo - open alpine meadows - up to about 4250m, stopping to breathe every 100 steps. I drew the peak, by far my highest-elevation on-the-ground drawing.
Back in the city, we climbed up the huge basilica. It's not a good idea for people who are afraid of heights, because the last part of the climb is on a set of rickety ladders on the outside of the top of the tower. But it has a great view of the old part of Quito. Instead of gargoyles, the gothic cathedral has parrots, penguins, boobies, frigatebirds, toads, and, at the top, condors. A church for naturalists. Many parts of the adornments on the building seem to be missing, presumably cast down by God to smite passing sinners. The architecture is immensely elaborate - the only way to cope with drawing all that complexity from the top of one of the towers is to do it really quickly.