Passion and Prose-People I’ve met here


When I first met Ursula she was slinging drinks, trading jokes with patrons, while doing a jig and signing songs from home at her bar called Finn McCool’s In Quito.

She has away of making people feel at home in far off lands and inspires those who have dreamed of living or travelling to take the plunge and explore where they are.

Some of the ways She has done this..

Tales from her motorcycle days to the overland bike guys

Music, music, music.. sing alongs, folk songs, guitars brought off the walls..

Many, many late night sessions late end with the sun going up

Cooking Christmas meals for all those travelling over the holidays

St. Patricks Day-No you don´t understand, ST. PATRICKS DAY!

And generally taking an interest in every soul that walk through the doors.

I started working for her three days after arriving back in Quito from a trip home to make money and quickly realized that my bar experience from the States was lacking compared to a full-blooded Irish woman from Belfast who spent two years putting her  blood, sweat, and energy into making life more fun for those who passed through her bar and were lucky enough to call her friend.

Luckily, She has a sense of humor and kept me on while showing the ropes about bartending in Quito while introducing me to the many expats and locals that I would get to know as inspirations and friends.  

Through her we have met loads of Irish folk, cross continent bikers, scoundrels, teachers, musicians, volunteers, a hoard of Americans acting like English football fans on election night, and countless others that have made Quito their home while travelling.

These are the people who have shown me a different view of Ecuador and the motivation for turning others on to experiences beyond the guidebooks and hostels.

Ursula has since moved on and is on an adventure in Peru where she is living and working wirelessly designing websites for hostels in exchange for accommodation. 

News of her retirement has had a crippling effect not unlike the great plagues and leaves her patrons bordering on the edge where she found them!

Here are a few thoughts from the road!

1. What´s your best memory from bartending in Ecuador?

Staff dressing up and trying their darnest to get everyone in the mood to party

2.From a cultural point of view, what was the biggest adjustment or challenge about running a bar in Ecuador?

Being European things are done differently in Latin America, getting used to the concept of “Manana” was hard, Also fighting your way through the ever changing laws and bureaucracy that is Ecuador.

3.What´s your funniest story from your time here?

 A customer being a jackass then losing his footing and falling down the stairs, luckily he was not hurt but it was a classic moment.

4, Got a quote that you would put on the board today?

 Fight for your right to party

5. Three spots that you would go back to in Ecuador or Peru?

Banos, Pisaq, Ollyatatambo

6. What´s left on the bucket list?

The rest of the world!

If your lucky enough to meet her on the road in Peru, give her a hug or a high five from Jon and ask her about any out the way spots to eat, hike, and explore.. You won’t be disappointed!

(as I am still in Quito and get messages all the time from people who want to work here, send me an email about what you are looking for and how long you are thinking about staying.. a lot depends on the right time, right place nature of things here but I can get you in touch with those I know in the meantime!)

3 Responses to “Passion and Prose-People I’ve met here”
  1. Gourmantic says:

    There’s nothing like putting the world on the bucket list, is there?

  2. Shane brown says:

    I love this post. Brought back many happy memories of finn’s!

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