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Ecuador 2017 – December 13, 2017

December 31st, 2017 No comments

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Today begins our journey to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. This time we rent from Alamo and go through the usual upgrade dance. I stuck to my guns and got a “free” upgrade to a Nissan Sentra.

After packing up the car, we get on the road to pick up Jason near the Orlando airport as he flew in late the night before. It wasn’t long before traffic came to a standstill on I-95. As soon as we reached the Pineda exit, we turned around and instead took US-192 to St. Cloud and Narcoossee Road to Orlando.

Meeting Jason, we share a quick exchange of hugs and get his bags packed into the car for the drive down to Miami. We get there in time, but it was a bit nerve wracking due to the earlier delays.

Once we get our bags checked and get through security, we find some food near our gate. We quickly eat our cheeseburgers and make our way back to the gate. It turns out that there was an issue with the plane and departure has been delayed. Soon they make an announcement; the airline has decided to put us on another plane – at the other end of the terminal! So we join the mob making our way down to gate 50. We are all standing around for about 20 minutes and I’m not sure what happened, but the airline decides moves us yet again to another gate. We make our way up to gate 40 this time and as it is a different type plane than our original one we all have to stand in line while they reticket our seat assignments. Once we finally get boarded, we still sat at the gate for quite a while before takeoff. When we finally get in the air it is three and half hours late.

Arriving at the Quito (UIO) airport, we are tired, as even though the flight is only a bit longer than 4 hours; it has already been a long day. Fortunately our bags have also made it through the plane shuffle in Miami and we gather our bags and get through customs. We exit the door from security and find our driver who is holding a card with our name on it. He doesn’t speak English, but we trust he knows where to take us. The drive to the Ecolodge was a bit different as we are driving down this road with closed up shops, graffiti, stray dogs, and not a soul in sight. I am sure that the fact it is after 11:00 has a lot to do with it… or maybe I’ve just watched too many movies. But I can’t help wonder if we have been hijacked and where it is that our driver is taking us.

Passing through the gates of the Zaysant Ecolodge reveals a sanctuary with lush plants, flowers, and grasses. The energetic and friendly owner meets us and shows us to our rooms exclaiming “Mi casa, su casa”. We quickly check in and hit the sack – totally exhausted from the day’s journey.

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