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Ecuador 2017 – December 22, 2017

Friday, December 22, 2017

Today is a travel day with our return flight to Quito making a quick stop in Guayaquil. Pick up at the hotel is promptly at 7:00 so we come down with our bags for an early breakfast. We have been warned that there could be several delays along the trip, waiting for the water taxi or waiting for the buses as it is a multi-staged transport scenario to make it to the airport. One the first stage we take a bus ride across the island and unload at the boat dock. A boat is busily loading up and so our new guide hurries over to buy our passage and get us onboard. After only a 5 minute wait, we take a 10 minute water taxi across a canal. On the other side we are again in luck as a bus is currently loading up and we scurry to get our bags in the lower luggage area and then our group all aboard. We just make it with seats in the back as we start the bus ride that takes us to the airport. The airport is on an old U.S. air base that was originally built to protect the Panama Canal. Now abandoned, it has been converted to a commercial airport.

With such good fortune in making all the connections from the hotel we are quite early for our flight. Remembering the pitiful ham and cheese sandwich on the way over we seek out a place to get a bit to eat and another coffee. It is a small airport with about four gates, perhaps half a dozen little shops, and a couple small cafes. One cafe has empanadas but the coffee machine has no milk, so we visit the other cafe and are in luck as their coffee machine is order. The large waiting area is filled with hard plastic chairs lined up in groups of three or four and we muse that we could all take our airplane ordered seats in here.

The flight is uneventful and once the group is in Quito, we say goodbyes as everyone is either returning home or continuing on with other adventures. Janine who has quite an extended holiday is now visiting Columbia and hiking about for several weeks; I guess it is much safer than it used to be. We strongly negotiate for a room that is not directly on the street this time as we will have a couple of days here and would like to rest well at night.

We stop at a local pharmacia to again stock up on electrolytes for our altitude adjustment phase. For dinner we return to the La Purisima. Jason’s soup is served in a shallow bowl that looks more like an appetizer than a soup. A couple of chunks of meat and vegetables, but no “soup”. We all look at it confused and then look up at each other and start laughing. A moment later the waiter comes out and ladles the soup from a very ornate bowl that he was holding. Jason comments, “apparently some assembly is required.”

Whether it was the altitude, airline food, last night’s tuna, or some other component of our diet, everyone has a touch of diarrhea that quickly passes, no pun intended.

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