Now the real thing starts, we’re in Quito !
In fact our trip was an easy one, except it was very long, but almost everything worked out as planned.
Our friendly neighbour was there on time to take us to San Sebastian airport, which in fact is in the back of our backyard 🙂 , his car didn’t have a breakdown, checking in was smooth, the plane was on time, the tight connexion in Madrid went fine, the exit seat I had booked to allow me to stretch my long legs was indeed to my name and the Iberia crew was as expected … not very smily (and I’m not the only one to say this).
In fact the trip went so well that thanks to strong tail winds, it was a bit shorter (10:15hrs versus 11:15) and we arrived one hour early.
Quito has a brand new airport, less than two years old, and everything there is quick and efficient (forget the clichés about South America) : immigration was swift, luggage didn’t get lost and arrived quickly and we saw nothing of the customs guy except his wide welcoming smile.
So we were out 40 minutes before the time we had announced to our guide and he was not there. So we had to wait a little while but he soon was there, running and panting. Somebody must have told him the plane had arrived early and he had done his very best.
Luis, that’s his name, is a young man (maximum 30), speaks perfect English and no doubt Spanish :-), he drives a Kia 4WD and his a former history teacher. Luckily he’s a charming guy because he’s going to be our family for two weeks.
On the way to our hotel we got our first impressions : the roads seem to be in good condition, the cars not too old, the housing not derelict and everything seems quite organized. But of course these are very first impressions which need to be confirmed.
We arrived at our hotel around 7:00 pm and it was already night. The sun rises at 6:30 and sets at 7:00 year round in Ecuador.
The hotel, Anahi is its name, is located not too far from the city center but in avery quiet area. It has been refurbished in 2010 and is quite modern and pleasant with a walk in shower and high speed internet (I hope this lasts).
The person at the reception could not find our booking but I luckily found in the chaos of my backpack the USB stick where I keep a copy of all the mail exchanges made while preparing the trip.
He excused for this but did not hesitate to charge us in advance. Well that’s life.
We were too tired to have dinner and only took a pill of diamox against altitude disease which we suffer from but to a lesser extent than in Cuzco three years ago.
So we have asked Luis to have a more leisurely programme today. He must be waiting for us in the lobby at the moment so bye for now.
Oh I forgot, if you are interested in knowing what’s happening around here (in Spanish), just click on the newspaper header at the top of this article.