Child Free Airline next time ...

Thursday, December 15, 2011
Guayaquil, Ecuador
Just two hours sleep is not what I needed after being awake for those 40 hours. From 11 pm till who knows when in the early morning the car horns and celebratory noise outside did not help. May be the soccer win? Wasn't too bad – trouble that my body clock was all wrong and just didn’t want to sleep. Oh well, today is a re-locate day so that’s fine.

Left the hotel at 8.15 am and a 16,000 pesos taxi ride got me to the airport in plenty of time.

This was my second of 12 flights on this trip. LAN 1446 left at 11.10 am and with my right hand window seat was hoping for some views of the Andes as we flew north along the spine of this part of South America. Alas not to be with the cloud cover all the way. Got a peep though as we flew out of Santiago. The 4 hour 45 min flight touched down at Guayaquil, Ecuador at 1.55 pm local time. Turn the clocks back 2 hours. A warm 30 C was outside but inside the terminal for the hour transit wait it was fine.

Departed at 3.15 pm and the 35 min flight LAN 1442 got us into Quito at 3.50 pm. At 2,800 metres (9,200 ft) asl, Quito is the second highest administrative capital city in the world after La Paz, Bolivia where I will finish my trip in 6 weeks time. Wonder how I will cope with the altitude?

Five times I will need to pass through Quito airport. Thank goodness it is literally in the middle of the city and we flew in with houses and factory buildings on either side of the plane.

As for the Child Free Airline heading ... the flight from Auckland, I had a 4 year just 2 seats away who carried on screaming nosily for several hours till she slept, the flight from Santiago to Guayaquil there was a crying baby in the seat behind me and on the 35 min into Quito, I had a kid who was constantly talking in Spanish and kicking the back of my seat. Thank goodness it was only 35 minutes. But hey, that’s travel for you.

Quickly out and into the 13 C temperature. A US$7 taxi ride deposited me to the Hostal Cayman in the northern end of the New City. Actually Tucan Tour is using Arupo Hostal across the road.

First impressions of Quito: nestled amongst the hills with housing reaching skywards to the cloud covered hill tops, it is like many large cities, over-crowded and busy with traffic, noisy and buildings seen so far run down.

Nine fellow travellers: Roger, Lily. John, Peter, Hannah, Dirk, Tara, Stephanie, Andrew and me.

7 pm group meeting and Lorenza, our guide from Peru, covered off stuff like what’s ahead, using public transport and expect:
- sellers coming on board
- watch out for your belongings
- loud music.

 ... I thought that we were flying on one leg but that has been changed to a long bus trip to Tena.

With it being right on Christmas expect lots of people.

The weather will be variable with rain. Delays so flexibility, patience and more importantly ENJOY.

Let's see if this is the case.
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