Flight to Quito

Baltra Travel Blog

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This boat takes you across the Itabaca Channel from Isla Baltra to Isla Sata Cruz.

Hello all,

I had a nice morning packing everything up again.  I tell myself everytime that I travel that I will let myself stay in the same hotel for at least two or three nights in a row more often.  I am not doing very well so far on this trip.  I have stayed two nights in a row only two times, so I really need to work on it.  The tour guide was late for our 8am meetup in front of the hotel, and after finally arriving at 8:20am he was in a big hurry.  We stopped to grab some breakfast and coffee, and he told the waitress to make it pronto.

My flight was scheduled for 10:45am, and Javier's was a bit later.  The taxi/boat/bus to the airport takes at least an hour, and TAME airline will give your seat away to standby passengers if they feel like it.

The plane that took me to Quito at the Isla Baltra airport.
  I was pretty mellow about it.  I figured that the worst thing that could happen was I take the later flight.  Making matters worse, the taxi was stopped at a checkpoint and handed a slip of paper by an officer.  I soon figured out, through my wonderful language skills, that this slip had the time we left.  This would be compared by another officer at a checkpoint later on.  Through the wonders of division, the drivers speed can be determined.  So unlike the trip from the airport a few days ago, where speeds exceeded 120kph, this one was much more mellow.

The speed limit was either 70 or 40 depending on local build-up, and the driver seemed to be keeping it very close or below that speed.  Upon reaching the next checkpoint, the driver was still scolded by the officer.

Check out the fog rolling in from the vents at the top of this Airbus A320.
  A five minute heated disscusion didn't seem to result in a ticket, but it certainly resulted in even slower speeds to the boat dock.  The boat was ready to go when we got there, and so was the bus once reaching Isla Baltra.  We got to the airport just before 10am, and check-in was no problem.  Twenty minutes later I said goodbye to Javier, and was on the plane.

We were scheduled for a stop in Guayaquil on the way to Quito, but both were pretty short flights.  I was assigned a middle seat, but it was better because it was an exit row.  I was next to a Galapagos native on the flight, and we were able to have a very nice conversation about tourists, the islands, and the U.S. presidential election.  I snuck out of the plane in Guayaquil to use the free internet, and had about 15 minutes before being called back for boarding.  There was a very strange fog coming from the vents in the plane, and I was not sure if it was condensating air conditioning, or some kind of insecticide fog.  Very strange.

I got to Quito with no reserved hotel, so I pored over the Lonely Planet guide and decided I would head for the Mariscal Sucre in the New Town section of Quito.  I was in money saving mode, so I tried public transportation.  I took a bus to the Trole, an electric trolley system that winds through the city.  After 15 minutes I was at my stop, and it was a short walk to the hotel area.  As is normal, I was on the search for a hotel with private bathroom, hot water, air conditioning, and hopefully free wi-fi.

The search was fruitless.  A/C is not a common thing here.  We are at elevation, so I guess the evenings are cooler.  I more or less gave up on that requirement, and continued the search.  The three places I found with free wi-fi were full, so I check one out next door to a place with free wi-fi.  Wink wink.  The signal from that place had a security password, but there was a stray signal that seemed to be working just fine.  I took the place where the signal seemed strongest for $11 a night.  As the night fell I was happy to find I was wrong/right about the weather.  It got cooler, and downright pleasant.

Tomorrow it's time to check out the city.

Later, Phil

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This boat takes you across the Ita…
This boat takes you across the It…
The plane that took me to Quito at…
The plane that took me to Quito a…
Check out the fog rolling in from …
Check out the fog rolling in from…
photo by: eefab