Our plane to the mainland was scheduled for 11 AM and we began to traverse the island of Santa Cruz early. First a water taxi to town where there was a bus that took us over the highlands (2,834 ft) to a ferry that took us to an airline bus on the isolated airstrip island of Baltra which had been the only airstrip until the mid 1980’s when the others were built on San Cristobal and Isabella. This facility was built by the US armed forces in WWII to provide air cover to protect the Panama Canal. On our way to the airport, we stopped to view a giant sink hole and at the ferry landing there were hundreds of blue footed boobies diving in the water. While waiting for our flight, Anne bought a package of Ecuadorian chocolate. During our long wait for the flight home to Atlanta, we had an American type meal at the TGI Friday’s in the Quito airport. It was great to sink our teeth into a burger and a piece of Jack Daniels salmon after all the “native” food of the past weeks. The night flight home was not very comfortable, and we’re still recovering after a few days in Webster. Was it worth it? Of course. Travel is an energy usurping activity and we both lost a few pounds. But the experience and the memories are forever. Oh, and by a careful collusion with Ellen and Rashelle, who were staying over another night at the Swissotel in Quito, Tom was able to obtain the unique Taguarte necklace that Anne had wanted to buy when we were there, but the store was closed because of the holiday. Rashelle bought it and mailed it to Tom and it made a wonderful surprise gift to Anne for our 48th anniversary.