A 1:30 wake up call, shower, and no breakfast to start the day... We rode with our guide Edgar to the Lima airport and arrived at 3:00. In through immigration and security and at the gate at 3:30. Flight at 6:00... We played some cards and ate some buns for breakfast...
Alice slept through most of the 2 1/2 hour flight - I took some cat naps. All was well until about ten minutes out when we experienced some severe turbulence. Apparently this is common as the rest of the tour group who had a more human flight experienced the same thing.
We were met at the airport and driven through Lima and given some information about the city - especially about the mall and taxis. We arrived at the hotel Quito at about 9:00 and were immediately checked into our room. Extraordinary view of the west side of Quito and, when the clouds parted, Volcano Pichinca. We dropped off our stuff and headed to the lobby.
We asked the bell boy to get us a cab, and for $2.00 we were driven the three miles to the central city mall. A big place - four floors - but most of the shops were very small. We needed to find Alice a bathing suit and after looking all over settled on a tennis skirt and top. We ate at the food court - mostly American stuff (McDonalds, Burger King, etc.) and looked around a bit more. A big grocery store and drug store were the largest around. I had my pack and had to check it at the door for every place we entered.
Cab ride back to the hotel cost $5 - I forgot to ask the price when we got in. Back to the room and we both took a nap. Around 3:00 our guide - Juan Carlos - stopped byto introduce himself and give us the information for tomorrow.
Since we were up, Alice decided on a swim in the outdoor pool - that, then into the whirlpool... I watched, still being quite tired and having a return of the altitude sickness. Back to our room and though the volcano was behind clouds there was a small rainbow on the mountain. Amazing!
Met with the remaining people from the Peru tour for dinner at a restaurant across the street. From now on there will be 33 in the tour group. Will be interesting! I had a wonderful bowl of potato soup with cheese and avocado. The service in every restaurant is very slow, and this was no exception. One of our group had to get the bill from the bar!
Finally back at the hotel and Alice went right to sleep. I'll follow as soon as I finish here.
Interesting thing about Ecuador is that they use US currency except for the small coins. The dollar coin is quite popular - I have about six of them as change already. The US coins can be used, but they also have Ecuadorian coins for nickle, dime, quarter. and 50 cent piece.
Tomorrow we tour the colonial Quito and then visit the "middle of the world."