This morning Linda’s niece, Caroline, drove us to the airport in Jacksonville. We were there way early just to be sure we didn’t have any issues with our international flight.
We got checked in without a problem. Delta recommended arriving three hours early. We got there four hours early, and two would have been more than enough.
But I still needed to get some things done online before we left, so I stayed busy on my laptop, and the time went fairly quickly. Linda walked the airport terminal trying to get in her 10,000 daily steps.
Finally, we boarded and took the short flight to Atlanta where we had another three-hour layover. I got more work done, Linda got in more steps, and we eventually boarded our flight to Quito, Ecuador around 6:00 p.m.
It was about a five-hour flight and it was, fortunately, uneventful. After going through customs and picking up our luggage (which thankfully arrived with us), we exited and were greeted by Jorge, a representative of the travel agency we used, Southern Explorations.
Jorge briefed us, and waited with us until our driver arrived to take us to our hotel. It was about a thirty-mile drive from the airport to downtown Quito where we would be spending two nights at the Hostal de la Rabida, what the travel agency said was a three-star hotel.
Two nights were included in our package, and we booked the two nights on the front end of our trip 1) to give us extra time just before flying the 600 miles out into the Pacific Ocean in case our luggage didn’t arrive, and 2) to allow us to get some extra rest before the early morning flight to the islands. It would be a logistics nightmare trying to get luggage to us in the Galapagos once we were already on our boat.
Our hotel was more like an old bed and breakfast – it was quaint and had character, but I’m not so sure it lived up even to its three-star rating. Of course, we had nothing to compare it to in Quito, and it will certainly do the job.
Now, we arrived at the beginning of festivities to celebrate the founding of Quito. So, there were a few fireworks after midnight and there was some pretty loud music that went on for a while. It may be an interesting night.