August 28th 2003 (Ed)
Well we have finally arrived in Quito. Our BA flights took us from London Heathrow to Caracas and then on to Bogota. Had a nice chat with the captain about our trip and the cabin crew were great. At Bogota we were unable to just head for the transit lounge as our luggage was not checked through for the Continental flight onward to Quito. So we had to pick up the bags head out through immigration and customs promptly to turn around and work our way back through again. Not to much of a problem other than having to unpack all our bags for hand searches, repack, only to have to do it again and again. Three times in total. I had some fun trying to explain away the tools and odd bits of pipe etc. that should have been shipped with the Landy earlier.
Flight to Quito was uneventful and we arrived about 22:30 local time. In the hotel by 11:30 and straight to sleep.
August 29th 2003
Note for the future - remember to check that the previous guess has not set the alarm clock to go off a 5:00am to prevent rude awakenings!
Headed off to the South American Explorers club and paid the $80 joining fee for a couple. Spent a few hours drinking free coffee and reading through trip reports from other members. Found some cheaper accommodation just around the corner at $20 a night with SAE discount instead of the $50 where we currently are.
A late lunch of grilled fish and a couple of cheeky beers and we spent the rest of the afternoon/evening relaxing and reading before hitting the sack.
August 30th 2003
Discover at 5:00am we have not managed to disable the alarm call. Alarm clock is now unplugged. Spent the day wandering around the Old Town.
August 31st 2003
Power cut in the morning just as Ed was in the shower shampooing his hair. No electricity, no pumps so no water! Moving to the new hotel this morning which is only around the corner in the Mariscal Sucre district of Quito. aka"Gringo Land". Caught a taxi from the Old Town up to El Panecillo - "the little bread loaf" a small rounded hill that dominates above the Old Town. Atop the hill is a huge statue of the Virgin de Quito. We have to catch a taxi to the top as it is not safe to walk up the many steps due to the usual crime risks.
View from the top - no the smoke is not from one of the many volcanoes in the area!