Ecuador adventure… –

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It’s been an interesting couple of days as it happens!

I’m currently sat in a hotel room in Quito (the capital of Ecuador). Up until about 24 hours ago we were not even supposed to be in Ecuador until Friday (2 days time) and we were never going to have come as far inland as Quito – over 100 miles from the port. But that’s the excitement of ever-changing international travel plans for you…

When we arrived at Heathrow on Tuesday morning to pick up our tickets, we were expecting to fly to Panama City via Miami; spend the night in Panama, and then transfer to the ship in the morning. But as we checked in, we were told we were flying to Ecuador – the following day. Hmmmm

Although all the changes in travel don’t make all that much difference to us, it become a little difficult – especially when travelling through America – when your destination and dates have changed and you have no way to prove it! After a few frantic phone-calls to the Agent, we got the details we needed and got through immigration without any trouble.

So we had a very nice morning getting to see a little bit of South Beach, Miami. The weather was good (certainly a little warmer than London!) and it was fab to get to see some of the Art Deco buildings the area is famous for at first hand.

The check-in at Miami brought it’s own set of challenges – have to unpack and re-pack our suitcases en masse to try to even out the weight, but it was doable. The 4 hours flight to Quitos felt longer – I guess because we are all a little tired – but was un-eventful.

Ecuadorian immigration went very smoothly, and we all managed to pile into the waiting minibuses, somewhat piled up with our luggage, and we were brought here – to the Swissotel; Quito. It was only when we arrived that we were handed the air-tickets for our THIRD flight tomorrow morning to Esmeraldas.

I think we’ll all be relived to finally get on that boat!!

Stephen Weller

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