BootsnAll Travel Network

Archive for the 'Ecuador' Category

« Home


Thursday, March 5th, 2009

We’ve been home for a few weeks now, and have finally gotten all of our pictures online. Our attempts at creating a group to pool both our pictures at haven’t really worked out – I can’t put them in order – so they’re on our individual pages.
Neil’s pictures
Kathy’s pictures

A few favourites are below

Juvenile Galapagos Hawk
Juvenile Galapagos Hawk

Blue Footed Booby
Blue Footed Booby

Kathy biking down the Volcano
Kathy biking down the Volcano

Male frigate bird
Male frigate bird


Sunday, February 15th, 2009

Yesterday we biked down Cotopaxi. Despite a bit of rain – including some sleet while we were at the top of our ride, just shy of 15,000 feet, it was a lot of fun with extraordinary scenery and would have made an outstanding end to our trip.

Unfortunately, it was not to be. We arrived back in Quito and got to the airport with plenty of time to spare…around 4:00, a good 3 hours before our flight was scheduled to depart. It was raining, which had never really occurred to me as a problem and I enjoyed watching the planes take off streaming water behind.

When our plane arrived, there was immediately something off. Several vehicles with flashing lights came out, and I saw some grab something that looked like an air tank – I later figured out it was an acetylene tank for welding…they were making some kind of adjustment to the front landing gear. Whatever it was, it didn’t work. We sat and sat, and waited. The word was that we couldn’t take off because the runway was too wet, despite the other planes doing precisely that.

At one point, the airport did close entirely, for about 30 or 40 minutes. As far as I can tell, though, ours was the only flight that didn’t leave at all. Finally at 10pm, they collected passengers connecting to Toronto, and attempted to make alternate arrangements. Although Air Canada can book Avianca flights they are not formally partners, and Avianca was entirely clueless about what to do. They did speak to Air Canada in Bogota, but all they did was refer everyone to an 800 number that was only open during the day. Eventually, the Avianca employee who was “helping” us wandered off, never to be seen again.

Us and the two other Canadians with the same connection headed back to a hotel…getting ripped off by cab drivers in the process – us for $10, the other couple for $20. But at that time of night, there’s not much to be done…there weren’t many cabs around.

I spent most of the morning on the phone with Air Canada, and they’ve rebooked us (charging for the process, because it was an Avianca problem, but Avianca was basically unable or unwilling to help us…we will be seeking a refund for that when we return.) So now we’ll be arriving back in Edmonton on Wednesday night, after some long layovers – 12 hours in Bogota (I asked for that because I did not want a similar situation to crop up again), and 13 hours in Toronto…which I didn’t ask for, and am a bit of a loss how there can be no earlier flights we could be on.

So we’ll be home late Wednesday. Not what we’d planned, and unfortunately not enough time to leave Quito, which we’re pretty sick of. Normally, I don’t look forward to a trip ending, but this time, I’m definately ready to go home.


The Inaccessible Andes

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

After Baños, we were ready for a quieter place. Cities and towns of all sizes here are very noisy. So we headed off on what the guidebooks describe as the Quilotoa loop, basically just a series of mountain ... [Continue reading this entry]

Horses, Volcanoes and Kitsch in Baños

Saturday, February 7th, 2009

Baños on a Cloudy Morning
Baños on a Cloudy Morning

We´ve been in Baños for a couple of days, and have spent ... [Continue reading this entry]

Mad Dash to Cuenca

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

Fields of the Ecuadorian Lowlands
Fields of the Ecuadorian Lowlands

When we'd booked our flights to the Galapagos, we'd arranged to fly ... [Continue reading this entry]

Swimming with the Sharks, amongst other things

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Sea Lions at Bartolome
Sea Lions at Bartolome

Our past few days on a boat have been fantastic. The scenery and animals have ... [Continue reading this entry]

A’Sailing we will go

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Just a quick note to say that we are boarding the boat today, the Estrella del Mar II, and will be back on solid ground come Monday. Don't expect to hear from us until Tuesday evening, when we'll ... [Continue reading this entry]

Dancing in the sand and sea

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Giant Tortoise
Giant Tortoise

We arrived in the Galapagos on Tuedsay morning, and have been having a great time. The first night we stayed in a not ... [Continue reading this entry]

Adventures in a New City

Monday, January 26th, 2009

We awoke today to pouring rain. Pouring.

The rain stopped around 10, about the time we stepped off the most sardine-packed tram I have ever ridden in my life. But that's part of the adventure. We wandered ... [Continue reading this entry]

Getting there is half the fun?

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

Kathy in the Garden
Kathy in the Garden

We have successfully arrived in Quito, but the getting here was quite a stressful ordeal. ... [Continue reading this entry]