Friday 26th October, hotel Eugenia, Quito, Ecuador. First internet for ages, so let me bring you up to date…
Left our hotel in Lima at 03.45 for an early flight to Quito, via Guayaquil. If you are expecting Mundo Albergue to be a hotel you’ll be disappointed but it’s a superior standard hostel, run by absolutely lovely people – Carlos and his mum could not have been more helpful or hospitable. Anyway, we arrive at Lima airport in plenty of time to catch our flight, check our bags in and go for a coffee. An announcement tells us that our flight is delayed and there becomes an increasing possibility that we’ll miss our connecting flight to Quito! We eventually persuade Lan to put us on a direct flight with another airline and get our boarding passes 40 minutes before our departure – having been categorically assured by both Lan and Taca that our bags would be on the flight with us. We get to Quito at about the same time as our original flight, where we are being met by a driver to take us two hours to our cloud forest destination, and guess what – no bags! The Taca duty manager is very friendly but completely ineffectual and we end up departing for Bellavista Cloud Forest Lodge with no luggage. That was Saturday afternoon – we were eventually reunited with our possessions on Monday evening! Three days in the same clothes, no toiletries and the power drained from every piece of technical equipment we possess, proved a little wearing at times and tempers became slightly frayed, but we got by and the environment and birding were more than adequate compensation.
We’ve just finished five fantastic days enjoying the birding delights of this part of Ecuador and amassed close on two hundred species, courtesy of our very efficient guide, Andrea. Depending on the internet connection I might even be able to post some pictures!
Tomorrow we depart early for Santiago, Chile for three weeks and the ‘wedding of the year’!