Monday, December 5, 2011

Cuenca - Quito

25 Nov 2011

Today we had a real treat, a lie-in!

Convent in Cuenca

After a late breakfast, we headed down to the Rio Tomebamba behind the hotel and saw hummingbirds, wagtails and Ruffous-collared Sparrows.  Following this, we packed our baga again and then crossed the road for a cup of coffee whilst we waited for our airport transport.

Spanish Colonial Houses - Cuenca

Much to our amazement, Cuenca airport is very modern and air-conditioned, so waiting for our flight was painless.  The flight was on time and we headed back north to Quito passing through a storm cloud shortly before landing.  I've rarely heard rain so hard on a aircraft fuselage whilst still airborne.

Quito airport was its usual chaotic self, but we found our tour rep who scooped us up and got us to our bus.  We were pleasantly suprised to find Lois 2 driving the bus!

Back at the Dann Carlton we collected our left luggage and headed back upstairs to unpack and repack in anticipation of our Galapagos trip tomorrow.

As it was still raining, we snuck through the hotel casino into a back street where we knew there was a restaurant next door to the hotel.  The decor in the restaurant was in the 'minimalist' style and had some odd features, not least a couple of tables surround by pink mosquito nets hung from the ceiling.  The food was, sort of, nouvelle fusion cuisine and very tasty, but the service was rather variable.  This might have been because it was the begining of a fiesta weekend and the restaurant was very busy.  Most of the women were given a rose on arrival, but we decided this was for those who had pre-booked.

Back at the hotel, we logged onto the internet, and shortly after that the room started swaying gently!  (I don't think the twos events were associated!)  It lasted about 30 seconds and we realised we'd experienced an earth tremor on the fifth floor of a building, an interesting experience!  (It seems that earth tremors are so normal, it didn't even make the local press.)  We did the last bits of packing and went to bed early as, guess what, we have another early start tomorrow!

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