The trip to Quito went very smoothly and thankfully we saw no sign of trouble either at the airport or the city of Quito. We got a taxi to the San Jose airport and checked in. Proceeding through the security checks we found ourselves with a few shops to check out in the time we had before boarding. We ended up buying a few things like t-shirts and spent the last of our money on cinnamon sticks. The flight when it finally came time to leave was good, and not too long. Flying into Quito was interesting, flying in between hills and mountains before banking sharply over the city and down onto the runway.
At Quito airport we got our bags quickly and went out to the arrivals hall where we bought a taxi fare from one of the little hole in the wall counters. We walked outside and were directed to a waiting taxi and were on our way into the city and on to Hotel Rio Amazonas. Checking in was simple, our bags were taken to the room for us and we were soon relaxing in the room. We had read on a notice board that the arrival meeting was to be at 6pm so we had almost the whole afternoon to ourselves.
Heading downstairs just before 4pm we bumped into some others also travelling with GAP and discovered that the meeting was actually at 4pm so we hung around and met Siobhan, Denise and Sarah; three Irish woman, all lawyers. There were only the five of us at the meeting, the other listed person was Sadiah from Sydney and she didn’t arrive until later that evening.
We were provided with tote bags for the Galãpagos trip as the luggage allowance meant we couldn’t really take everything we had. This was actually a relief as it meant we didn’t have to cart sleeping bags, sleeping mats and other not required items with us and once we’d packed our new bags we had a refreshingly light load for once. We had dinner at the hotel and took an early night as we’d be starting quite early the next day.