Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ecuador Time

Morning Grey

Rebecca and I had all sorts of plans for the day, starting with finalizing our trip to the Galapagos. We decided between the land tour I designed and a good but affordable boat tour, and it had become clear last night that Rebecca was keen on a cruise rather than roughing it on land. We met Deborah for coffee and she suggested we try to get on her boat, so we took the Ecovia to 'Happy Gringo' and 'Angel' checked every boat that was sailing in the next few days. Only the first four days of Deborah's boat tour were available and it turned out the 'Estrella del Mar' trip we had decided on was not going to happen because the boat was to be inspected Sunday and may not sail on Monday as expected.

So the land tour, which sounds interesting too and is most affordable , was our final choice. So we visited 'Chuck' from California at Ecomontes Tours, and spent the next several hours reviewing our itinerary ( it took many attempts to get it all on paper, it did not take long to figure out that Chuck was a little confused and very slow). We walked to the Banco de Pacifico with Chuck, where we each withdrew cash from our credit cards and handed a wad of 20's to Chuck, who put it all in his pocket. We were drenched when we left the bank and ran through the rain to buy the plane tickets (in cash). Chuck was confused about where some of the money disappeared and I am not sure if he ever figured it out. We received our etickets and a printed copy of our itinerary, but no vouchers or phone numbers, just an assurance that we would be met tomorrow morning at Baltra, and that we would be taken care of. I know that Rebecca is worried that we will arrive and nothing will happen as expected. Perhaps traveling on a tight budget is not going to work for us. I am hopeful, and am excited to experience the islands in an entirely new way.

I had contacted CENIT to say I was coming, and carried a backpack full of donations, which got wet in the rain but never got delivered. It simply took hours and hours to finalize our plans, and by the time we were done we were able to squeeze in a lunch at the 'Magic Bean' (Chuck had told us they had the best cheeseburgers, which were okay but not amazing) and rush home to get Maya's ballet clothes and meet her (a half hour late) at her school. She was to perform at 'El Condado' shopping center, and both Rebecca and Deborah wanted to see her dance. Unfortunately it took an hour to get her ready and her performance was perhaps two minutes. I felt badly that my friends had to wait so long for so little, but I think Rebecca, having had children and grandhcildren knows how these events work, and Deborah will have learned what it is like to have performing children.

Maya's Dance

Our evening was a mad rush to organize for our adventure. I cannot believe I arranged it all a day before the trip and that I will be back in the Galapagos again. Eric will take care of Maya and Mel will move into the apartment for the time that we are gone. Eric hopes to get alot of work done with her and Mel will take a few day trips. Werner arrived from Atlanta a day late, and came to visit before going to his hotel with Deborah. It certainly feels as if my home is Grand Central Station, but I think Eric and I like it this way.

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