Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Galapagos Decisions

I am going a little crazy making a decision about a Galapagos trip for my friend Rebecca, who is arriving next week. It was easier with Debra, who has chosen a gorgeous boat and an excellent itinerary for a discounted price. Werner, her husband, is arriving next Wednesday and they will leave for their eight day seven night cruise a few days later. It was not too complicated to review the itineraries and make suggestions for Debra, since I have visited the island several times and Eric too is very knowledgeable about the Galapagos. Rebecca is leery of taking a cruise because she gets queasy on boats, and I am exploring the land options, but am concerned that she will not see enough of the animals, which are really what is most significant about the Galapagos. Having never been on a land tour, I have no idea what to advise or expect. I wonder if she she should opt for a cruise and choose one of the bigger boats and wear a scopolamine patch. Eric's colleague Mel would like to join Rebecca, and prefers land to cruise at a bargain rate.

Best Coffee Shop in Quito---Road Coffee

I am amazed at how much time one can spend in travel agencies. Most of my morning was devoted to agonizing about travel options, and once home, more hours were wasted looking at all the websites of the agencies I had visited and agonizing some more, and getting more indecisive. I must make a decision by the end of the week; any time later is too late.

I am expecting to join Mel and Rebecca, so the land experience is exciting because it is new to me and will present a very different view of the Galapagos.

I brought Debra to my favourite museum today, the Archeological Museum of the Banco Central in the Casa de la Cultura. I had little time to browse, but was able to give Debra a brief history lesson and admire some of the earlier pre-Columbians (the Valdivians, Chorerra, Machalilla, La Tolita, Panzaleo). I took some photos but was observed by one of the guards who promptly told me to erase all my pictures, which he watched me do one by one. I usually find myself able to take a few photos in the museum without flash, and although I have been corrected, I have never before been asked to delete the photos I took. I felt awkward, but not too distressed. The guard told me that if I wanted photos, to buy the books in the gift shop, but I responded that I have almost all the books, I just like to take photos. I wish I was skillful enough to take photos more surreptitiously.

Maya is rehearsing in La Casa de la Musica for two hours after school and practicing ballet for three hours. I am not sure how to limit her schedule so she can have time to relax or to sleep. I have hoped our lives would be less complicated here in Quito and that we would all relax more, but that is not the case at all. Maya does more of everything, and Eric works more than ever and despite the extra forty hours a week I am not working, I find that I have less time than ever. Of course, I am always busy and active and experiencing all that Ecuador has to offer. I am feeling more at home here and it feels good to show off this wonderful place.

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