Trip Start Jan 19, 2012
16Trip End Feb 03, 2012
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Where I stayed
I depart with Edie and Juanita, though my flight leaves later. Eddie takes us to the airport. It's a long check in process for me. The line is long and slow moving. Seems like the other travelers are taking very very large bags. I'm somewhat (actually a lot) annoyed when I have to pay out $33 since I have two bags not one- even though the total weight is under 40 lbs. Doesn't quite seem right.
Anyway, the flight takes off nicely on time. I'm seated on the aisle next to two Ecuadoran woman. We crash across the language barrier. I share photos of my trip from the iPad. I gather they're on a shopping trip. Economy must be picking up!
I arrive in Miami and make the usual stops through immigration and customs. It takes a bit of effort, but I finally find the way to get back to the gates. Seems to be a part of airports that's not thought through real well. I schlep across the miles to my departure gate. It's about 2pm now and I'm ready to chow down on lunch-and wait for my departure at 7pm. It seems to take forever. Since there's no real food on this flight, I decide to buy some dinner to take along. I spot some folks eating nigiri sushi and find out it's from Sushi Maki by gate D27. I'm there! It's Friday after all, and that's my usual sushi night.
The flight takes forever and it's packed. But I spend time writing up my journal and looking at pictures. In the end, what can I say about Ecuador? The tour was labeled "The Many Faces of Ecuador" and I'll have to go with that. A country the size of Colorado (per Mr. G) that encompasses such diversity- from Amazonia, to the Andes, glacier topped volcanoes, down to the lovely coast with banana and cocoa and the amazing diversity of the Galapagos. And the people too- the Spanish influence, the native people and culture that has endured, the slaves imported to the coastal plantations. A lot of mestizos- another word for mashups.
The lowlanders versus the highlanders. Guayquil vs Quito. Think of New York City with the bustling business vibe (although a hot and humid version) vs. Boston with traditional and conservative attitudes (although a cool and misty version). And they seem to be getting things done- a great deal of pride in their success (90% of foodstuff home grown!). Diversity and yet unity (mas o menos!). An amazing place and amazing people. Thanks for sharing!
And, finally, I'm home.