Otavalo day 1, flight into the new Quito airport

How interesting. My location has inserted itself as Calle No. 10, rather than Juan Montalvo 4-44. Google maps don’t have any but the main street here in Otavalo, and Matt’s Ingress portals are inaccurately located as well. We are in room number 10, however, here at Hostal Dona Esther, which is possibly one of the nicest rooms we’ve been in, although a bit noisy. It’s only 21:30, though, so no big deal for now. And I have earplugs when I need them.

Ecuadorian transportation failed us slightly today, but it was an adventure! It all started smoothly, with us waking up before our alarms at 06:00. At breakfast we learned we could share a taxi truck to the canal crossing to the airport, rather than taxi to the bus to the canal. Easier!

They were a lovely Canadian couple, and had lots of great travel stories to tell. They’ve both been in the Galapagos before, he 3 times and she twice. They were also visiting Costa Rica when Hurricane Rita hit, which was a great story! Better in retrospect. Anyway, I’m glad we got to share the ride with them (and some time in the airport as well).

So, the taxi dropped us at the canal, where we took a ferry across to Isla Baltra, where the airport is, then a shuttle from there to the airport itself. And that’s where things go a little downhill. Due to the new Quito airport which has JUST opened, all flights leaving Quito are delayed. Therefore our flight going to Quito is delayed. When we get in, we learn that we’ll have 3 buses to take just to get us to Quito’s north terminal, where we can then get a bus to Otavalo. This new airport is about halfway between the 2 cities, so it seems ridiculous to spend 6 hours going somewhere 1.5 hours away. We look into options.

Car rental for our last week will cost $240, but would allow us freedom to do the little trips we are planning without bus schedules. A taxi to Otavalo is $60. I’m double checking that price at the service desk when Matt came on to tell me he’d found someone who’d agreed to take us for $25. I heard him repeat the price twice, but then when we got into the taxi and were leaving, the driver seemed confused that we were going to Otavalo. Long story short, we paid even more than we should have, but got into Otavalo before dark, where we checked into this lovely hotel and had a delicious dinner in the on-site restaurant. Here’s the view from the roof terrace:

So far, I like this town. It feels like a real place, not necessarily a tourist place. We walked around looking for Ingress portals in the dark, and it was active but not dangerous-feeling. Sadly, though, the hoodies and warmer socks and boots have had to come back out. The beauty of the mountains makes that worthwhile anyway.

Tomorrow is market day, which I’m looking forward to, and which is one of th main reasons we’re here. I’m going to bed now so that I can immerse myself in it properly.

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Location:Calle No. 10,Puerto Ayora,Ecuador