If in doubt, it's a finch!
We find ourselves at anchor near Baltra Island first thing this morning. During breakfast our suitcases have been taken via panga ashore, and Vanessa is busy checking us in for our flight back to the mainland. At the airport we’re treated to the VIP lounge, which proves useful because our flight is delayed. Comfy seats and complimentary refreshments for all. To help keep everyone happy Richard and Dawn buy the airport shop’s entire stock of Cornetto ice creams. Other travellers look on in amazement as Furlongs guests enjoy an ice cream interlude!
90 minutes later we’re landing at Guayaquil Airport. The local family business that organizes our local transport is waiting to greet us (with our favourite driver, Neptali!) and we take the short transfer back to the Hilton Hotel for a siesta. Late afternoon Richard heads back to the airport with luggage while Dawn hosts guests at an afternoon tea buffet. Check-in at KLM is straight forward and we’re soon spending money at the duty free shop before heading to our departure gate. Security checks on main luggage at Guayaquil are not unusual and a few of our guests are called to “go downstairs”. Richard accompanies and the security guards recognise him from last year!
Our overnight flight is uneventful although a little bumpy at times due to turbulence. The jet stream helps us arrive in Amsterdam early and it’s a fairly bouncy landing due to the windy conditions! Oh dear, we discover our onward flight to London has been cancelled due to the weather. Nine flights prior to us have been cancelled so it’s mild chaos! Richard and Dawn meet a KLM supervisor and try to crack the problem. Within a few minutes KLM advises the only way we’ll get home is to accept a flight to London City Airport, rather than Heathrow. We send guests off to the airport café with refreshment vouchers while we sort things out. Despite KLM’s earlier promise, we’re subsequently split onto two flights, but both into London City. Richard books private coach transport ready to take everyone across London. Flight One with Richard takes off. 45 minutes later it lands at City Airport. A text from Dawn confirms her second flight has been cancelled. Oh joy! Richard’s group sets off across London. Dawn is rescheduled to arrive direct into Heathrow later. Coach number two from City Airport is cancelled! Dawn arrives at Heathrow. Everyone is reunited! Some of us even have luggage. Others have “luggage to follow” receipts. And over the course of the next few days, all the luggage is delivered back home. Washing therefore postponed. An unscheduled last leg but the weather was truly awful!
Our Galapagos expedition is over. We take home very happy memories of a simply magical place. And remember, if in doubt, it's a finch!