Welcome to Ecuador!
For many of us, alarm clocks ring around 3.15am this morning! We are staying at a Heathrow hotel and by 4am our private coach is waiting for us outside. We transfer to Terminal Five and the helpful BA staff are ready to check us in. The BA team are getting used to the Furlongs family departing on their first flight of the day. As soon as they see us they kindly open two private check-in desks. Boarding cards done and dusted we head through secruity. Dawn has helped with check in but now she heads home. She will be joining us next week with some more guests. Richard says goodbye and proceeds to security. He is carrying 50 tourist radio headsets and receivers. Heathrow security wish to take a look as normal. On this occasion the security check is obviously more strict than normal because every single radio is wiped and tested. 25 minutes later Richard is cleared to go!
Our first short hop is from Heathrow to Madrid. On arrival here we pass through another security check but Richard´s radios are hardly noticed here. Bottles of water are however confiscated! Our flight from Madrid takes us to Quito, capital of Ecuador. It is a long journey of course but most of us manage to pass the time with a good read, a film or two, and a nap or two. We landed pretty much on schedule but immigration takes a while. All our luggage is ready for us and our local guide Fernando is there to greet us. We board our private bus and head to town. The Ecuadorian government built the new Quito airport a couple of years ago but sadly a main road connecting the airport with the city centre is yet to be finished! We therefore take the old road but we make fairly good progress, arriving in the city centre on schedule. The Patio Andaluz Hotel offers a warm and friendly welcome. It is an elegant boutique hotel located in a colonial style house originally built at the end of the 16th century. The hotel staff are lovely and in no time at all we are settling in to our rooms. Our chosen light meal is popular with guests and everyone retires for a well-earned rest.
Welcome to Ecuador!