I felt a pang of sadness as I packed my bags and double checked the room to make sure I had left nothing behind. It was my last morning on the Galapagos Islands. Our last day in the Galapagos was to be on San Cristobal Island. It was to be a half day, with our flight departing at 2:00 PM from the Airport just outside of town. The whole of the morning was free for us to do whatever we pleased. We were told to buy snacks, as the next meal provided would be dinner when we reached Quito late in the night.
We got up at a relaxed time and got ready to go out into town. After breakfast, we went out to the touristy bit of town to do some final shopping on the island, and to get the aforementioned snacks.
It was a warm sunny day, and very pleasant out. The streets were quite deserted due to the festivities of the previous night’s Good Friday procession. Foot traffic started to pick up as we neared the touristy parts, but it was still comparatively empty. This worked in our favor, however, because many of the store owners were willing to bargain for longer as there weren’t many other customers to help. We had been warned that prices on the islands were 1.5X the price of the same item on the mainland. Therefore, we were told that it was ok to bargain with the store owners. Another tip we had been given, was to bargain in Spanish, as they were more involved in the transaction when done in their native tongue. My Spanish sure came in handy during this trip.
Finally, we headed back to the hotel at the designated time so that we could altogether head to the airport. The luggage was loaded onto a pickup truck and the passengers into buses. The drive lasted all of five minutes to get to the airport as it was just past the limits of the town. We queued up at the counters and one by one checked in. No upgrade this time, but worse yet, a technical fault had caused our flight to be delayed by 2-3 hours. WHAT AN ANNOYANCE! But we made do with what time we had. A group of us gathered in a circle in the airport entry hall and played fun party games to pass the time like froggy murderer and mafia. It was all in all good fun, and the whole group definitely bonded a bit better.
Before we knew it, it was time to pass through security and on to our gate. When we reached the gate, Avianca surprised us with snacks and drinks as an apology for delaying our flight. We were also told that the airline, who managed the situation very professionally, had scheduled a direct flight from San Cristobal to Quito instead of taking us to Quito through Guayaquil. The latter would have gotten us to Quito at 9:30 PM, but because of the quick thinking of the airline, we made it back to Quito at 8:00 PM. Still 3 hours after we were supposed to arrive, but definitely better than 9:30 PM!
We stopped at a restaurant on the way to the hotel and ate a delicious western meal. I got chicken tenders and fries! We reached the hotel at 10:00 PM and everyone was EXHAUSTED! But since it was our last night in Ecuador, my group decided to spend some time having fun in one of our fellow traveler’s room. We played some music and just talked the night away, which was very good fun. We didn’t mind losing a bit of sleep because we would have an opportunity to sleep on the long drive to the next day’s destination.
Altogether, it was a marvelous day, and comparatively, it was very laid back and enjoyable. Stay tuned for the post about my last day in Ecuador coming soon! Until next time!