Monday 29th April
Well we had a reprieve this morning, we were originally told we would be woken at 0530hrs but they changed it to 0600hrs as we made better progress up river than anticipated following the loss of one of our props.
We were packed, and completed our breakfast and into the canoe by 0710hrs and then we were on our way. Again the driver had to pick his way around the sand bars but a little under two hours we arrived back in Coca. We jumped into a couple of Taxis and arrived at this wonderful airport, well, probably the smallest airport I have ever been to in the world. Our guide was telling us that before the new airport in Quito was built, 50% of all flights were late arrivals in Coca; now there is a brand new modern, sophisticated airport, 80% of all flights were late and that included both our flights; so we had to wait, fortunately they have a VIP lounge there so we were OK, however I would add their VIP lounge was probably equivalent to the normal seats around gates at most airports!!!!
Another good, comfortable flight with the airline “Tame”, straight up and virtually straight down arriving in Quito airport 25 minutes after we left. With only hand luggage we were
straight out and there waiting for us was Danny, our driver, together with our two main suitcases. We then started the drive into Quito, and after about one hour, we arrived back at our “favourite” hotel, ha ha!!!!!!!!! This time though they gave us a bigger room, great but unfortunately there was very limited hot water, so Christine, who had been planning and looking forward to this shower all morning had to have a cold one, very disappointing, still that’s a bed and breakfast for you, Boutique Hotel, my foot!
At 1500hrs our city tour guide arrived in reception. Our local tour operator, to make amends for the shambles on our last visit, had organised a private city tour for us, we didn’t have the heart to refuse and say we had already had a private tour,
so hey we went and he took us to places we hadn’t visited before including the magnificent San Francis Convent, with its Spanish designed quadrangle and beautiful
golden chapel. As it was also raining we didn’t want to do too much walking, so he drove us up and down every street in the old town, wonderful.
The guide duly delivered us back to the hotel but by that time Christine was feeling under the weather again with a dickey tummy. We went down to dinner but Christine had to depart before she had even finished her soup, oh dear, but I finished hers as well as mine, had a main course then back to the room for an early night as we were being collected at 0600hrs, just for a change!!!!!