Our last day in the Galápagos. We went ashore after breakfast and were left to wander around the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno until our flight back to the mainland. There wasn’t too much to see there, lots of tourists shops and stray dogs (some seemed to have owners or at least places they chiefly liked to linger but few had collars and startingly none had been neutered. I saw a little chihuahua who was insanely well-endowed for his size, I guess to compensate for the pink collar his owner had put on him). The sea lions were still everywhere, napping.
We walked up and down the street then played cards in a café until time to catch our flight. A nice low-key day after four days of intense activity.
The airport was colorful, but opened to the tarmac so it was very loud, and the PA system desperately tried to broadcast louder than the jets: chaos.
They had us board the flight from the front and the back at the same time, so insanely efficient I wonder why they don’t make jetways at airports long enough to reach both doors so they can do this everywhere. I guess it would be awkward getting around the wing.
This was the one flight without cloud cover so I could see the part of Ecuador around Guayaquil as we came in for our landing. There were mangrove swamps and rice paddies and shrimp farms and the city itself was huge, we never saw more than a sliver of it on the ground.
Francisco who had dropped us off was there to pick us up and take us back to the hotel. If you’ll recall my husband had lost his Twins cap somewhere on the way to the ship on the Galápagos and he wanted to get another cap of some sort before we continued our Ecuadorian adventure, so he asked Francisco who the local football teams are and which one he should support cap-wise. Francisco explained that there are two football teams in Guayaquil, the Barcelona Sporting Club and the Club Sport Emelec. He tried to be impartial but it was increasingly apparent that he was a Barcelona fan, especially when he described them as the Bruce Springsteen of football teams (Emelec is owned by some rich fellow while Barcelona is the people’s team). When we got back to the hotel my husband went out to get his cap but they were all sold out of both teams, so he picked up a cap for a Quito team called Sociedad Deportivo Quito, which apparently is the Bruce Springsteen of Quito area football teams.
We were on the eleventh floor this night but the traffic sounds still carried all the way up to us, including the sound of a drum, chanting, and lots of vuvuzelas. I looked out the window and saw a group of protesters marching. They had a cardboard coffin they took turns carrying and I could hear them saying “Fuera correa” but I couldn’t read their banner from the angle I was at so I’m not sure what they were protesting. They had a police escort and they marched up and down the main street a few times quiet peacefully.
After five days on the Galápagos where the water was safe I completely forgot about not brushing my teeth in sink water, that was a tough habit to get back into. We stayed in that evening, watching cooking shows in Spanish, including a Japanese chef making sushi. Guayaquil is truly a melting pot.
You’d think being back on land I would sleep really well but alas I kept waking up all night long feeling like I was still on the boat, which was nice, and certain I could hear the navigation starting, which was less so. But the hotel bed was more than twice the size of my bunk in the cabin; it was nice to be able to stretch all the way out again.