The last little bit of the trip was a morning dinghy ride along the mango groves. We saw quite a few black and white-tipped sharks, amorous turtles circling the females, iguanas basking on the rocks, and a lone stingray skimming the bottom of the water in the sand and creating quite a stir. We also saw for the last time some blue-footed boobies and brown pelicans diving into the water for a snack, lava herons were waiting patiently for their breakfast to swim by and a great blue heron majestically wading in the water. While we have seen these all before, we were still enchanted. Tonight we plan on all getting together for one last dinner together in Quito after an uneventful flight. Tomorrow sees the group splitting up and going their various ways. Kathy and Dave will hopefully head to the Cotopaxi volcano tomorrow to climb a glacier.
Touchdown in Quito was uneventful and we were grateful to be on the next leg of our journey. Ed, our Canadian companion on the trip, had an excellent idea: how about dinner altogether tonight? One last hurrah for the group!! The nine of us walked to a local restaurant and ordered our drinks and meals at about 7:15 pm. Dinner and drinks came out in waves with the last dish for Elena not being received until almost 8:30 pm. She promptly tackled her with dinner ravenous determination. Her meal was especially late because she ordered a pizza, but with “no tomatoes” due to her allergy. When her pizza came out, hiding under the cheese topping was…..tomato sauce! Dave used his phone to translate to the waiter that Elena is allergic to tomatoes. The waiter grabbed Dave’s phone and left, puzzling the nine of us. He returned a couple of minutes later and gave Dave his phone back. Dave thinks he showed the phone to the cook, because when her pizza came out, it was not deadly to Elena. Hurrah! The dinner was quite a lively affair. Ed and Dave each sat at the “head” of the table and exchanged quips and jokes that kept us all laughing. Today, Chris and Janet, the retired dentists from the UK, head home at about 5 pm. Chris and Elena head to the UK via Madrid later that evening. Just in time for Chris to start a new job on Wednesday. Ed and Elizabeth from Canada have opted to explore Ecuador a bit more and will enjoy almost a whole week here seeing some more of the country. Katya will leave for DC at a decent hour on Wednesday to head back to her job at the World Bank. We enjoyed getting to know all of them and hope we meet up again.
I hope these “top” 60 photos enchant the viewer as much as we were enchanted during our trip.