Posted by: tim ellis | December 28, 2008

Ecuador – Monday 7th July, 2008

Breakfast is at 7 today, and Diego joins us to say goodbye. Pablo is rowing us across the lagoon, then we just follow the board walk back to the river and the trail back to the jetty. There is a short break while all the departees assemble, then we board the “speed canoe” to head upstream. Despite there being some people staying longer at Sacha, we don’t seem much emptier.

We have been issued with packed lunches – mine is labelled “Mr Timothy, No Queso!” Most people save theirs until we land at Coca and get to the Sacha offices, where we have a half hour break before getting back on the bus to drive through town to the airport, where yet again my boarding card is for “Mr Timothy”. Still, at least I get a seat! They appear to have issued a number of duplicate seat numbers – there are enough seats for all the passengers, but there is some frantic swapping of seats as people rejoin partners who had been sat in different rows… The in-flight sandwich is ham, which is an improvement on the cheese roll on the way out, but the stewardesses only manage to get half way down the plane with the drinks, so those of us in “tourist class” at the back have to go without.

I am met at Quito by Diego (Metropolitan Diego, not Sacha Lodge Diego, it could get confusing…) who takes me back to the Almera, where I am reunited with my bags, but am now in a different room on the 3rd floor. I think the room is larger (It’s a different shape, so it’s hard to tell) but the balcony is not as good, nor the view. I do a little local shopping, but don’t venture far. After the tranquillity of the rainforest, I don’t fancy Quito at rush-hour!

I go for dinner at a restaurant just up the Amazonas tonight, where I order chicken soup, a platter of chicken and assorted sausages, with a side order of a plantain fritter and a coke. The coke arrives with a bowl of popcorn, followed almost immediately by the fritter – Since it is hot, it seems silly to leave it until the main course, so I eat it before the soup arrives. This is an enormous bowl – almost a meal on it’s own, and I am still eating it when the main course arrives!

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