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Monday 1 Mar 2010
Quito, Ecuador

Slept in...

Despite setting my alarm for 3am this morning, AND waking up, I went back to sleep and suddenly awoke in my hotel room in a panic at around 5am! My flight was due to leave at 7.40am so I would really have to be at the airport latest 5.30am to check in.

The damn confusion caused by putting my watch back an hour when I went to the Galapagos meant that I thought it was only 4am... gotta watch out for this when returning to Quito!

So I arrive at the airport this morn after a speedy Taxi ride and find that noone is at the TACA desk, having just shut up shop about 30 mins earlier. At this point my flight was leaving the ground in about 30 mins, so I'd be liable for some hefty late check-in fees if I DID manage to check in.

A mad dash up to the TACA office on the second floor ensues (in which I almost pull my back having to lug around my now huge backpack ... I'm gonna have to post some stuff home!) and the girl confirms I've well and truly missed the flight. That's a first for me.. I don't think I've ever been THAT late for a flight before!

She then checks my reservation and pure fluke: it turns out my exceedingly expensive ticket HAS some advantages after all. There happens to be a TACA flight leaving for Lima at 6pm today and she was able to change my reservation to board this flight instead AT NO EXTRA CHARGE because I paid so much for the first ticket. Joy of joys! Laughing

I have a flight to Iquitos for the Amazon river trip and LUCKILY I booked it to leave tomorrow instead of trying to get a connecting flight later today. Luck of the Irish is on my side right now I tell you (not to mention the fact that I narrowly avoided getting washed away in a Tsunami 2 days ago on the Galapagos after the Chile earthquake!)

OK so I've got about 12 hours in the airport ... good time to upload some photos and write up my Galapagos blogs before my flight to Lima, Peru...


Arrived into Lima and ended up staying in the centre of town at the Plaza de Armas (this would become a noticable trend in the coming days). Chicken restaurants are everywhere along with something I haven't yet seen in South America (well maybe Brazil, but I didn't notice): Chinese restaurants.

They are everywhere and are called "Chifa" restaurants here.

I'd love to know the history of why there are so many Chinese here, but it's probably related to the country's past mining exploits (in a similar way to Australia's large Chinese communities in mining centres)

Nothing particularly interesting of note in this part of the city, so I just crashed in the hotel until my morning flight to Iquitos...

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South America Twenty Ten

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After previously dipping my toes in Latin America via trips to Cuba and Central America, it's time to go for the big splash! 3 1/2 months to take in as much as I can, armed with little more than my camera, laptop and a few dodgy Spanish phrases.

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