|Well despite me saying that we were on our way to Ecuador I have to mention our drive back to Lima. I have come to the conclusion that Peruvian drivers are not idiots, they are clearly skilled drivers that my initial biased view stopped me recognising the skills they possess. I have never seen drivers cut through traffic or use the hard shoulders of dual carriageways so skilfully. Most people would be happy to wait, particularly when an accident has occurred but these guys can see a route through that no one would see and carve their way through. Even if they are driving a bus, coach, lorry or mere car. Us mortals can merely stare and wonder at their abilities. Surely it cannot be long before a Peruvian races in Formula 1 as this must be the ultimate end game. As Darwin would see it.
Anyway despite their abilities our drivers are mere mortals in comparison and do not possess these skills so we had to get up early again to fight the traffic through Lima to the airport. So at 5 the phone gave its merry message that it was time to get up and meet our team in reception for a 6:30 departure through the traffic. Airport duly arrived at by 7:30 for our flight at 10:30. It seems so long but if you leave it any later you will never get there. Still we had a lovely pack up from the hotel and made our way. Oh yes and the hotel had all of our clothes (my clothes) and Irene’s hairbrush that we managed to leave last time we stayed here. So lucky that this was the first time we have left things and that we also came back.
Just before boarding started Bob and I were summoned by the lady on the tannoy and he had to go and talk to her. We tried to persuade her that we should be upgraded to business class but it turned out that she needed our passport details. Still not put off by this we kept asking about potential upgrades and she eventually changed our seats to the ones by the emergency exit doors with extra leg room. Which was great for Bob and Alison but we could not reach the tables for our in-flight meal, typical. Anyway we got to Quito in super quick time and our suitcases beat us to baggage collection so we got out in double quick time. In fact the flight was so early we beat our guide to the terminal building. Fortunately he was there just after us so no panic. The airport is outside of Quito. Bit like Stansted from London. Ecuador does not have the same traffic issues as Peru and the roads are in really good condition, Apparently this is due to the wealth they have from their oil industry. So it didn’t take too long to get into the centre and to our hotel. Our guide was a real swarve type with blue sunglasses and a lot of patter. He is looking after us during our Ecuador section so we will see how this goes. We stopped outside the hotel but it wasn’t the one we had been told. Apparently this one is part of the same group as the tour company and has only just opened. We were part of the trial with them so we were slightly worried. Suffice to say it is fabulous and we are looking forward to the next few days. They can’t do enough for us and the rooms are exquisite. The chef has been brought in for a successful restaurant and he has brought his whole team. We booked the five course taster menu with a flight of wine, mainly because the staff were explaining that his specialty is a pork dish that is cooked for 48 hours in a boiler thing like the steaks at Petrus. Before this we went for a quick tour with the guy that is the new concierge. Turns out he is a basketball player in the Ecuadorian league and is 6’ 8”tall. I think I need to get a photo with him at some time. Anyway he was lovely and explained some of the does and don’ts of Quito. We then had a quick look round on our own before unpacking and getting ready for our anticipated meal. To say that it was lovely is an understatement. The chap serving was great, explaining the food and the wine. At the end the chef came to talk to us and show us round his kitchen. We are going to like it here.
Quito is near the equator but not quite on it, we are going there on Wednesday. It is also high so we need to be careful of the sun and altitude. Lots to think about and we have a free day tomorrow so we will explore although we are trying to organise some golf. More about this tomorrow.
Sleep well in the UK.