|Today is a rest day. Alison and Bob were going to meet some friends who live nearby but have not been able to contact them. We have been trying to book some golf and Quito seemed to have some courses. The lady at reception yesterday said that she thought all were private apart for one and she couldn’t get hold of them, probably because it is a bank holiday. Anyway when she left last night another lady took over and she seemed to be a bit more switched on and said she would call them in the morning.
We felt like it was not going to happen so started to make alternative plans.
After breakfast, which was another strange menu of stuff we didn’t recognise, but really nice, we got ready to have a walk around the town. We could this could be fraught with problems as we were trying not to visit the places we are going to see tomorrow with the guide - with me so far?
Anyway as we got to reception the lady called Bob over and said that we could play at a course she knew and they had a tee time at 11. You have never seen three adults run back up stairs and come back ready for golf so quickly.
She explained it was 100 US Dollars all in and she had booked a taxi to take us there. Cost for taxi about 10 Dollars. Ecuador doesn’t have its own currency so uses Dollars. Not sure Donald Trump knows this!
Our taxi arrived and we made the trek across The city. Quito is a very long and thin city and the course seemed to be towards the northern end. A lot less traffic than Peru and almost normal behaviour, apart from the motorcycles that seem to be set up as family friendly versions with at least three or more people on each one. Fortunately they seem to wear crash helmets and aren’t texting at the same time. Progress I guess. Ecuador has vast oil reserves so I assume that the education and living standards are better.
Anyway we arrived at the course and it had a drive about half a mile to the clubhouse with security at the gate. We had to tell them who we were and then we were met at the entrance to the club by a friendly team of Ecuadorian golf enthusiasts. We paid our100 dollars and they told us this gave us clubs, buggy, green fee, driving range balls and lunch. This seemed more than reasonable so we paid our money and started to get ready. Slight sting in the tail as we then had to pay for ten balls, ten tees and shoes. This brought the bill to 155 which still seemed ok.
After a quick practice we wandered down to the first tee and started our round. I got a lucky par and then went from bad to worse before steadying for an ok front nine. Irene did ok but they had only got men’s clubs so they were a bit long and heavy. Bob started badly but slowly got going and we had two shots between us by nine. Alison, clearly bored by our poor play stayed at the clubhouse after nine and we went round with our caddy who gave Irene lots of tips, if she wanted them or not. I got some tips and Bob was left to his own devices. It all came down to the 18th with Bob and I tied and Irene two shots off but an extra shot on the last. Putting proved to be decisive and Bob clinched victory by one shot, avenging the fishing loss.
We went into the lovely clubhouse and had a choice of starter, their specialty pork dish and a sweet that was a bit like doughnuts which you dipped into a honey sauce. This plus drinks was a great end to the golf and we could have quite easily gone to sleep then.
Unfortunately we had to get another taxi to take us back and a young lad in a flash car turned up for us. It took ages to explain where we wanted to go and eventually after he had phoned the office/ mother/girlfriend we started on our way. The first part was through the local shopping area and it turned out to be the last day of the carnival that is held prior to Ash Wednesday. All of the youngsters go round with shaving foam, water bombs, buckets of water (some of which looked not very clean) and water guns which they used to soak all vulnerable looking people. We were following a number of other cars that were also soaking the crowds so we got off lightly and no water entering the car. We arrived back to the hotel but did not have enough money on us to pay him. I jumped out and ran to the hotel which panicked him but Alison explained in her best Spanish and once I had come back with a tip he calmed down.
Once back we realised that our day of rest had been quite hectic so we had baths, showers (not together, obviously) and a quick beer before settling down for some dodgy Ecuadorian tv and an early night. Tomorrow brings the equator and a tour of Quito’s historic centre.
Goodnight for now.