Monday 26 April 2010


After all the uncertainty about whether my flight would actually depart due to the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland I left Heathrow Airport with only a short delay on the first full day after flights from UK were restarted. On the first leg to Madrid I sat in my favourite window seat on the starboard side of the plane and was treated to probably the best sunset I have ever seen from a plane. As we headed southwest across the Channel towards Brittany the entire horizon was red and the sun itself looked a lot like the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, presumably this spectacular display was as result of the volcanic ash still present in the atmosphere.

I make my connection in Madrid and have a pleasant overnight flight on Lan and arrive at the Alston Inn Hotel in Quito at 08:00. Although it is early, ny room is ready and the hotel let me check in early. So far all has gone well.

Quito old town
I cannot say that Quito does much for me as a destination, the Old Town is quite interesting but nothing outstanding apart from the setting in which the whole city is surrounded by mountains and volcanoes. The new town where I stayed is a tourist ghetto with little to recommend it.

My view of Quito may be coloured by the fact that I got mugged by three men little more than 100m from my hotel. I found out the day after that both our driver and leader had also been mugged in the same area a few days earlier. My visit to the local police station to report the attack provided me with an interesting view of local life. I was a little sore and stiff for a few days but no real damage.

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