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.
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.