Our only complaint about our extraordinary Galapagos Island adventure was that it was too short. We knew we had picked one of the shorter tour options (it is not a cheap place to visit) but it was advertised as a 6 day adventure, and we (and the others) were a little disappointed to find that they claim the day you check out of your Quito accommodation as Day 6.
As I said the group got on really well, so we decided that we would ensure we got a 6th day by sticking together (or at least those that were still around) and visited the local market for some shopping. And boy can some of them shop!
The Aussies take first prize (Steph and Cathy aka APL), closely followed by Canadians (well Celsey), though I think we managed to secure a comfortable bronze with 2 hats, earrings and some Christmas decorations – if we didn’t have another 4 1/2 months to travel and carry purchases I think we’d have challenged for at least silver!
We bid farewell to the Aussies (though Steph is visiting Europe in 2014 so we hope to catch up) and agree to meet up with Celsey and Kyle for dinner before heading off in search of lunch. This is served up via a kooky hamburger place that you would only find, let alone enter, with the help of a Lonely Planet recommendation. Its delicious!
A stroll round the park to aid digestion and watch a strange volley ball craze. There are a couple of volley ball courts which both attract a large crowd (by local park standards anyway), and the games are played by not very athletic middle aged men. They are also wearing the wrong clothes for sport – jeans, shoes and shirts (though one fella with a bit of a capital D belly does tie his shirt up in a Daisy Duke style). The reason for the crowds becomes apparent when you realise its the basis of gambling, though to be fair to them the standard is pretty good.
In the evening we meet up with Celsey and Kyle for dinner plus another lovely couple they met earlier in their trip who are from Ecuador, Mohamed and Ladan. They are Iranian but have lived in Quito for over 4 years and they take us to a great value bar ($24 for 6 beers and a coke) and then to a nice little italian.
Conversation over dinner results in Niki donating a travel origami set to Kyle when we get back to the accommodation (Niki had found it too hard and Kyle seems confident he can master it – we await the FB pictures to see if he does). We bid them farewell but there is a slight possibility that we might meet up in Asia next year – we hope so.