We are sitting on the Celebrity chartered plane to Baltra, the main island in the Galapagos. It’s 12:21 pm, and our flight just took off. As I peer out the plane window, I see the Andes Mountains surrounding Ecuador and am in awe of their beauty and expanse to the sky.
There is a scattering of quaint villages in many of the foothills with ample opportunities for farming and cultivation. There’s a pristine quality of it all. In our few short days in Quito, we reveled in this country’s dedication to ecology and preservation of its vast resources, from the refillable metal water bottles to the limited use of caustic materials and amenities.
The process at the airport was meticulous and uneventful. The friendliness of the staff was evident in every area, and we were whisked through each process with dignity and ease. Several documents are associated with entry to the Galapagos to ensure the utmost safety and preservation of their unique wildlife and terrain. We have completed everything as required.
Now that we are flying to sea level, our altitude anomalies should dissipate within 12 hours. We both did fine walking through the Quito airport. Tom carried our three carry-on bags, and I was pleased with how well I did in the still-high altitude.
Our lunch is being served now on the plane. I will take a break to eat only the three pieces of smoked salmon with cream cheese. I will upload a photo later.
We had a lovely breakfast around 8:00 am, and I was hardly hungry since. Most likely, we won’t have dinner until late tonight on the boat. I ate the smoked salmon and a dollop of guacamole to hold me over. Tom ate the raspberry mousse and didn’t like the rest. Tom is very picky, like a little kid, about food, although occasionally, on cruises, he will try something new and enjoy it. I’d eat almost anything if it weren’t for my necessary way of eating for health purposes.
Speaking of health, I am so grateful to have made it through three days in Quito at a 9350-foot high altitude without a major Afib episode. I felt a few flutters and increased heart rate but immediately did the diaphragmatic breathing, and my heart rate dropped exponentially. I was greatly relieved.
The altitude caused me to walk very slowly when we went to meals, but last night, when we were bussed to a restaurant in the city for dinner, I did fine with steps and uneven pavement, always, of course, with Tom at my side.
At dinner, we sat with six of the other 14 passengers and, by now, had met everyone, making every attempt to remember their names. Surely. In the next 24 hours, we will have that accomplished.
Everyone is very friendly, mainly from the UK, but six Americans are traveling with us. The ages range from the late 20s for one newlywed couple to primarily 60s and 70s. Maybe this time, I won’t be the oldest person at the dinner table, but it’s hard to say at this point.
Today’s photos include many Tom took yesterday on the Quito city walking tour and the few I’ve taken in the past 24 hours.
Be prepared, folks. There are many more exciting photos to come.