We arrived at the new airport outside of Quito and spent about an hour going through customs and getting our 9 suitcases off the baggage carousel and lining up to be xrayed and approved for entry. Quito’s new airport seems to have been built by the same people who built all the new airports in the U.S. The jetway off the plane was familiar although squeeky clean, new and unstained and the luggage carousels brought our bags right to where we were standing, awaiting them. The new airport has an excellent supply of smartcarts and even lots of porters to help you load them, then unload for the xray screening before the arrivals area, and outside for loading into the taxes. The only glitch seemed to be a very long line snaking all around the seating area of people with luggage and luggage carts waiting to be allowed entry to the arrivals area. Green light, lucky, continue on. Red light, not so lucky. And of course we got a red light and had to load all our bags on the xray screen machine. While there were at least 3 or 4 machines, this was a bit of a bottleneck, but not too bad. I’ve waited longer in line for customs to stamp my passport in Houston .
Flying into the old Quito airport was always a scary trip, hoping that the plane would be able to thread its way through the valley between Pichincha and Cayambe and that the brakes would hold before the end of the short runway. I always hoped that it would be a clear night when we landed so I could see the lights of Quito creeping up Pichincha as the plane rises up over the eastern ridge of the Andes and circled around to land towards the south with Pichincha on your right. Landing at the new airport, it’s dark with few lights other than the runway lights and it didn’t seem that we had to do any tight turns. The plan just glided right in.
We were met in the arrivals area after screening by the 2 taxi drivers and the lady sent by our bed and breakfast to greet us and get us to the B & B safely. It’s so nice to know that someone is there waiting and ready to take you to your destination. I had already communicated with the owner of Tumbaco’s B & B, La Ceramica, a few times previously to make arrangements for them to be sure to send someone with enough space for us and all our belongings in the 9 suitcases (and 2 ‘personal items’).
La Ceramica is about 22 kilometres from the new airport, off the main road and up a very quiet street lined with walls and gates behind which appeared to be large ‘estancias’. The taxis stopped at a wooden gate next to a wooden door set in a concrete wall and someone on the other side, who was waiting for us, opened the gate. The taxis entered at the bottom of a short driveway and then Dan and the taxi drivers schlepped our suitcases (I carried the 2 personal items) up to our casita. We slept like the dead under a northern European style feather bed.
The B & B has a large house on about 2 acres on the slope of a gorgeous hillside and many outbuildings surrounding the property, all of which reminds me of Austria in the summer. We are in Casita 3, a rustic but comfortable cabin/room with a kitchenette, bath/shower and a lovely patio with table outside where we can enjoy the gardens. Breakfast is in the kitchen of the big house where we conversed with the owners, Patricia, who is a Quitena, and Gerrit, who is from Holland but has been here for 22 years.
and pool area complete with hot tub where the owners’ daughter was enjoying a swim. We are told that it’s been cool and rainy for some time, but that we have brought the sunshine with us. Their daughter, Amanda, couldn’t wait for the pool to warm up so she spent the morning in her bathing suit in the hot tub which was bath water warm.
Our plan for the afternoon is to take a taxi to the town nearby and have lunch. Our choices are Cenas Typicas, or Italian or Continental. I’ve got a hankering for Locro de Papas, a local soup with potatoes and starchy corn. I think it’s Typica for lunch, que no?