This was mostly a transit day, reversing the steps we took to get to our ship a week ago. As our luggage was loaded into the zodiac, we could see another bringing new supplies to the ship for the new passengers who will be sleeping in our beds tonight. The ships’ crew works 24/7. They are looking forward to the period two weeks from now when the ship will be taken into dry dock on the mainland. Of course, the sail back maximum speed eight knots, will not be a pleasure. Most of us never did get a good night’s sleep this week with all the rocking and rolling and anchor chain maneuvers.
Sylvia made the drive back to the airport interesting by adding two stops. We went to a lava tube. This long cave-like structure was formed by molten lava flowing across the countryside. The lava near the surface cooled and harden, while the more liquid stuff just kept on moving. Then we stopped at a sinkhole. We are familiar with these from Florida and the Yucatan peninsula where slightly acidic rain erodes and dissolves the limestone as it flows underground. But here everything is made out of lava. We could see layer lines, which made us think that it was formed by deposits of varying density over time, but no one is sure exactly why they are here. Geologists need some DNA tests of their own.
At the airport we said a fond good-by to Sylvia and an enthusiastic hello to Celso, who greeted us with the Ecuadorian version of moon pies, an apology for not having lunch on the plane. Rather than going back into town to our favorite Quito hotel, a 45 minute drive away, we are staying at the Airport Westin. No activities are planned until dinner, which suits us just fine since we have a week’s worth of wifi to catch up on.