|While in Montanita, never really heard any good things about the diving around this area, with the exception of the Galapagos Islands, but that is a separate trip in and of itself. Caught a bus headed north Saturday morning and had plans to check into diving in Puerto Lopez, and as I passed through the town, I was not very impressed with it, so I stayed on the bus to Manta (total of about 4 hours for $4) and once there I jumped in a taxi and went out to the airport to check on flights to Quito. Read that it was a 10 hour bus ride from Manta to Quito and the 50 minute flight was only $50, so that was a no brainer and I bought a ticket, waited a few hours and got into Quito a little after 7 p.m. It is the capital city but smaller than Guayaquil, buried in a small valley in the mountains, at about 8,000 feet elevation and much cooler here than the coast. Matter of fact I had to pull out my fleece last night for the first time. I was told it just finished its rainy season, although it was raining when we landed, and everything is very green. Will continue to update this entry as I explore the town, but for now the first five photos I inserted were taken Sunday the 29th in the old part of the city. Extremely pretty here and I will add more photos and info later as I move around. Decided to splurge on a pretty nice hotel here called Hotel Reina Isabel, since they took credit cards, which is not always the case. Plan to stay here for at least two days or possibly longer and use Quito as a hub to explore other cities and areas nearby.