|Today my guide picked me up at 8.30 with my luggage to transfer me to Guayaquil. It is from there that I will be going to the Galapagos Islands. What I didn't realise was that I will be transferring from there the next day by plane to the islands. I thought that I had finished with planes for this journey! Xavier first called at a mans house to pick up our box lunch and then to his house to pick up a fax. It turns out that his father is a civil engineer and his mother an economist. The idea was that we would drive for about two hours and then climb in the El Cajas National park. The drive was lovely and we went into the park at about 3800 metres. Pretty high altitude. On the way we saw rose greenhouse. It turns out that one of Ecuador's biggest export are roses to the UK USA and Russia. Just as we got into the park we were advised that there had been an accident ahead. Unfortunately there was a large lorry over the side of the mountain that must have fallen at least 100 feet. Not a good start to our visit in the park. Eventually we arrived at about 4000 metres to the Inca trails where we started walking. before the main road was built the only way across with goods was by donkey and that used to be treacherous and people died in the process. It was interesting to see and walk on the paths made so long ago. The altitude though made it very interesting and difficult. the air is so thin up there any effort is difficult. Still I made it, with frequent stops on the way. We then went to 5000 metres in the car and passed through thick clouds that made it impossible to see the road safely. What a surprise as we descended. The temperature and humidity was so high and there were bananas and coffee plants all along the road. Apparently the area approaching Guayaquil is the most fertile in Ecuador. Xavier stopped and picked a coco plant and I ate the fruit around the seed that would become cocoa. We stopped for a late lunch on the way. My lunch box was all meat, so I ended up with fruit and nuts. Never mind, at altitudes you dont get very hungry. I checked into my hotel and went for a swim in the beautiful pool they have in the hotel. I decided to eat in my room and had a lovely meal and a reasonably early night. I am off to the Galapagos tomorrow.