Galapagos Expedition

Miami, June 1 & Guayaquil, June 2nd

To make sure we will be in Miami (Florida) for departure to Guayaquil, Equator on June 3rd, we decided to leave Pittsburgh on the 2nd. Surprisingly, we made it to Miami on time, so we had an evening and the morning to enjoy. While we had no appreciation for the various golf amenities of the hotel, we used the pool to provide a last-minute training for the kids on how to snorkel in the ocean. Alexandra and Sophia explored the pool with snorkel and mask and Heiko impersonated a sea lion.

An early ride to the airport due to the strict checkout rules of our hotel allowed us to get early acquainted with some of our fellow cruise members. Alexandra (8) and Sophia (5) bonded with Julia (4) and Amanda (6) who came from Dallas with their mom and their grandparents.

Our flight was delayed by the 70-minute late arrival of the co-pilot who had a flat tire on his car and could therefore not make it to the airport on time. What an amazing excuse for a big airline, like American Airlines! The four-hour flight brought us to Guayaquil, Ecuador .

Close to midnight, we arrived very tired in Ecuador which is one hour behind US Eastern Daylight Times. Immigration was easygoing, but slow due to the cumbersome processing of the immigration paperwork. Lindblad, our expedition organizer, took over our luggage for the transport to the hotel. We joined a short bus ride with our fellow expedition members to the Hilton Colon, Guayaquil, Ecuador. The luxurious hotel appears out of place in the run-down neighborhood which is marked by barbed-wire fences and machine gun-carrying security guards.

Upon arrival in the hotel, we were greeted with a wet mint-scented towel in the lobby to clean our hands and a welcome drink. It was too late to enjoy all the amenities of the hotel, like the band playing nice music at the bar or the casino.

Hotel in Miami

Arrival in Guayaquil, Equador

View from Hotel Lobby

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