Wow…we thought getting there took some steps. Leaving took almost as many. Breakfast was served at 7:00 am and promptly at 7:30 am our journey back to Quito began.
We took a private bus from the main part of Santa Cruz to a ferry dock. We boarded the ferry; us below and our bags haphazardly thrown on top. The ferry
took less than five minutes top and dropped us on Balta. It would seem that a bridge would be very useful here, but I suspect that would put some folks out of a job. We immediately boarded a crowded public bus to cross Balta and reach the airport (Balta is one of only two commercial airports in the Galapagos…we flew into the other one when we arrived in San Cristobal).
The airport was completely chaotic, but the advantage of booking a tour was that our guide stood in the line to check our bags and get us our boarding passes. Once that was complete we said good-bye to our Intrepid guide, Zambo. But, as is the case in Ecuador…the lines did not end there. We had to go through the process of showing our departure documents and security (by the way liquids, laptops, and shoes are not a problem).
Our flight had one stop on the way to Quito (capital of Ecuador) in the city of Guayaquil (the largest city in Ecuador). We stayed on the plane, but oddly enough they insisted that we unbuckle our seatbelts. They even woke one of our group-mates to make him take his off. I’m still baffled by this.
We departed Guayaquil and were off to Quito. Diego from Intrepid met us at the airport and we endured some more waiting…for our bags, for our private bus, for our private bus to find room to pull over…exhausting.
After a long day, we finally made it to our hotel around 4:30 pm. With the one hour time difference the entire process took us a whooping EIGHT hours.
Was the getting there and getting back process all worth it?…YES!!!