Tuesday, March 22: The flights down

It was raining hard when our plane took off from Minneapolis at 6:00 am. The flight to Miami was smooth and we arrived 10 minutes early. It was a long walk from the gate where we arrived (D7) to where we caught our LAN Ecuador flight to Quito (J18). However we had a four hour layover so there was plenty of time. Unfortunately, we had to exit the secure area and go back in through security. We lunched on the sausage, cheese and crackers that we brought with us. Our LAN Ecuador was on a Boeing 767-300 with 2-3-2 seating. We were in seats J&L on the right hand side. Seats on the left side A&B would have given us a better view of the land when we flew along the coast. The flight took us over Cuba and Panama. Got a good view of Cuba but heavy cloud cover over Panama. They served us a nice lunch. We both had the chicken stew with mashed potatoes. The complimentary wine was quite good! We arrived and cleared immigration and customs quickly. We caught a cab to our hotel. It was quite a long drive but it cost a flat fee of $8. The hotel is a real hole in the wall on the outside but we have a nice clean room with tile floors and bathroom. Good and inexpensive. We walked around the block and found a Chinese restaurant. Took a while to figure out the menu but we had a nice dinners and the total bill was $7.00. I am writing this in an Internet cafe ($1 per hour). The Spanish keyboard gave me problems at first. There is no @ key so I had to figure out that I could get it with Alt 64. Oh well, it works. Note that Ecuador is in the Eastern Time Zone but does not use daylight saving time so the time here is the same as in Brandon CDT. Can not post a photo today because I am not using my computer. We will try to get a better arrangement tomorrow.