After three weeks in this country, this evening I left Ecuador, from Quito's Mariscal Sucre Intl Airport. I flew with TACA from Quito to Lima, and then connected straight on from Lima to Santiago, in Chile. All went well, and the flights were comfortable and uneventful. Unfortunately, after today's incident, I wasn't in the best of moods, and I didn't fly out with the happiest memories of Ecuador floating in my head. Paying the $40.80 departure tax at Quito Intl was an unwelcome surprise, as well (I thought all taxes were included in my ticket price?). Anyway, now I'm outta here.
Had some nice company on the first flight. I was sitting next to a woman from Quito, and her husband from Sweden, both of whom are now living in Buenos Aires, in Argentina. Interesting couple, and very friendly. The wife preferred speaking in Spanish, and the husband preferred English, although they were both reasonably fluent in both.
My seating companion on the second flight was very amusing. A little old man from Lima — called "Moises" — somewhere in his 60s, who had never been on an aeroplane before in his life! He said that he was going to Chile to "visit a friend", who had come up to visit him a few days earlier. He was talking to his wife on his mobile, while we were taxiing onto the runway for final takeoff: I had to explain to him that (a) it was prohibited for him to have his mobile on during the flight; and that (b) even if he did keep it on during the flight, "no hay recepción por el cielo" (lit: "there's no reception in the sky"). He was a bit scared for our first few minutes airborne, but he relaxed after that; and he was in 7th heaven when the dinner came, and when they started the in-flight movie (I also had to show him how to plug the headphones in, and how to adjust the channel and volume).