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August 31, 2010 / Jim Fenton

Day 12: Quito to San Francisco

This is part of a series about our vacation to the Galápagos Islands and mainland Ecuador. To see the first article in the series, click here.

August 16, 2010

The day began early; although we had a 9:15 am flight to Miami, we were told to be at the airport three hours early, and shuttles from the Hilton only operate every hour so we caught the 6:00 shuttle. It turns out that we had plenty of time. Fortunately, the Quito airport has free WiFi so we were able to catch up on email and such while we waited for the flight.

Quito has grown up around its current airport, and as a result it doesn’t have room to expand or lengthen its runway, which (as Antonio told us the other day) is too short for some aircraft. Much as many other cities have done, Quito is building a new airport further outside the city, to be surrounded by a green belt to prevent the same problem from occurring anew. Unlike many such airports, however, the existing Quito airport hasn’t been allowed to get shabby. The facilities are modern and clean, giving no indication that the airport is about to be replaced.

The flights were, happily, uneventful and on time. Our return was also through Miami, and although we are aware of Miami’s reputation for being a difficult place to clear US Customs, we had no such problems.

We would have been happy with a shorter (less than 5 hour) layover in Miami, but taking time for dinner helped fill the time.

We didn’t particularly like the selection of movies offered on either flight, so we watched a movie on our iPad that we had rented through iTunes. We used a three-way splitter on the audio output of the iPod which initially didn’t sound right for Kenna and me. It turns out we both were using Apple earphones than have an extra contact on the connector for the volume control and play/stop button. By pulling out the plug a little bit we got the audio to sound right.

At the risk of using a cliché, even though it was a fantastic trip, it’s always good to be home.

The day began early; although we had a 9:15 am flight to Miami, we were told to be at the airport three hours early, and shuttles from the Hilton only operate every hour so we caught the 6:00 shuttle. It turns out that we had plenty of time. Fortunately, the Quito airport has free WiFi so we were able to catch up on email and such while we waited for the flight.

Quito has grown up around its current airport, and as a result it doesn’t have room to expand or lengthen its runway, which (as Antonio told us the other day) is too short for some aircraft. Much as many other cities have done, Quito is building a new airport further outside the city, to be surrounded by a green belt to prevent the same problem from occurring anew. Unlike many such airports, however, the existing Quito airport hasn’t been allowed to get shabby. The facilities are modern and clean, giving no indication that the airport is about to be replaced.

The flights were, happily, uneventful and on time. Our return was also through Miami, and although we are aware of Miami’s reputation for being a difficult place to clear US Customs, we had no such problems.

We would have been happy with a shorter (less than 5 hour) layover in Miami, but taking time for dinner helped fill the time.

We didn’t particularly like the selection of movies offered on either flight, so we watched a movie on our iPad that we had rented through iTunes. We used a three-way splitter on the audio output of the iPod which initially didn’t sound right for Kenna and me. Turns out we both were using Apple earphones with the extra contact on the connector for the volume control and play/stop button. By pulling out the plug a little bit we got the audio to sound right.

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