Pre-trip gripes and jitters

Published: May 25th 2008
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Hopefully this site will serve as a way to keep everyone updated as to what we are up to while we are in South America. We're not sure exactly what the internet situation will be, but I'm assuming we will have access on the weekends-- so hopefully a few entries can get up during that time-- we shall see.

So, for those of you that don't know, Ryan and I will be heading down to Ecuador for about 6 weeks. We fly out Monday and return in early July. Once we get there, we will be spending a few days in Quito. From there we will head out to the Galapagos Islands and staying at a biological reserve, helping with various conservation activities. More to come on the specific details later once we get there and know them. We'll be there for 4 weeks, and will hopefully squeeze in a few excursions to some of the other islands on the weekends. After we leave the islands, we will have a week left to do... something. We haven't decided yet: Amazon? Andes? something else? I'm sure we'll hear lots of good suggestions once we arrive.

Our departure time is quickly approaching 24 hours. We've got an early morning flight (like before-the-sun-rises-early) with 2 very short connections in central america. However, I'm a bit nervous because the airline we are flying, TACA, doesn't have the best baggage delivery record. In fact, it seems like it is VERY common for bags to not make their destination. With us having 2 short (30 min) layovers, I've got little faith that our luggage will be waiting for us in Quito. So, our plan was to just shove everything except our liquids and swiss army knives into our backpacks and carry them on- that way if our shampoo didn't make it- oh well. WELL, we found out last night that TACA only allows carry-ons to be 22lbs, and the length+height+width can't be over 45 inches. My backpack when it is EMPTY is almost that size, and although I haven't weighed it, I'm sure my bag is closer to 30lbs. So now we each need to take 2 bags which really defeats our whole backpack purpose. The next 24 hours will be filled with packing, weighing, repacking, and figuring out which stuff we won't miss when we never see it again. That being said, I haven't given TACA a fair chance, so I hope they don't live up to this specific reputation.

Regardless, we are getting really excited. Hard to think that 48 hours from now, we will be sitting on the roof-top terrace of our hostel, enjoying drinks and a great night-view of Quito. I think the real jitters will start setting in on the way to the airport.. at 1am.. thanks for the ride Casey! Anyways, I guess this was more about gripes than jitters-- but on that note, back to the packing dilemma! Hopefully we can get to an internet cafe in Quito to post that we made it safely and leave a quick note.



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