After some grueling hours trying to get here, we're finally here and beginning to adjust. We were flying standby on Delta and with the storms on the east coast flights were cancelled, rescheduled and full, out of Seattle. We thought we'd leave on the 3rd and then the 4th and then the 5th, and finally departed on the 6th, but not our scheduled flight. We got on a later flight than anticipated and that put us in Atlanta too late to catch our connection to Quito, Ecuador.
Atlanta was beastly cold with the thermometer at 6 degrees but with wind chill at about -25. With only one flight to Quito per day on Delta, we needed to spend the entire day in the airport (too cold to go exploring) to depart at 6:00 p.m. We did catch that flight but it was by the skin of our teeth. We were told at the gate that we probably wouldn't make it, but fortunately we did. Another day of airport sitting would have been difficult. Once we arrived in Quito at 11:30 p.m. we had further connection problems, as we already anticipated, to catch a flight to Cuenca. Quito Airport is new and has few ground transportation options (with some unsafe) and no hotels. Advice obtained earlier from contacts in Cuenca was to sleep in the airport to catch an early morning commuter flight to Cuenca. That's what we did, but oh what a long, long night.
It was interesting to see how many people were sleeping in the airport. All night long people were curling up to sleep, more came, they did the same, and on and on all night long. By 5:00 a.m. the airport was jammed. For a new airport, it might be under designed, as it already seemed too small for the traffic they were seeing. And with no way to leave the airport, people were occupying every inch of floor and seating space.
But, the next morning we arrived in Cuenca, checked into a hotel and here we are. Much more rested; altitude adjustment underway; lay of the land becoming familiar; grocery store, drug store, farmers' market and restaurants located; and plazas and parks scoped out. We've even found an apartment for the remainder of our stay.
We are about to enjoy our first day's lunch in Cuenca.