Last year at an Ecology Project International fundraiser, I was the lucky winner of an auction for a seven-day cruise for two to the Galapagos. The Galapagos! Islands of exotic animals! Swimming with sea turtles!
I asked my partner in crime, Emily, if she’d like to go with me. She was ecstatic. She had lived in Ecuador as a student, but at the time couldn’t afford to go to the Galapagos. We looked at our calendars and picked a few dates in May that we wanted to book.
I called the boat tour company in January and asked for our first choice of dates. Nope, they were booked. I asked for our second choice. Booked then, too. Before I could ask for a third choice of dates, the tour operator told me the first available tours were in August. August?!?! Eight months away? I guess other people like to plan in advance. We booked a tour for late August.
Emily and I talked about booking plane tickets to Ecuador, but never really got around to it. We were planning to get together this weekend and I said, “Come over! Let’s book our plane tickets!” We figured out how many days we wanted to spend in Quito before going to the islands and what days we wanted to travel. We booked our flights from San Francisco to Quito and return. From Quito, however, we needed to get to the Galapagos Islands. There are a few airlines that fly that route: TAME, Avianca, and Lan Ecuador. We chose Avianca since it’s part of Star Alliance. Unfortunately, you can’t book Avianca domestic flights online. Emily called the airline, and I listened as they conversed in Spanish, “…talk, talk, talk, numbers, numbers, dates…” Silence. “Solomente? En Augusto?” She turned to me. “There’s just one flight left with seats available, at 6:30 am.” “Really? For August?” She nodded. “Book it!” She talked some more, arranging the internal domestic flights. When she hung up, again, I was somewhat flustered. Who plans this far in advance?
We decided since we were in a planning mode, we would book our accommodation for our three nights in Quito. We perused several residences on Airbnb, finally settling on one that was centrally located and decorated with brightly colored rugs. We sent a message to the host, checking availability for August. This morning, she replied that she doesn’t make reservations more than two months in advance.
Finally! My type of gal!