I allow to include some pictures I took at Quito's Mariscal Sucre airport during my stay in Ecuador's capital (June 21 - June 26). Plane photography is easy at UIO
: on the one hand all aircraft fly over the city on approach - one just has the find the right position and the metal birds roar above one's head - on the other hand, there are many possibilities around the airport itself: next to the airport fence's posts are gaps through which a tele lens fits well. I did not have any problems at all and was not bothered. I took pictures at UIO
six years ago - and it was pretty much like then: not too much traffic, but some real beauties, especially three-holers and 737-200s:
Airport overview from the fence, look at the uneven taxiway!
TAME E-jet in a great livery. There is something different than Eurowhite!
Aerogal's single 727, HC
-CDJ - a 227 version. This aircraft had some illustrious owners during its life: Braniff, PeopleExpress, Continental, Delta and Cambodia Airlines. I must admit I was close to tears of joy...
The beauty is hush-kitted and supposed to meet the Stage III-regulations. It still sounded the way a 727 has to sound, however, joyfully and gracefully thundering...oh man, what a sound! This is how I remember the airport visits from the 1980s...
A sleek wingletted AA
757, N177AN, lining up...
Another 727, a freighter from Colombia, HK
Lineas Aereas Suramericanas.
An aircraft that has to be heard of...
-CFG, Boeing 737-281, a former Westjet and All Nippon machine.
One of my favourites: the mighty MD
-11, in this case KLM's PH
-KCD 'Florence Nightingale'
Santa Barbara's new colors certainly look good (YV2242).
So does AV
in these special colours.
I am very satisfied with the TAME 727 shots. All good things come in threes I guess. Three 727s in one day- that made my day.
Boeing 727-2T3 HC
was delivered in 1980 and continues to go strong and look stunning...
colours look good on any kind of plane. New A319.
Nice aircraft...the only place I have seen this species, the BAe748, is UIO
in 2002 and now again.
Aerogal's Nescafé logojet...
Icaro's Fokker F28 Fellowship sporting the colours of football club Barcelona - and a football nose (like LH
did during the World Cup 2006).
-CFG overhead: the 737-200 looks less compact this way, more elegant.
During my stay in Quito I organized my trip to the Galapagos and went trekking for a day in Cotopaxi National Park, leading me up to over 5,000 metres (16,404 ft). I love hiking and this was a test if I was able to cope with this kind of altitude. As I was well acclimatized after a couple of days in Quito (2,850 metres) I did not have any problems, even though the air was of course noticeably thin up there...the guide accompanying our group wanted to talk me over to climb to the peak of Cotopaxi the following week (5,897 m (19,347 ft)). I declined for now but I think there is a good chance that I return quite soon. We were lucky when the mighty vulcano quickly appeared out of the clouds for a very short time:
Anyway, the next morning, I flew to the Galapagos.
Date: June 26, 2008
Aircraft: Embraer 190 HC
Flight: EQ191 07:30 - 09:45
The agency I booked the tour with uses TAME - so I flew with their brandnew (6-month-old) HC
-CGF Embraer 190 to the Galapagos.
Check-in was somewhat lame and complicated - tour groups were clogging the departure hall with their luggage and there were only one guide per 30 pieces of luggage or so. I had to wait until all the tour group luggage was tagged before I could check in. This experience was annyoing and I had to queue for almost 60 minutes even though I was two hours prior to the indicated flying time at UIO
. Anyway, as soon as I boarded the magnificent E-jet I had swallowed all my anger as the conditions were ideal: the sky was clear and all vulcanoes were to be seen from the air...what a way to start a Galapagos tour!
Cotopaxi seen from the airport.
US Air Force Globemaster III.
The flight was a real scenic flights - I was thrilled to finally see the vulcanoes from the air. On previous flights between the Ecuadorian coast and the highland the only view was thick clouds...
Illiniza and Chimborazo, Ecuador's highest peak in the background. While trying to climb onto Chimborazo Humboldt first described the symptoms of altitude sickness.
-CGF's winglet and Cotopaxi's crater.
Landing at GYE
...a short stop for about 30 minutes.
Baltra island, north of Santa Cruz island, where I arrived on the Galapagos.
Baltra airport (GPS) - with the Galapagos icons...
The spotless E-Jet HC
-CGF. The flight was quiet, the view wonderful. We were given a breakfast that was decent and even contained fruit salad besides the usual sugary stuff.
All in all a very pleasant experience on TAME.
EQ191 was the first of four daily flights getting into GPS (two Aerogal and TAME each).
I am still not quite sure if I should regret not having flown on the later flight...as it was on TAME's last 727 (see above).
Anway, I had a wonderful time during this short 4-day trip around the Galapagos. Not only did I catch a glimpse of the peculiar wildlife, but I also met some great people on board our yacht and had some interesting talks. As I wrote at the beginning of part I I have always wanted to visit these islands, be it for the myth' sake (I do consider myself a Darwinist to a certain degree - with a heart and mind though), be it for the special wildlife - anyway, a dream of mine came true. Please allow to show me some of the creatures I came across:
Fish chasing fish.
Pelicanos in action.
Cute red-necked lizzard looking at the strangers (The animals would look but are not shy - why being shy when there are no enemies?).
View from Bartolome island...
Galapagos sea lions. The big one, the male, is certainly a real hooligan...
Galapagos turtle (on a farm from where they are expatriated again. The horse gives an idea how huge this reptiles are).
I was fascinated by the wildlife and the volcanic landscape. As I have seen only few parts I guess I have to return...there are some vulcanos on the biggest island, Isabella, that can be ascended, too...
The flight back to the mainland was on TAME's A320 HC
-CDY. As the flight was full the flight was a bit less pleasant than the way to the islands - my neighbour was a bit obnoxious, hitting his elbows into my ribs, more than once. Nevertheless, the A320 once more proved to be an excellent plane. The flight was smooth and I fell asleep soon after take off.
Date: June 29, 2008
Route: GPS - GYE
Aircraft: Airbus A320 HC
Flight: EQ192 12:45 - 16:45
Before boarding I took a couple of shots at Baltra (GPS):
Aerogal sending their 727 and a 737-200...in 2008!
-CDY at GPS.
Shortly after take off of EQ192...
Landing at GYE
-CGF pulliing in next to HC
-CDY at GYE
N491TA and HC
-CER behind (I have flown on all three planes during my trip).
Taking off over Guyaquil....
The Andes were covered by cotton again this time...
The approach onto UIO
was from the opposite site time. The photo shows that 'city airport' is really the right term for this aeropuerto.
We pulled in next to these Dornier beauties with AV
tails (belonging to Ecuadorian company VIP).
I spent one more night in Quito before I started my long trip back home...
more in Part III.
Thanks four your comments and criticism.
Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.