written by Hannah
Tomorrow it’s time. We fly to Quito. Marius’ parents drive our bikes on a bike carrier and us (we were allowed to sit in the car) to Amsterdam. We do not have time for sightseeing, but that does not matter because we have both been to Amsterdam several times.
The airport hotel where we check in is overrun by traveling business people. Our room is small and unimaginatively furnished, but for sleeping it is enough. At the reception, the first discussion begins: we are supposed to lock our bikes outside overnight. Of course that is not an option for us. We find a back entrance, through which we smuggle them into our room.
We freshen up briefly and then go out to eat in a nice little Italian restaurant. We talk to the owner. When he hears that we are also heading to Saõ Paulo, he gives us, inspired by exuberant enthusiasm, the phone numbers of two friends who live there.
A short night
We can sleep for four and a half hours. At the breakfast table we hardly eat anything down, are still full from with the pizza. So the breakfast is ticked off quickly and we drive to the airport. There we pack the bicycles in the cartons brought along, play Tetris with our bicycle bags, which are also packed in boxes (which fits like side-by-side and on top of each other, no carton can exceed 23 kg). I notice that I just work, fast and efficient, Marius is in command, Joachim lets the air out of the tires, Sabine hands us styrofoam. For a short time, I envy those travelers who pass us by with their little suitcases and amused watch our hectic activities.
Contrary to expectations, everything works out. The stewardess overlooks that the bicycles with packaging are now 1.4 kg too heavy. Without luggage, we feel relieved. The drone wanders through the scanner without problems. (You know, airports and drones are a sensible combination). On the flight of almost eleven hours we get four meals, which is inveedible much. We both can not sleep.
Arrival in Quito
The arrival works as easily as the departure. All luggage is there, the bicycles are undamaged. We have already booked the hotel for the first three nights, and also ordered a shuttle service, because the airport is far out from the city and on a completely different altitude.
Our driver barely speaks English and praises our modest Spanish skills with which we make a meager conversation. So we get our first lesson in Spanish on the trip.