Our bus took quite a while longer than expected, though that is not uncommon, so in a way its not really unexpected. It was dark and rainy when we pulled into the bus station and there didn't seem to be any taxi's, but fortunately one pulled up after a few minutes.
At first we had trouble finding our hostel, so our taxi driver, some locals and us searched in the rain for a while. We ended up calling them and found them behind a barely marked door. It was a new Guesthouse in a beautiful old building with wooden floors, though the room had nothing in it except the bed, and our bathroom smelt a little off. The volunteer working there pointed us to a restaurant nearby, which was cosy, cheap and tasty.
After finding a cheap place for breakfast, we set about the task of organising The Galapagos and then getting to Cuzco after. We searched last minute deals and flights for a while, and paid a visit to a travel agent to see what they had on offer. From their list of last minute Galapagos cruises, we were leaning towards the cheapest, crappiest looking boat available with cold showers, shared bathrooms and tiny cabins.
We had a think about it that night, read some online reviews, and decided in the end that we would have to sacrifice comfort for cost. In the morning we made our way back to the travel agent, and were about to book when we asked if any more deals had come up. One had, on a slightly larger and nicer boat (though still not very fancy by Galapagos standards).
Given Lindsay can get very sea sick we though the extra cost for a private bathroom, hot showers and slightly larger boat could be well worth it. So, after a few more hours of booking flights, filling out forms, working out how to pay the agent avoiding their 6% credit card surcharge and general stuffing around we were booked!
The issue now was that we had very little time left to explore Quito. Fortunately we knew we would return. After asking where we could find a decent coffee we were sent in the direction of La Mariscal, or "Gringolandia". We found a Starbucks style chain but the coffee and quiche were actually quite decent. The brownie that Fergus ate was amazing.
Nearby to the coffee shop was the artesian markets, which contained aisle upon aisle of shops selling clothes, alpaca knitwear, trinkets, jewellery, chocolate and more. Some of these shops were so highly stocked, the owners had to climb up piles of their merchandise to reach some of the items. We searched for a magnet but didn't find one that met our criteria.
Dinner was again at the same place (3rd night in a row). Tonight we went for the pizza, ordering the size that looked equivalent to a normal large pizza based on the pictures on the wall. But when it came out it was almost double the size! Great value but we left feeling a little ill.