Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mission Aborted

Isabella - Galapagos - Ecuador

Wednesday turned out to be the day from hell.  I don't usually get too upset
about anything, but at one point, waiting in line to try to get on a plane
BACK to the galapagos, all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and cry a

My day started at about 1:30 am due to the noise in the hotel I was staying
in.  I slept a little more before getting out of bed 4:00, giving up as it
was still noisy in the hotel.  I left the hotel at 5:30 and headed to the
airport.  First step was to wait in line for about an hour due to
Ecuadorians trying to change tickets at 6:00 in the morning....Next stop
$40.80 exit tax...seriously, why the 80 cents?  Then up to immigration where
my day started to fall apart.  I spent about 25 minutes convincing them that
they should let me leave the country.  I had paid my $200 expired visa fee
in Puerta Ayora and had a stamp in my passport as well as a stamped copy of
the deposit receipt as the officer there wanted the original.  Of course,
now the imigration officer at the airport wanted the original.  Eventually I
got them to accept that as ok and just before they were about to stamp my
departure I asked if I would have any trouble coming back in 6 days....

Big problems was the answer.  In my broken spanish I got across the boat
issues, the propeller repair and my need to return to the boat with the
repaired part.  They just told me I couldn't come back for 9 months again
and again and there was nothing THEY could do about it.  They suggested I
might be able to get a visa from the consulate in the states (not really
possible) or I could try to get my current visa extended in Quito, but that
reportedly takes 3 days and I had just 36 more hours to leave the country
before I could be deported if caught in Quito.

I am not worried about it here in the Galapagos as there are no immigration
officials on Isabella and the officer on Santa Cruz understands our
situation, so at that point my priority became getting back to the boat

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