Day 4 (Thursday):
Today was the day we were meant to leave. Instead we woke up to the news that the major of Guayaquil had lost the plot and last night instructed the police to storm the airport and block the runway to stop the KLM plane from landing. Her speech online said something to the effect that the Europeans brought the virus here and they can stay and suffer the consequences. Great. I couldn’t make this up if I tried.
After an hour I finally got through to the British Embassy in Quito. I asked if any rescue flights were being sent as other countries seem to be doing to collect their nationals and was told that the embassy was advising we get a commercial flight. I don’t think they really understand the situation- there are no commercial flights or the major stops them from landing, plus we are still stuck on the island.
News spread in a WhatsApp group that a LATAM flight was leaving on Friday from San Cristobal to the mainland. We asked if we could get on this flight but have been told it’s for LATAM customers only. We have offered to pay to book on with LATAM but it is not possible by internet and no one is picking up the phones. The rep in the group has told us to hang tight and he will see what he can do. We are just in limbo right now. Many other travelers are in the same situation and the plan is just to turn up to the airport tomorrow.
The police came by again with something blasting from their tanoid. This time we were with 4 Spanish speaking travelers so they were able to tell us that were asking us to not group together and to leave the area. The streets remain empty and everything is closed. Travelers spot each other and come running up to share information.
I am writing this sat outside a cafe on the empty street as we try to stay connected to the internet. A local went and got me a chair so there is still some kindness in the world. We spend most of our time trying to stay connected to the internet to find out what’s going on or book a flight. We are relying heavily on friends and family at home as the internet is so bad here.
I keep writing this as things update. We have just been told we will not be getting the flight tomorrow and will not be admitted entrance to the airport. At this point I’m so over the false hopes and the fight to get something organized. I just want a solid plan- even if that plan is we are stuck here for 2 weeks, at least we could accept and bunker down.
Tonight we opted to look after our mental health and sat on the rooftop with our Aussie friends drinking beers as they did a skype interview with the Australian press.
I can’t get over how surreal everything feels. I feel like I’m in a badly written disaster movie but everything is getting more more unrealistic.
The sirens have just started as the police enforce the curfew.
Let’s see what tomorrow brings.