The last morning in Quito was spent walking around the financial district, which was like any in the US, including finding the IBM building which I tried to take a picture of, but they told me to go away. This walk lead me to an interesting group of motorcyclist that were on a 20 week journey from mexico city to the tip of south america and then back up the eastern coast to mexico. They were on their way down, still in good spirits and I wish them luck in their adventure. The highlight of the morning was spent in the Quito Botanical Gardens, which the guard let me before the opened to see the local fauna. The best sections were the two enclosed gardens, on highlighting the cloud forest and the other the lowland jungles of ecuador. The best in these sections were the orchids, maybe a hundred or so of every size, shape and color. I took lots of pictures.
The morning ended with a discussion with the hotel management concerning the stolen money. It turns out they believed me, but said they have never had any complaint, but never less they returned half my money and fired the maid that cleaned my room on saturday. Since I couldn't prove that, I felt bad for the maid, if it was true that this is the first complaint (I doubt it was though). Anyway, as I checked out and headed to the airport, the hotel gave me an envelope saying they sorry and returned half of what I reported. Since I was on the way to the airport, I really didn't have time to argue, so I left somewhat happy and somewhat not.
And now, it is off to Copa Airlines and up to Panama City and back to home without incident, looking forward to a slightly empty house, but glad to be home never less, but already planning a return trip to a country that I found fascinating from the places I saw to the people I met and to places and people I look forward to seeing in the future.