Jul 3, 2009

All alone, and wet, in Quito

Last night the impossible happened. I was in a dorm with 6 guys, and none of them snored! I think that night goes down in some kind of hostel history. And, I woke up to some free coffee and a very thick juice that tasted kind of like sour bananas, and this view. Not a bad way to start your day.
My first and most important task was to buy a bus ticket to Cuenca for tomorrow. I'm meeting my sister Angie and her fella Nathan there. I was equipped with a cartoon map and my Spanish phrase book. The first bus station I tried gave my the hebie jebbies. It could have been the light fragrance of urine wafting from the baking cobblestone roads. It could have been the lack of light, or how angry everyone looked. After skulking about for ten minutes I decided to chicken out and try a bus station in new town. Which turned about to be about an hour's walk away. Sure, I could have taken a taxi for $2, and yes, Quito is a labrynth of narrow roads with barely any sidewalks all criss-crossing over hill upon hill upon hill. But I figured I had all day, so what's the rush?

This station was much smaller and cleaner, and had a lovely young girl that spoke about as much English as I speak Spanish, and together we managed to smile and wave our arms and presto! I got a bus ticket for tonight. This left me with all day to kill, and no where to stay. No problem, I thought. I'll walk around for 10 hours and then be nice and tired for my night ride.

That plan fell apart a few hours later when the devil made the sun go away. As a west coaster I am no stranger to rain, but this seemed more like a godly cleansing then just mere "weather". The sky was black, the roads were flooded in minutes, and all the people that had been crowding the streets moments before disappeared. It was a little disturbing. Where did they all go? Somewhere secret, I guess, as I couldn't find a dry corner to hide in. Let's call that hour a chance to test out my new quick dry pants.

I tried to order a Empanada with Pollo but the kindly shop keeper made me point at something, so I'm not sure if what I ended up with is Empanada or not. I also tried a "homemade special drink" called ponche. It looked like thick egg nog and tasted like hot nothing. I added some sugar, which turned it into hot, sugary nothing.

Random picture: I'm not usually one for cathedral tours, any one that is guarded by armadillo gargoles is pretty cool in my book!

The skies cleared, the streets dried, and the mugginess and people returned. I tried to find fun touristy things to do, but my wet shoes and sleep-deprived brain weren't up for adventures. I also managed to hurt my wrist loading my backpack into the cab at the airport last night, making taking pictures (and just fyi - typing) a little painful. Finally at 5pm I admitted defeat and went back to my hostel. Can I please stay here for the next 4 hours, and use your wireless and eat some dinner, then leave without paying? Sure, they said! Did I mention how much I like this place?

Next up: 9 hour bus ride to Cuenca. I plan to load myself up with gravol and magically wake up to Angie waiting for me with an americano and a pat on the head.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Love the gargoyles!

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