Ecuador: E Pluribus Unim, et al.
Trip Start Jan 17, 2008
17Trip End Jun 05, 2008
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Where I stayed
heres the deal my visa ends april 17. and apparently it is easier to cross the border than deal with peruvian bureacracy...brilliant.
SO left on sunday afternoon at 130 pm with Els and her friend Asha. Asha has been volunteering in LaPaz for five months in a womens prison --- apparently its not that hardcore. yeah okay. they sat together. i sat with the nutter. (see last post...haha).
they were going to travel to ecuador anyways i tagged along for the visa.
left monday morning for Loja, Ecuador after a demoralizing trip to the market in Piura. a lady asking us for money stepped on a casi dead kitten. it was awful. i hate markets.
the busride was long (8 or nine hours) and we had to switch at the next city after the border but by the time we got to the border there were only five us of us there. oh i did get dutched (this is what i call when the dutch are the majority in any given group... this happens often) there were two dutch travel dudes on our bus. oh okay lets all speak dutch. :) ah i am so culturally intolerant. hahaha. so the border was okay not really scary except for the uniforms and weapons you know ;) okay i have seen more automatic weapons in the last two weeks than i ever care to see ever again.
even tho the ride was long from the border to loja was long it was so pretty we rode through the andes it was really amazing i took so many fotos the trip back.
of course the bus did not have seat belts awesome and we had to listen to the latin american equivalent of elevator music: ecuadorian bus music. bryan adams singing in spanish (seriously!!!) celine dionne singing in spanish (im mean really what is it with these canadians?!?!?!?) other than that is was charming. and i read a lot of harry potter y la piedra filosofal!
SO loja was neat - a city in the andes larger than huaraz but not very high in altitude. it was more modern and definitely more money there (maybe bc a lower altitude i dont know)... AHEM the currency is the DOLLAR. i guess it has been the dollar since 2000. so that was kind of crazy. but they use ecuadorian change too. so now i am left with assorted nickels and ecuadorian quarters. i am not sure if this has anything to do with the city and/or country having more money or not. but i am curious what the affect has been and what the motivation was. there was a huge protest against it in 2000 and the president resigned and then the newly appointed/elected president put it through anyways. they do have a lot of imported products tho - i went to the supermarket and they had FLORIDA´s NATURAL (or what ever its called) orange juice!!!! there were definitely more rich people living up there which surprised me bc huaraz seemed a bit on the poor side. but thats another story of immigration/earthquakes/etc. i guess i assumed everyone on the andes does not have a lot of money -- not accurate. okay before i get anymore politically socioeconimcally offensive or something (presumptuous?) ill move on.
so i had one day free of busrides in loja which was nice... had some decent food but the blackberry juice was my favorite. we just walked around took fotos went to the post office the bookstore the tourist office went to a church hunted down places to eat.
wednesday morning my bus left at 7 latin america time (read 715) we broke down no less than five times - 2 of which were on lovely mountains roads. i guess i was worried on the way up about falling off the mountain in a bus but in the end i talked myself out of it. i was also worried bc i had to return by myself. but i decided not to worry bc i had to do it anyways so i might as well not worry bc i couldnt change anything. so it was fine the bus should have arrived in piura at 3 or 4 but we got there at close to six. most of the way there was only ten of us plus the three or four bus guys who seemed nice. the border re-enrtry was also not a big deal but we stopped at security stations in ecuador and peru numerous times.
okay i suppose i could ramble with more mundane details but maybe ill try to post some fotos no ill do it later i only have fifteen minutes.
so i got back to piura got a bus ticket for 11pm - thank god bc i just wanted to get ´´home´´ and to my ´´own´´ bed.
got back this morning at 5am waited at the station till 6 to take a cab chatted with the colombian girls for a bit and then slept! hurrah!
miss you mucho!