Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ecuador and bus rides


Ecuador and bus rides


I arrived in Ecuador very early this morning. At about 130AM to be exact. We took an overnight bus across the border, which seemed like such a better idea at the time than in the moment. 

We got things off to a great start with probably the only tuk tuk driver who DIDN'T know where the bus station was in Mancora. Have I mentioned that Mancora is this teeny tiny beach town? We're talking maybe 10 blocks in total. We drive around in circles while he occasionally asks for directions. Finally he figures it out. That alone should have been a sign. 

We get on the bus and all snuggle in for the +8h ride into Ecuador....until we hit this weird roadblock and this guy, who I am embarrassed to call a fellow country man, starts going off. And I do mean off, storming around the bus, F-this and that. It's been a while since I've been that annoyed/embarrassed/wanted to slap a fellow traveler. But this was completely uncalled for and rude. I gave him plenty of death stares and when he asked for a pen I didn't give him one. So there!

The bus starts moving again and we continue, bumpily, onto the border. I ran into a problem at the border that I've never actually had before.

Most visas in Peru are for 45 days, which I had known ahead of time. Apparently my visa said 10 days...wtf??? I have absolutely no idea why and in my opinion, which clearly is the only one that matters here, the hand written number 10 on the visa was highly debatable. Yet, it didn't change the fact that according to this border worker and my visa I was 14 days overdue in the country. Shit. In some countries this is a major offense and can result in hefty fees, amongst other problems. I could feel my palms being to sweat and my heart rate rapidly increasingly.

Luckily, it's only a dollar a day fee for violating the visa in Peru, which Ann happened to have on her in US$. OMGgggggg, thankyouthankyouthankyou. Naturally I spent the rest of the border crossing thinking and talking about it this, comparing other visas and all. Whatever. Peru let me out and Ecuador let me in! 

Currently, I am in Banos, a small town on the edge of the Amazon basin. Banos was suppose to be just a jumping off point for some Amazon-awesomeness, but we liked it so much here that we decided to stay for a bit longer. I've already found my Ecuadorian mama who feeds me platefulls of deliciousness daily for the high price of $3 and the cutest little old man, who after we shared a meal one day, will like shout Hola! to me from down the road. 

Sometimes some places just immediately click. More stories from Banos to come!

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