Friday, November 04, 2005

1 July 1989 Hostel Uzhupud

. . . After we left Ingapirca, we started out for our inn/hotel/resort. We drove back through a village (several blond children there) and got on a road to take us to the main highway. After 10 minutes on the highway, we pulled over and Al came back and asked Filloberto a question about the road. It seems that a taxi driver at Ingapirca had suggested that we take another road, but for some reason Al got on this road anyway and now he's worried because there is no traffic. The road wasn't that bad -- better than some jeep roads I've been on in Colorado, but we didn't know what lay ahead. Well, we soon found out. First of all, Filloberto said that he had about 10 minutes of gas left. Then we came to a questionable bridge over a fairly swift mountain river. We all decided to get out and walk across -- even the driver! Well, the van made it across, but barely.

We came around a bend, and there was an Indian with a horse and we asked him how far something was (a gasoline station, perhaps?) Tom pointed out the fantastic chaps (black llama skin) he was wearing -- then I noticed that he was rebelting them! He probably hadn't seen a car on that road for several hours/days/weeks. We finally came to a tiny village and asked if they had gasoline. "No hay aqui." We finally made it into Canaris and were able to find petrol. The scenery on the way home was of course fantastic. The Andes seem so much more expansive than the Rockies -- and of course, in the Rockies we don't have giant ferns and banana trees like you find on the foothills of the Andes.

Our hotel was fabulous. It was a Spanish style building set along a river in a beautiful valley about an hour out of Cuenca. They had hundreds of flowers and many flowering trees -- several with different varieties of flowers grafted onto the trees. There was a parrot in a cage on the patio that said, "Hello! Hola!" Everyone was very nice to us, and the food was quite good. This was a nice break from hot, sticky Guayaquil.

On the way back to Guayaquil we see bamboo power lines and bamboo TV antennae poles. We stopped at a gas station in a little town to get gas and use the bathroom. I never made it to the bathroom because evidently it was pretty bad. (No water perhaps? I was afraid to ask.) Instead we bought colas and mineral water for 8 cents each. Then we stopped at a market across the street from the cemetery and bought baskets of flowers for our families. We had done a lot of shopping in Cuenca and felt that we should get something for our families, too. Esperanza really liked the flowers. I want to return to Cuenca -- we only spent an hour or so there.

As I am writing this in my journal, (Guayaquil, 7:30 a.m.) a man is walking down the street yelling "pepinos! pepinos!" (cucumbers!) Some days a truck goes up and down the street with a loudspeaker -- "camarones, camarones!" (shrimp) The marketing strategies here are fascinating.


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