My dad has “guest posted” more than I have I think. I may be experiencing the beginnings of a hostile blog overtaking.
Bus is the main method of transportation in Ecuador and it is extremely economical. Our trip from Quito to Latacunga
Cost $1.50 each. It was comfortable and pleasant; filled with all sorts of folks including this sweet older lady who took an immediate likely to Allie
But certain aspects of bus travel just were mind blowing to my American senses. At a major stop early on numerous food vendors climber aboard to hock their creations, from chicken and sausage skewers to chicken soup to cold snacks and who knows what else. These seemed to be licensed sellers because they all had light blue aprons and hats. Then just as we were leaving, a very disheveled man boarded and sat directly in front facing us. He looked truly menacing. But neither the driver nor the helper seemed concerned. After a bit he rose and launched into a speech, most of which we did not understand, but generally seemed convey that he would not hurt us or touch us but was homeless and wanted money. He then handed out candy, and tries to get paid for it. It sort of reminded me of the window washers in NYC many years ago. But no one we could see gave him anything and no one seemed concerned. After about 15 miles he jumped out.
A few miles later a
Much younger and more aggressive sellers jumped on the bus. He was selling sweetened nuts and some bakery item. After a speech he gave out samples and then packages of his goods. Quite a few folks bought them. He was a good salesman!
Once in Latacunga we had a little trouble finding the bus terminal. But we finally got some help found it and connected with our driver.
The drive to our inn was at times terrifying and breathtaking. Another difference from the US is that workers shut down roads with no warning or notice. They simply rely on drivers to let each other know. Our drver got word of a closure and headed onto some horrible dirt road to bypass it,only to find out from another driver that the alternate route was closed as well. This was actually good knees because for a short time I thought we were being taken somewhere to be robbed and killed. When the driver backtracked and showed us the reason for the closure I felt great relief.
On we went on the hairiest roads I have ever travelled. I can only vp are it to the road from Banks to Lowman Idaho with a little bit of the Lick Creek summit road to boot. And on that road every thing from cars and pick ups to full size busses. And dogs and people as well. Absolutely crazy.
Another detour down the road led us to an unexpected reward: a parade kicking off a street festival, with dancers in native dress. It was a pleasant detour.