Saturday, July 17, 2010

Trip to the Coast

Wednesday I went to Guyaquil with a good friend to pick up some family coming to visit. We took a bus fom Cuenca to the coast, cost $8 bucks each. It was similar to a plane ride, assigned seating (number on ticket), the "cockpit" had a door isolating the pilot and co-pilot, and an in-flight movie (really 2).
The co-pilot wipes the windshield when it fogs up and unlocks the bathroom for anyone in need.
It was quite an experiance. Along the way people would walk up to the door, knock and the bus would pull over and drop off said person where they wanted. Likewise people flagged down the bus and got on from said town headed west to the coast.
We went through Canar province which was all new to me. When we arrived we traveled over the Cajas mountains into Cuenca so it was nice seeing a whole new area. At one point we entered the cloud forest, the elevation where the hot air from the coast and the cool mountain air collide. This is where the co-pilot proved his worth. The window fogged constantly and he would wipe it off each time. From our seats it looked like the road was not visable but we were above the driver and we are still here so I guess he could see it. That looks like one stressfull job. The roads are narrow, cows, cars, people all on the road, in the fog, crazy.
It was nice as we went through each town Juan knew right where we were and would tell me the names of each place. Seeing the transition from altitudes is really something. It is really like traveling to different countries, above the tree line, all the way to the tropical coast.
Once we got to Guyaquil (4 1/2 hours, felt like 8) we went to the airport where we found out the plane was delayed until 1am (was supposed to arrive at 10:30pm).
Luckily Juan has family in Guyaquil and we hooked up with them and they showed us around the city, we had "Morocho" and saw alot (I like the Morocho in Cuenca better). Went back to their place and crashed for 1 hour (got to the house at 11pm). Went back to the airport at 12 and waited for the family.
At the airport we met the shuttle driver Juan had arranged to drive us back to Cuenca through the Cajas.
At a bit after 2 am we loaded up and headed to Cuenca. That was a wild ride too. Coming up in the dead of the am. We stopped someplace high up at around 3-3:30 for coffee at a "truck stop", which was a house on the side of the road with a shop and place to order food.
Recharged we continued on. With the construction of the new road we had to stop twice as the road is only 1 lane. At the first as we sat for around 15 minuites. We we got the all clear the truck a few up in line just sat, everyone pulled around him. I guess he fell asleep. The second stop was for at least 30 min but felt like longer. We could see the morning glow coming over the mountain as we sat there.
Finally got home at 7am. What a trip. It was great fun even though it took a day to recover.
It was quite a sight seeing the day begin up in the Cajas.
Wish I had my camera to video the trip. Oh well.
(Donna stayed home with the cats)

Until next time..............J&D