Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hitchhiking in Ecuador..........makes me smile!

I had a lovely evening in Cuenca.   I first met with two couples at 6:30 p.m. at a restaurant called El Tiestos which was eight blocks from a singles event I was scheduled to attend at 7:00 p.m.  The conversation and people were so delightful I did not leave until almost 8:00 p.m.   The singles event was at Cafe Eucalyptus where I met even more interesting people so I  left there around 9:15 p.m. in a cab to the bus station feeling elated over new acquaintances.   This being a weekend, I boarded the bus to Macas as buses which terminate in Paute do not run that late.   The bus to Macas skirts through Paute and I have done that several times in the past.

The trip from Cuenca to Paute takes around an hour and fifteen minutes.   I read for around twenty minutes and felt a little tired so I leaned the seat back ignoring the protesting thumps from behind.   I was tired, damn it, and my seat mate was doing the same and I'm old so I felt entitled.   I did feel quite drowsy so I dozed off in what I thought was a bit of twilight sleep.

At one point, I awoke to feel the bus stopped and noticed the bus driver slipping off to an open tienda to buy snacks and drinks and wondered what town we were in.   As we started again, I noticed some familiar architecture of apartments that rounded the corner and felt we were getting close.  Then, I saw lights off in a distance that seemed much too far downhill.   I had never noticed anything like that on any previous trip so I got up to ask the driver how far it was to Paute.   They told me we had passed Paute around eight kilometers back.   PANIC!   They instructed me to come forward and sit on a seat in the front.

We drove an incredibly long time through darkness.   They assured me there would be a bus coming back to Cuenca and stopped in a small town called Sevilla de Oro.  They showed me where the bus bench was and I was to wait there for only about thirty minutes.  I should have no problems.   It was 11:50 p.m.

Pictures or it didn't happen!
As I waited in my pink party dress and blonde curly hair, I could not have looked more out of place.   I did not have a good view of what was coming around the corner so any time I heard a loud motor, I would jump up from my seat to make sure they saw me.   It was never a bus although several passed going the other direction.   Several trucks passed going my way.  I entertained myself watching a few dogs scavenge through the trash and even calling out STOP at one time.   What was I thinking?   I wasn't even supposed to be there!  Let them scavenge!  

Lonely dark streets!
After sitting on the park bench for about an hour and a half, I started preparing myself for the remote likelihood of being robbed and tucked my money, credit cards and ipod touch into my bra and had a fleeting thought that might bring even more attention to me.   A few people drove into town, gave me a quick glance, and proceeded on to what I hoped were their residences.   I had an additional problem.   Nature was calling.   Don't ask.

My park bench of over an hour
Around 1:30 p.m., I heard yet another heavy vehicle coming around the corner and jumped up once more.   It was another truck but I was losing hope so I waved and he blinked his lights.   He came to a stop and I ran to the passenger door.   He already had it opened and I asked "¿A dónde vas?".   He said he was going to Azogues which meant he would be passing right through Paute.   On the lovely word "Venga", I climbed up into the truck.   We exchanged some small talk which was difficult as he spoke no English and my Spanish is spotty at best.   He pointed to the back of the cab where there was a bed.   My heart stopped until I saw that he was wanting me to get a blanket if I was cold.  After close to an hour, we had arrived to a familiar setting and I was home at last.   At 2:30 a.m.  On my facebook post, people are calling me courageous and brave.   Not so.   Desperation was more the word!   No more setting seats back in recline on a bus.  

My hero!

No, if you will excuse me, I need to take a nap!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Eve in Paute.....makes me smile...and sleepy!!

Jumping the fire for good luck!

I'll be honest.   I'm tired.   I had very little to drink and that was confined to a couple of shots passed out along our walks through town.   I know how cane alcohol tastes now!   The evening started out with a fantastic dinner at Jani's house, including turkey and gravy, sweet potatoes as well as mashed, pea salad, and assorted vegetables.   As if that was not enough, out came the apple pie and ice cream.  There was not enough room for very much alcohol after that was over.

I'd just like to let the pictures tell the stories.  James, Susan, Jani and I had a fantastic time.   What a zest for life the Ecuadorians have!!   Have a wonderful New Year to everyone!!   Keep focused and stay positive!  Life is NOT a dress rehearsal!!

Boy and sister showing off
their guy.
Soooo, wazzup?

This was either a policeman or
If I knew more about Ecuador, I could
tell you who this is.  

The motorcycle gang!

Need a boob job?   I can get you
one.   Cheap.

It looked like a telling
of the indigenous history of
This is the Ecuadorian assembly.   Notice the donkey?   Some months
ago, there was a group trying to get him on the ballot.  

President Correa!

There was some heavy rock coming from here!

There were lots of fireworks!!

Cute little boy.  Unfortunately a little later, when his
grandfather was helping him across the fire, both went
down in a face plant on the concrete.   I certainly hope
all is well.

Firecrackers tossed at the church.

The gangs all here!  Including somebody picked up along the way!

Goodbye to my "esposo" of a few days and
all my negative feelings of 2012