Sunday, November 2, 2008

Geoff{s efforts

Geoff wrote a great update and since it{s all the things i would say, i{m just going to cheat and copy it here. Also, the apostrophe key doesn{t work on this machine and it{s driving me crazy. We did go out last night and didn{t make it home until about 430am. Good thing we ran out of money or we might still not be home. A great time was had by all.

Just a quick update from Cuenca (koo-en-ka).
After a grueling bus ride from Banos via Ambato (roughly translated, This means ¨Ecuador´s Angry Armpit¨) Mj and I made it to Cuenca in the South Central highlands of Ecuador. In Ambato we said goodbye to Marcus as he needed to get back to Quito for his flight home, and we continued on. And on. And on. About 11 total hours of sitting in a bus in fact. Not surprisingly, our bodies were cramped and sore from the travel. Once we did get into Cuenca, and hopped a taxi to our hostel we found that they had lost our reservations. Seeing as it is a 3 day holiday here, there weren´t any other options really, and they ended up making us up a room in what was essentially a concrete box next to the laundry. We are seasoned 3rd world travelers, but even this was a bit much. However, things being what they were, we took the room with the promise that things would change the next day. The night turned out to be enjoyable however, as we walked around and watched the celebrations happening in the streets. One such included the lighting of large firework towers right in the middle of the street. Gotta love the 3rd world. No barriers, no cops telling people to back off. No firetrucks at the ready. Just lighting the fuse on the 20 foot tower and stepping back. Goes with the general rule of thumb here: ¨Don´t Get Dead.¨
After waking up in the unpadded cell today, we toured the city by foot, viewed some of the celebrations, markets and old colonial buildings. This city is hundreds of years old, and many of the buildings reflect that. Truly a beautiful place to visit. In between visits back to the hostel to see if there would in fact be a new room for us (various reasons why it didn´t just happen) Mj and I had a wonderful day exploring. Most exciting was that we were able to find a book store which sold English books. Books are worth their weight in gold down here (and are priced accordingly). Already Mj and I have nearly finished the first of the books we bought, and will be consuming the rest over the next few days I´m sure. It´s nice to quench that thirst, especially on vacation.
Tomorrow and the next day will be more local exploration, coffee shops to read books in, and general settling. We were planning on travelling on Tuesday, but may stay and extra night to watch election results with some other Americans we have met in the last 24 hours, seeing as Cuenca is a fairly large city we may be able to find a bar with the results on the TV. We´ll see.
Love to all, G

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