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Dalama Adventures Tale of two corporate types ditching their jobs and traveling the world for 14 months... check out all photos, blogs & interesting tid bits at http://www.dalama.net

A Long Ride Back to Civilization

ECUADOR | Wednesday, 7 November 2007 | Views [973]

We have three busses/connections to make today, to get ourselves to Baños, our next destination (no, not bathrooms, the city of Baños!). The challenge of the Quilatola loop is getting there and back, as there are only a couple busses a day, and we're surprised they actually run daily and make it without breaking down. No busses drive the complete loop, so we need to hop on the 5:00 a.m. (the later of three and a special addition for a Wednesday) to a small town in the hills called Zambahua. I manage to communicate to our bus driver what we are hoping to do, so he lets us off in front of another bus on the fringes of town. We wait for our new bus driver to have his breakfast, coffee, and morning mingle with his buddies before he finally boards the bus, an hour after he told us "only 10 more minutes till departure." Our bus fills up quickly with a ton of local women and their beautiful red ponchos, felt hats with perfectly positioned feather, and child slung around their backs. The ride traverses narrow ledges, roads not meant to be driven on by big busses. The driver's co-pilot makes several trips back to hand out little black plastic puke bags to passengers. Fortunately for us, we end up picking up our guide friend from Mama Hilda's lodge, Jose Luis, en route with his back of Euro-female travelers. He luckily shows us where, as we pass through the village of Latacunga, and what side of the street we need to have the driver let us off on. We would have normally gone to the bus terminal, logical thinking, however, if transiting to Quito or Baños, two major cities, the busses don't leave from the big bus terminal... go figure the logic on that one. We end up on a street corner with a policeman, which is key, making us feel a bit safer waiting in the dodgy area of town. I hop into the local panaderia to get some fresh bread an treats for the two hour drive to Baños, and shortly a "directo Baños" bus cruises by, yelling out the destination. Fast and simple, we hop on to find a lounge on wheels... we've never seen such a pimped out bus in our lives. There are maybe half the number of seats on this bus than you would normally see, and the seats, still with their fresh plastic covers on, were huge puffy recliners, better than First Class on an airline, with feet and leg rests, reclining nearly horizontal. Spanish movies project, and sound system blares from the overhead TV's, and I stuff my Ipod headphones into my ears and sleep to Jack Johnson tunes. We slide into Baños bus depot uneventfully, the couple seated to the right side of the bus from us fast asleep, with their little child laying on top of them, fully awake and wondering what's next. We're treated to a beautiful day in this gorgeous volcanic mountain town. We have travelled over six hours on three busses, and needed a relaxing evening... we soaked our bodies until we were all wrinkly in the piping hot "aguas calientes" hot springs to make for a great end to an exhausting day of travel.

Tags: On the Road

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