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ECUADOR with Barbara

ECUADOR | Sunday, 28 November 2010 | Views [606]

January 8, 2010 - 

When we arrived Ecuador they told me at the border that I only had 7 days left on my visa because I was in Ecuador so long before, but I thought that the 90 days per year was per calendar year because that is what I was told.  I guess that is not the case.  When we arrived Kayhda’s place she thought maybe her Dad could help me extend my visa through the end of January on Monday, but I waited and on Monday he was unable to do anything. 

Staying at Kahyda’s place was great, and was the second time I have stayed with her.  She now lives back with her family in Machala and has her own little apartment connected to her parents place.  Her whole family is very warm-hearted, and her dad was always cracking jokes with us and a lot of fun to be around as well.  There is not a whole lot to see though in Machala and it was extremely warm and also very RAINY, so when I got the news that her Dad was unable to do anything we were ready to continue north to Cuenca.  We arrived Cuenca about 9 pm (5 hours from Machala $4.50) on Monday, January 11. 

Our next couchsurfer Diego was kind enough to pick us up from the bus terminal when we arrived and took us to his parents’ place where they had a nice place with an extra bedroom.  Diego is married and lives with his wife, but doesn’t have much room in his place, so he hosts couchsurfers at his parents place.  When we arrived we ate some pizza nearby the house and then went to bed early because his parents go to bed quite early and get up VERY early.  Diego also gave me the idea to just not get my passport stamped when I leave Ecuador so I won’t have to pay any fee or anything for being over my length of time while in Ecuador.  If I was to return I might have to pay a penalty, but I don’t plan to return anytime soon.

On Tuesday, January 12 and Wednesday Barbara and I spent the days walking around the downtown area and took a tour bus of the city.  I also sent my big suitcase back to the states while in Cuenca ($197 for 63 pounds) because I was getting sick of carrying around all my stuff seeing I thought I would be going to Venezuela from Ecuador to work.

We took a bus on Wedensday night to Riobamba at 11:15 pm (5 hours--$7) and arrived at 4 am.  I had warned our couchsurfer Juan that we would be arriving very early, but he told us it wasn’t a problem and to call him when we arrived.  We took a taxi to his house and he showed us where we were sleeping and he also had a cat that I was not aware of.  As a result of coughing all night due to the cat along with a little cold that I was nursing I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep.  We woke up about 9:30 am to check out the city and Juan was already at the University working on his thesis.  There really isn’t a whole lot to the city of Riobamba and we even asked a taxi what there is to do in the city, and he told us nothing…lol.  I really didn’t want to spend the night at Juan’s place due to my problems with the cat, so we went back to get our stuff and Juan happened to be there as well and we told him about my problems with the cat, said thanks, and took a taxi for a $1 to the bus terminal and caught a $2 bus to Banos (1.5 hours).

We had a recommendation from another family about a hostel named La Chiminea in Banos, so we took a taxi there for a $1 when we arrived and checked into a very nice room with very comfortable bed, with a private bathroom and a patio for $8.50 each.  It also had free internet, towels, and soap.  I would highly recommend La Chiminea hostel to anyone who goes to Banos.  Unfortunately, at this point my laptop was broken, and was unable to finish writing.

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