South America: Across Ecuador in two days
Sunday, September 5, 2010 12:54:55 AM
Yesterday, a guy from France, who currently lives in Sao Paulo, joined us in our room in the hostel. Because we were all solo travellers we agreed to go out and enjoy company. We had dinner, a few beers, and talked about everything, a good relaxing evening. Unfortunately, I had to get up at 7am to get on the bus to Ambato. The bus went to Quito, and as it's usual here, didn't stop at the bus station. We had to get off on some street. I got lucky because on the other side of the road there was a bus to Riobamba that'd just stopped. So I got to Riobamba even quicker than I'd thought. In Riobamba, I had had one hour to buy something to eat and relax before my bus to Riobamba departured.
The journey was pretty hard. First the bus was totally packed. The second the road was something I'd never seen before. It climbed from valleys to mountains, up and down, up and down, a zigzag road all the time. It sometimes looked really dangerous. For example when the bus was going 100 km/h and 1 meter from the road, there was a several hundred meter high wall. The view during the journey were spectacural though. On the other hand, every km takes much more than in Europe. Cuenca is only 300 km from Banos and it took over 8 hours.
I arrived to Cuenca after 5pm and decided to stay there over night because the bus to Loja takes 5 hours and I was pretty tired of buses and didn't want to arrive there in the middle of the night. I took a cab to the centre and got a room in a hostel that's got the same owner as the hostel in which I stayed in Quito. I went for a walk and was really impressed because Cuenca is the most beautiful place I've seen in Ecuador. The centre is full of beautiful historical building in the colonial style which are well preserved. The city is extraordinary clean (relatively to what I have seen in Ecuador, like a standard European city). It's a pity I could stay just for a few hours.
In the morning, I got up very early again to catch a bus to Loja which was leaving at 9. Unfortunately, it'd been sold out when I got to the bus station at 8. I had to wait till 11 improving my Spanish and filling my stomach. The journey was exhausting. They didn't let us put baggage in the baggage hold, so I had to have both my backpacks on me for 5 hours. Good news was waiting for me in Loja though. I got a ticket for a night bus to Piura, Peru. It's said it's usually sold out quickly and you need to buy it at least 24 hours in advance. Because I had 7 hours before the bus goes I put my big backpack in a left-luggage service and went to the centre. Loja is nothing special. I had dinner, spent some time in an Internet coffee and I'm ready to go to Peru. So hopefully the next blogpost will posted from Peru.
P.S. I cannot upload any pictures now because I got a virus on my SD card. I didn't use Windows for 6 years and never had to deal with viruses. Now, I had to start using Windows again because it's in all Internet coffees here and got one on my SD card. Pictures are still there, but I cannot access them from Windows. So until I solve this problem no pictures will be uploaded