Friday, May 11, 2012
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
So the bus ride to Quito was interesting as well as the border crossing. Walking across the bridge from Ipiales, Colombia to Tulcan, Ecuador was fairly easy but if it's early in the morning I highly recommend wearing something other than shorts and flip flops because it was below freezing. People were definitely pointing and laughing and I don't blame them one bit. Once I got my entrance stamp I paid 50 cents, Ecuadors currency is the American Dollar with the exception of their change, once I got to the bus station got a bus ticket for the supposed 5 hour bus ride to Quito for $4.50! The bus wasn't bad, by that I mean its not the worst I've taken on this trip but getting stopped 7 times for the police to check all of our ids and everytime they saw my passport they said oooo Americano? I was the only gringo on the entire bus. Another first for me on this trip. Finally got to Quito and thats when things got dicey. After the 17 hour bus ride turned into 26 I was pretty beat and headed for the taxi stand where there were no yellow cabs which against my better judgement I got into a grey beat up kia with a roof magent saying taxi. Got in and the cab tried to take off with my bags and not me but I was halfway in and asked him in spanish what the hell was that and he said his foot slipped. I gave him the address of the Secret Garden hostel which he told me he knew where it was. He then proceeded to drive me to the middle of nowhere as I was checking on the map I had where we were going and asked him where we were and he said we were really close. Shortly there after he stopped the car in an industrial area and proceeded to pull a knife on me and told me to get out and leave my bags after demanding for my wallet. What he didn't know was that I just got off of a 26 hour trip and wasn't in the mood to take shit from anybody. So I grabbed my nalgene water bottle and him i the face and he was kind of shocked at least I think he was because I grabbed my bags and tucked and rolled out of the cab and ran around the corner. I ran into an Ecuadorian couple who asked me if I was ok and explained to them what happened and they then helped me get to the bus station and they happened to be going to the same bus stop so they rode with me and helped me with directions. I then went to the Secret Garden which was a nice hostel with an amazing view of Quito. I stayed in Quito for 2 nights, I did not feel very safe in Quito but met some cool people. There was a great restaurant across the street from the hostel but I dont remember the name but everyone at the hostel will know it. I then took off to the Galapagos which was amazing and too long to put in this post. I hope everyone is getting inspired to travel from these and there are more updates coming and once I get faster internet there will be pictures as well.