Sam: The latest news

October 11, 2010

Indeed has it been a busy time since I last wrote, however it has been a lot of the same. Last week was composed entirely of schoolwork and errands. Both essays went over well and the presentation was peachy. During the week, I finally got my censo, meaning I can get citizen rates on touristy things and, most importantly, I can leave the country (since I’m here on a visa, not passport).

It was already decided by mid-week that we were going to the beach, so Brittany, Francisco and I saddled up the taxi and headed to the bus terminal that would take us to Bahía de Caráquez in the central Pacific coast. Luckily, we bought our tickets during the day; the bus station was a stand with a parking lot in the most terrifying neighborhood I have ever visited. I would have taken a picture, but I’m pretty sure there’s an ordinance that says that anyone with electronics will be immediately stabbed. We got our tickets along with some lunch and the legendary salchipapas, which is a wax paper bag filled with fries, ketchup, and mayonnaise and topped with tiny hot dogs.

It finally came time to go to the beach (at 10:30 p.m. on Thursday) so we headed back to the ‘station.’ The taxi driver seemed pretty convinced we were going to die before getting on the overnight bus, so he drove us over the curb and up to the edge of the station. We got on with no trouble and slept most of the way. I awoke with both kidneys, so I already knew the trip would be a success.

Once in Bahía, we opted to head up the shore to Canoa. We hopped in a public bus brimming with school children, hopped off at the wharf, got on a boat to cross the bay, and climbed on a motorcycle taxi to Canoa. Canoa is where the locals go when they want to go to the beach. It is two streets and neither is paved. We had breakfast and suited up for a day of sun and surf…

I barely dodged a debilitating sunburn

Over lunch we met Leo, the (debatable) longboard surf champion of the country who was preparing the head to Peru for the South American championships. His (debatable) cousin Jorge met with us at dinner to sell raffle tickets. We did not win.

Saturday morning, we spent a few more hours in Canoa before getting in a dump truck with a paper “Taxi” sign and returning to the wharf that would return us to Bahía. We checked in to Coco Bongo, which had enormous rooms and a private balcony. We explored the town and watched some sort of parade…the purpose is still unknown. We went to bed early and awoke early the next day to return to Quito. To give an idea of how the return trip went, the bus played the first three ‘Lethal Weapon’ movies back to back to back. Yeah, it went that well.

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