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Currently Location: Puerto Lopez, Ecuardor

07.03.07

Price of beer in a bar:  Continues to tow the South American Party
Line of US$1 for roughly 20 ounces.
Song currently stuck in my head:  Evil (Interpol).

So there I was… there I was… there I was… in… Copacabana.
Again, the Bolivian one.  And I wanted out.  It was too cold, there
was too little to do and I had a bus ticket.  So I´m standing there
one the corner arguing with the bus driver because, even though I paid
the same as the other 50 people on the bus, he wants me to sit up by
the driver.  This is an “ejecutivo” class bus (a little better than a
greyhound) and he wants me to sit in a different room than everyone
else, with no video or reclining seat or any of the other add ons that
make this bus costs about 8X what a chicken bus would have… but he
still wants me to pay the same.  And when I object he ignores me.  I
mean he won´t make eye contact with me and just keeps repeating that
my seat is in the front.  Why me?  No explanation.  So after it
becomes clear that all hope is lost, I start shouting.  In my broken
spanish I ask what it is about my money that is so inferior to the
other passengers and why he thinks I´m going to shoulder the burden of
his overbooking fuckup.  He throws me off the bus (a consequence I´d
accepted the minute I opened my mouth).  It´s the only bus going where
I´m going (Lima).  I return to my travel agent, around the corner, but
she´s no where to be found.  I had to wait 30 minutes the day before
for her to drop by her office (open, operating, just no one there) and
I didn´t have that kind of time to spare.  I didn´t want to spend
another night there.

I managed to get another bus to get me to the first stop where my bus
was going (3 hours, US$3, as it should be).  By contrast, these guys
were great.  I wish I could have ridden with them all the way to Lima.
It seems like they radioed ahead to the station because a woman was
waiting for me to take me to my connection with haste, which worked
out terrific.  I think that bus ride was 18 hours.  I arrived in Lima
one day before Sarah, the girl that I had been dating in Chicago, was
scheduled to arrive.  I booked a room, got some sleep, and went to the
airport the next day.  15 hours later Sarah arrived, greatly delayed.
The American Airlines people were unhelpful, to say the least.  We
spent one night in Lima and then about 26 straight hours in trans to
Montanita, and Ecuadorian surf town/hippie enclave.  That trip
involved 3 buses and getting royally ripped off by a cab driver.  Man,
every country that I´m in it´s cab drivers that are the scum of the
earth.  I´ve had some good ones, don´t get me wrong, but I´ve been
lied to, intimidated, and in general wronged by more cab drivers than
by members of any other profession.  The majority of robberies that I
hear about first hand are at the hands of cab drivers and cohorts as
well.

So anyway, we finally arrive in Montanita… ah the beach.  Can
someone tell me why it´s cold here?  Seriously, I´m trying to figure
it out.  I´m very close the the equator and I´m at sea level.  It
should be uncomfortably hot.  Instead I´m wearing long sleeves half
the time.  We´ve only seen 3 hours of sun since we arrives about a
week ago, which is fine by me, but I expected warmer temps.  It´s
very, very odd.

Montanita was disappointing so after we´d rested up we broke north to
our current location, Puerto Lopez.  From here we explored Isla de
Plata yesterday, home of red and blue footed boobies and other rare
and rather fascinating birds in an environment very similar to
Galapagos.  Today we intend to do some coastal hiking, then head to
Banos for some hot springs relaxation tomorrow.

I miss my music.

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