Sad, but not tragic. A forced opportunity. Maybe even a fortunate adaptation…fuck it. Let's make taco salad.

Cuenca to Montequillas

Cuenca (~7500 ft, ~400,000 ppl) is reported to be the arts and cultural capital of Ecuador, renown for its local crafts and markets.  We wouldn’t really know because we spent 3 days and 2 nights there in self-enforced rehab from our outburst in Baños.  We actually sat in the hostel and watched a movie.  In the daytime.


Stunning architecture, lovely cobblestone streets…blah blah blah…you’re not reading my blog for that kind of shit.  Look it up on the Internets.


We did meet some very nice people (Canadian, Irish) in our hostel/rehab center who had been staying in Cuenca for several months teaching English, ostensibly paid work, but it sounded a lot more like volunteering to me.  Rice + agua + a $4/night hostel doesn’t seem worth the time to me.  I guess I have higher needs.


We also roomed with a guy from Montana who has been touring by motorcycle for several months.  Lots of these types down here, but I’m always amazed at how difficult it is to get a across the Canal Zone.  Every one of these guys talk about spending a week and $1000+ to get a bike through.  Where the fuck is Capitalismo when you need it??  Chad seemed permanently traumatized by the 8 days he spent in Panama City only to end up with a drunk German and a sketchy yacht that nearly capsized.  (After transporting his bike via canoe with a 10 hp motor from the mainland to a small island to meet the “yacht.”)  I told him it would be worth it for the story later.  He did not think I was funny.


(As an aside, I cannot stop listening to the Broken Bells.  It’s become like coffee and smokes to me at this point.  I know, mom, just what I need – another addiction.  HOWEVER, as I write this, I have no idea who won the Stanley Cup, so I guess these addictions can come and go.)


Another brutal bus ride took us to the Ecuadoran border town of Montequillas.  Ecuadoran busses stop for everyone and everything.  The good news is that they are cheap (about $1 per hour travelled).  The bad news is that if you have a seat, you can be sure that someone will be setting their babies or their boxes on top of you.  When we put our packs in the cargo hold, it was empty.  When we took them out, they had to move 50 chickens out of the way first.




The madness of the Ecuador/Peru frontier is really beyond description.  I will simplify by saying that The Sweet Little Sister absolutely snapped at one point and screamed “FUCK OFF!!!” at two hombres who pestered us all the way across the bridge for a taxi ride.  (She did this much to the delight and laughter of everyone within 100 meters of us.)  In her defense, she did attempt “no, thank you,” “go in peace,” and “go away now!” in Espanolish before the Ugly American outburst.



Cash exchange, booze exchange (pisco for tequila), passport stamp, and we are officially in Peru.  The collectivo ride left us bruised, but far from broken once we saw the wide open beaches of Mancora.




One Response to “Cuenca to Montequillas”

  1. Wayne Nelson says:

    Chicago won the Cup. StL Blues were playing golf 🙁

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