Trip Start Jan 03, 2011
15Trip End Mar 23, 2011
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Where I stayed
Health: Man I feel good, was that a mosquito?
Rest: -ed in a nice comfy bed after a terrible 13 hour bus ride. Pretty nice.
Funds: Thought I lost them; just hid them real well when I was delirious.
Weather: Schweaty, in a welcome sort of way.
Had a great day. Got off the bus in a daze at 7:15; thought everyone was looking at me (they probably were because they still did later on)
Later on, I went for a walk. Machala is a really cool little town, busy but not big like Quito. Just perfect to spend a few days before my long trip into Peru.
*Sniff* that smells like... Yep, hostal mates fumarando mota, while I'm sitting in the hall. I didn't have a chance to meet them as this is a pretty empty hostal and they kinda snuck in. Machala is not that touristy and that is just how I want it for now.
Anyway, while on my walk, I realized that I hadn't eaten in damn near 24 hours so I stopped at a place. There were plenty to choose from but the one I picked had a woman sitting out front with her child. "¿Esta bueno?" I asked, "Si, buenisimo". And wouldn't you know it she was right. The pics are of my late lunch and I'll be going back tomorrow since I only had a $10 and the owner couldn't make change.
Travel Tip #2: If you're going to Ecuador, bring four rolls of quarters.
I'm just kicking it around the hostal now, and I'm going to check out the Maritime Museum and Puerto Bolivar over the next few days. I'll keep you posted. (Update: yeah, no.)
Oh yeah and I've got to go to the drug store for some malaria meds because the skeeters are restless
Jan 6 '11
Hygene: Soaking wet. Oh and a 7 second hot shower this morning.
Health: -y. Possible malarial future, but mamma always told me to live in the now.
Rest: Fading fast. Almost time to flip on MTV latino, or that channel that only plays spanish subtitled "The Matador" with Pierce Brosnan and Greg Keneer on repeat, but hey, at least it's English.
Funds: Always on me, and right on schedule.
Weather: Schweaty, cooler by the lake. (MST3K reference; you know the reference sucks when you have to cite it for your confused audience and the citation takes up more room than the reference itself. But MST3K still rules.)
Mood: Muy bien. Mild dread of the impending autobus.
So the bloodsuckers finally got me. The whole time I have been in Machala, I have seen 4 mosquitos. One the first night, and three tonight. The first, second, and fourth I killed while they were begining their air raid attacks, but the third -- you daughter of satan, you -- well, the bitch got me. I saw her flying away from my feet under the radar, but she was not as sneaky on her departure as on her approach -- probably super high on fulfilling her biological imperitive -- and I dropped my Webster's Spanish/English dictionary (AKA my best friend: "Weebsterrr!") on the entirety of her suckitude, and sure enough: sangre
So I had a mild freakout and I went downstairs to talk to the patron about malaria in the area (rhyme!) and he assured me that it is not common, and not to worry. But I know, I know worried family members reading this: I am not going to take the advice of un hombre who is clearly not a doctor. I'll take the advice of the internet instead!
Based on my extensive research (read: wikipedia) it looks like I have about 6 days before I start getting headaches and the "thirst" as they call it. Wait, that's rabies. Well, 6 days until I would know that I have malaria. In the meantime, pass the tonic water, and make it a double.
In other news, I had a lovely day. Highlights can be found in photo form, but in sum: the people here really are really awesome.
It looked like I was going to have a tough time getting to Peru from Machala (all the bus companies told me I had to go back to Guayaqil; tschyeah, right!) but Jesse at the Loki Hostel where I have booked myself in Lima emailed me that there is one, CIFA, that does the trip and I'll be gosh darned if Jesse (he, she?) wasn't right
To get to CIFA, my restaurant family hooked me up with a cab ride for free. Apparently, if you are going to own a restaurant in Machala you simply must have a cab. In the car we packed 4 women across the back and one hombre driving. We joked about the crazy driving and the boom boom boom discotecas (of which not one I've yet seen) and basically just laughed the whole way there. At the end, I tried to pay him and he insisted I keep it. We parted ways, and I reentered a world of cute little strangers.
Machala really is very nice. It is clean, doesn't smell bad, and unlike the U.S. people actually chill in the public park. What a concept! Oh and so do giant lizards. I walked around for a while, bought some water, took some pictures, and then decided to head back to the hostel.
So far this leg of the trip has been extremely relaxing, almost theraputic. I mean, I have flossed my teeth three times already and am looking forward to doing it again. There is something about being alone, but being alert and undistracted that is a welcome respite from the world of constant stimulation that exists in the U.S. In all honesty I hoped it would be like this, at least for awhile, and I am super excited that it came to fruition
I got my ticket today, for $10, which will take me to Piura. From there I debated whether I wanted to explore northern Peru, or continue into the middle where I plan to spend a week +. The
problem seems to be that Piura, and Trujillo, and Chimbote, and
Chiclayo, and any other northern Peruvian place with a bus stop, all have a
bad rep with travellers who write stuff on the internet. They are dirty, some say, or the crime is a
problem, or there is overdevelopment, or they are just plain
uninteresting. But Lima, ahhhh Lima linda, that is supposedly where it's
In this light, I have decided to make the long haul -- I really have no idea how to estimate the time because of the inconsistency of the roads, but it has to be 20 + hours -- down the Peruvian coast from Piura and straight on to Lima. In Lima, I have a hostel (you know, the one with Jesse) booked that looks really nice and cozy. Maybe I will meet other adventurers (you know, people my age with world's oysters and the like) and there will be adventures to be had. Until then, buenas noches.