Back in '94 on my 1st south American odyssey my money ran out in Quito and all i remember of the place was trying to find a cheap flight home (if your interested Aeroflot were the cheapest). The 30 minute taxi ride from a northern bus station to “gringo new town” wasn't jogging any memories.
I had booked an en-suite room at the Posada del Maple for 5 nights but when i got there they only had a room for 2 nights, with a shared bathroom! On Sunday i moved to the Huauki hostel with an en-suite room for $4 less per night. One of the bonuses of the new hostel was that it was just across the road from Finn McCool's Irish pub.
I had a very long ”weekend” in Quito and apart from a two hour walk around the old town and a quick ride on the cable car i think you all know where i was. I could tell you some stories but they're better told propping up a bar!
On Wednesday afternoon i went to the small village of Mindo, a two hour bus ride away. I thought hanging out there till Sunday would be a good break from Finn's.
Even though the bus passed through some epic landscapes i ended up dozing off for 20 minutes or so. After two hours the bus reached Mindo and when i picked up my day-bag it felt wrongly light! My laptop, two cameras, iPod, head torch and $45 in cash had all gone.....and nobody on the bus saw a thing!. The bus company staff didn't give a shit (I’m guessing that to them it's nothing new) and then this Euro trash woman who owns a hostel in Mindo started to give me advice of what i did wrong. My rage was being directed inwards so i didn't turn round to tell her to..........
Two hours later i was still raging on the inside and i walked into this little 1st floor bar. I got a beer, sat down and carried on seething. Then the landlord did something that soothed the raging storm within. By track 3 of ZZTops greatest hits on video i was wearing a rye smile and thinking to myself that after 4 years on the road to have been robbed only once wasn't that bad...mind you it wasn't that great either.
The next morning i had a brainwave, it was time to get back with my baby. Emails were sent and plans made and if all went well i would be holding her in my arms within a week. The place i was staying at had a hammock and a couple of books to read.....
Wednesday 10th of August
I’ve been back in Quito now for 10 days waiting for DHL to deliver my baby (which is a Nikon D200 camera by the way). Its been stuck in customs all this time but hopefully today it will turn up. When it does I will have to pay $144 for the privilege (bloody import tax).
So, it looks like I’ll be “robbed” twice in Ecuador.