I cherished the final scenes of this drive that have become our new normal. The bus was crowded and I treasure the people watching opportunities this always provides. A beautifully weathered lady sat cooing and holding her hand in a box of chirping chicks to calm them. A boy still dressed in his school uniform sat on his mom’s lap chattering on about anything. A couple of second generation hippies reclined against each other, legs dangling in the aisle as their dreadlocks flew at will near the open bus windows. I love this community. As the bus groaned on down the road we passed our favorite fruit stand, and our stop to go visit the orphanage. Finally, we continued past the stop for Montanita and we were officially leaving.
We planned to catch a direct bus to Quito from La Libertad, but as always happens in travel, this changed. Long story short, we ended up on a bus to Guayaquil (after an unenjoyable security search of the bus and all persons by the police) and then boarded our third bus to Quito. Geoff fell asleep on every bus within about 5 minutes of sitting down. He never ceases to amaze me. He, for one, was thrilled with the detour to Guayaquil because it meant he got a hot dinner at the bus terminal instead of just the granola we had packed. We caught the 11:30ish bus from Guayaquil to Quito, Geoff slept; I sort of didn’t, as we made it to Quito early this morning. I am happy to report that the bus driver was one of the better ones.
When we arrived in Quito early this morning, we headed to a hostel where we had made plans to store our luggage until we return to stay there before flying to the States next Tuesday. We wandered the cobblestone streets in search of breakfast, found a tiny cafe tucked below an old colonial building, and enjoyed the surreal sense of being somewhere in Europe. We were served instant coffee instead of fine espresso, and a humita in place of fluffy croissants and relished the fact that we were indeed, still in Ecuador.
In 1736 French explorer and scientist Charles-Marie de la Condamine made final calculations in his efforts to define the earth’s equatorial line In present day Ecuador. Ecuador was named after this equatorial line that was drawn on its dirt. Modern GPS has proven that he was about 180 meters off his mark. Fairly impressive considering the resources he was using!
Therefore, we really only stood close to the equator today. Alas, for all ceremonial purposes, it is the equator. Below you can see Geoff and I, seemingly on different sides of the world but still meeting in the middle! Ah, the joys of marriage!
It’s been a really long day, and I am looking forward to some good sleep. The rain is coming down so our top floor room should have some nice music as we rest, even without the ocean waves. You should hear the way all these frogs, birds, and bugs are singing their praises to their Creator right here in the middle of the earth! Looking forward to what tomorrow holds and praising a GOD who allows us a Freedom that extends beyond the powers of any government. Good night to all, and to all a goodnight!