If you have seen Elf, you will appreciate the line of today, used several times. "Watch out! The yellow ones don't stop!" Geoff and I found ourselves jumping out of the way of and in and out of yellow taxi cabs all day long. I'm pretty sure taxis have a quota of people or other objects they must run into each day. It's like the game of chicken that won't stop!
Our day began with a breakfast made by a sweet lady working at the hotel consisting of coffee, juice, scrambled eggs, a small fried cheese empanada, and about 10 corn flakes on a plate with approximately 2 tablespoons of what appeared to be bright pink liquid yogurt. It was delicious and the coffee was strong enough to fuel a car. Bring on the day.
We were excited to find out that the address for our visa paperwork directed us less than two blocks from our hotel. We got out early, hoping to be able to take care of our visas and be back in time to grab our bags before the 12:30 check out. Ha. Ha. Ha. Of course the office had been relocated. After an hour of running in circles with no one knowing where to direct us, but clearly being in the wrong place, we finally got a hold of an address. We quickly jumped in a cab and headed wherever that piece of paper told our driver to go. Fun. We were deposited at a huge building filled with hundreds of people. Imagine your worst DMV experience merging with Mexico's border control and a LOT of people who don't speak a word of your language and then have a nightmare about it. Yup, that's where we were this morning. We were late. We waited in vain and had to give up before talking to anyone because we had to retrieve our bags at the hotel.
Fortunately, we were able to find an address for an office in Cuenca that should take care of it as well. We figured our odds were greatly improved in a city of 400,000 instead of 1.3 million...and gladly left. Then we got to take another taxi ride! Whew. We survived the trip back to the hotel, grabbed our bags, and grabbed yet another taxi to Guayaquil's massive mall/bus station. After wandering like lonely lost gringos for way too long we finally figured out the Spanish word for "tickets," found the right bus, and were on our way to Cuenca.
It was a beautiful drive through lush jungle, beautiful barren hilltops, rocky slopes, and foggy cloud forests. As we had been warned, our bus driver was pretty sure he was allowed to drive in both lanes, anytime he wanted...and Geoff and I were thrilled that our assigned seats were at the very front where we could witness every near head on collision as we flew downhill around blindturns - in the wrong lane. Somehow that just works out for them - though we don't know how. We made it to Cuenca, enjoyed a great dinner, and are staying at a cute little hostel with bright yellow walls. :) We are exhausted and looking forward to getting this visa stuff behind us tomorrow! Buenas noches!
Travel with us as we explore new lands, engage cultures, and learn to better love each other, those we encounter, and the Lord Jesus Christ at every crossroad of life.
Where Are We Now?