I have breakfast and spend a couple of hours doing the blog then go to the terminal. The bus leaves at 1:30. There are more people than seats, but remembering yesterday, my guess is that not everybody is going to Cuenca. I’m glad I’ve got 2 seats, there’s one man I would prefer not to sit next to. It’s raining slightly as we have the usual slow start out of town, the driver visiting a shop, then roadworks. The bus is similar to yesterday’s, but with a centimetre more of legroom. I gather that I’ve picked the road less travelled by going to Cuenca through Loja, and that this is the slow, rough road, but with the picturesque views. I’m the only non “local”.
There is a tv, but like yesterday, no film.
The driver turns on the radio really loud. I’d heard about this in South America but so far I’ve been lucky and escaped the really loud noise. Not today. Fortunately I’ve been carrying earplugs in my bag, so put them in. The driver keeps the radio on and as we move further away from the Loja and into the mountains, the loud music is exchanged for loud static. Then he turns the “music” off. Out come the earplugs. Soon after he blasts the bus with Spanish language cds and I’m sure that at least one is the same as on the trip to Nasca. He also likes the song..Moscow, Moscow..da da da de da da da… da da da de da da da …ho ho ho ho ho and plays it several times. In go the earplugs again.
Front of bus terminal, Loja
It certainly is picturesque, mountainous and very green.
Lots of maize, some houses with veggie gardens, cows in pastures. I don’t have a map and have no idea where the towns are or what they’re called. We stop at one town and nearly everyone gets off. Children get on selling water and biscuits but I don’t need anything.
Leaving Loja, cloudy and drizzling...am I in Melbourne?
About 1/4 to 6 we stop for a couple of minutes outside a “shop” where there is a pig on the spit. The helper? on the bus gets out. Potatoes and ? frying in a pan are put on a plate, then slices of pork from the spit, then salt and pepper? The whole lot is dropped into a bag, I guess to mix the food and condiments, the helper? pays and off we go.
First I was told that the bus journey would take 4 hours, therefore 1:30 to 5:30, right? When I bought the bus tickets the lady said arrival 5:30 to 6pm.
They are making the road, which is a pretty bad road anyway and it’s a slow, rough journey. We arrive in Cuenca around 7:30. I get a taxi to the homestay. USD2. Elsa is the mother and there are three sons, aged 13 to 21. She has a friend, Estella, there also. Everyone is very kind and welcoming; would I like a drink or something to eat? Am I tired, do I want to rest? After a while Elsa and Estella go out. I’m left with the boys, the large screen tv with cable and the remote control! I’m told that this is my house too. I watch tv and go to bed around midnight.
En route Cuenca