Quito Travel Blog› entry 29 of 65 › view all entries
Our bus ride from Otavalo to Quito was uncomfortable, to put it mildly. Danilo had a kicking, smelly, dirty child behind him for the first 2 hours. As usual, a bad movie (with the action dynamic duo of The Rock and Sean William Scott) played. At around the 2 hour mark, we saw a mom with a child and a husband struggling to stand up so we gave them our seats. In classy fashion the father sat in one of the seats, while the mother sat with the girl in the other one (we expected the two females to take our seats, and this was fairly obvious). To add insult to injury, we had to endure the younger girl (no more than two years old) crying for attention as the mother gave the girl her back to make out with the father. We love Latin American parenting.
We returned to the scene of the crime and quickly got out of the main bus terminal to find our hostel. We jumped on the Trole (trolley) which was such a nice change from the hellish bus ride we had just endured. We had personal space, Em even had a seat (which was nice because its hard to keep your balance with those big packs on), there is no noise as it runs on electric lines, and no pollution. The trolley runs through a really nice part of the Old City and we jumped off a few blocks from our hostel. We found a really nice place right near the tourist center in the new city but just a little bit outside so that we avoided sleeping next to the noisy nightlife. We found a great movie house called Ocho Y Medio and as luck would have it, they were having a documentary film festival. So we caught two shows on Sunday evening, one about Ecuadorian immigrants in Spain and the other about Sierra Leonean refugees who started a band called Refugee All Stars. This movie fest was a nice relaxation from the stress and depression of the robbery.
Monday was a terrible day. We woke up really early in the morning so that we could get to our respective embassies and get new passports and get on with our lives. D called the Chilean embassy at around 9 to find out that it takes 30 days for them to issue a passport and that to block his stolen passport he had to be at the embassy before 10 (they don't do passport issues on Tuesdays). In a fury (D was seriouly furious), we rushed over to the embassy and luckily D can travel on his national ID card and will have a passport waiting for him in Chile upon his return. However, they couldn´t find his passport in the system and thus couldn´t block it. Nice. The rest of the day was spent rushing around in banks, getting passport photos, waiting at the barricaded fort that is the US embassy, and trying to decide how to proceed from here as we would be married to Quito for at least a week. The only redeeming aspect of this awful day was that you could throw toilet paper into the toilet at the US embassy. All right! We also ate sushi that night, yum yum.
On Tuesday we ran a lot of errands. Quito is a great place to get a lot of things done, especially in the New City. We got camping equiptment, sent alpaca goodies to the US, and found a good jungle tour. Only after visiting half a dozen agencies did we realize that it was going to be nearly impossible to get to Rio Amazonas via Rio Napo so we decided to take a jungle tour while waiting for the passport. In the evening we cooked some dinner and saw a great documentary called Jesus Camp.
Wednesday we decided it was time to be tourists in Quito after all this taking care of business. We went and cruised around the Old City, visited its plazas and looked at its churches. There really isn´t too terribly much to do in Quito from a tourist perspective. We realized too late in the day that there is a good art museum. No worries, we´ll be back to Quito for the passport so we can go see it then. On Wednesday night we took the overnight bus to Lago Agrio to get started on our Jungle Tour.