Latacunga - Day 1 - Really just a stopping point on the way to the Quilotoa circuit

Latacunga Travel Blog

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One last painful morning of sorting out logisitics for the Galapagos tour. After checkout it was in to a cab to the new town and a bit more running around.  First a pointless 1 km walk (I'm told) that was about a 2.5 km walk to the LAN office that was shut :( So a cab to the real office where I skillfully used my knowledge of Spanish (i.e. I knew some numbers and dates and could point) to try to adjust my flights so that I departed Guayaquil straight after coming back from the islands. I went through all that, only to discover I needed the hardcopy of my ticket which was back at Happy Gringos!!! Grrr! So another walk, then a cab back with my backpacks in tow and the flights were all sorted (I then proceeded to spill a canistoer of mossie spray on my plane tickets but they were ok)

So all that was left was to enter the thief's kingdom of Quito bus terminal.... Apparently there's quite a few scams that go on here so you've got to keep your wits about you.  I actually didn't even go in to the terminal but got on to a bus out at the kerb.  Unfortunately there is a point where, having put your bag in the baggage hold, you have to let it pass from your view since the bus was starting to move (with luggage hold still open).  So all you can do is get a seat near that side of the bus and keep an eye out until the bus is on it's way.  Apparently another common one to look out for is someone on the bus insisting you have to put your daypack on the shelf above.  If you relent they'll grab it or something from it and do a runner, so just keep it on your lap.  

Another Aussie, Peter, that I met at the hostel in Chugchilan said that he got suckered on this bus leg.  Apparently he had his bag on the seat next to  him, and one guy behind him told him to move it so someone else could sit down.  So he carefully put it between his legs.  The ¨someone else¨ then dragged him in to a conversation, which the guy behind used to sift through his bag, while it was still between his legs!

So in to Latacunga which is a bit of a non-event really,  the journey here was quite nice looking down the avenue of the volcanoes however I would definitely have moved on if it wasn´t already 5 in the arvo. I stayed in the Hotel Esmerelda for $8 a night which was nice enough.   The locals were friendly enough with a local Ecuadorean pointing me inthe right direction for dinner. I just went to a little chicken takeaway, but wasn't feeling adventurous enough to have the 'half cuy' (guinea pig) for dinner just yet :)

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photo by: AndySD