26.05.2011 - 28.01.2012 28 °C
Buses upon buses is how we made it from Huaraz all the way to Guayaquil- the largest city in Ecuador. Some bus rides were easy 3-4 hour jaunts, some were mega 10-14 hour marathon ordeals. There are many worthy sites on the route we took- impressive archeological ruins, pre-inca sites, beaches, remote mountains and so on, but for the travel weary it was more like ground we just had to cover to get to Ecuador. Most of the terrain is dusty land that seems more like the middle east than Peru. We spent a day in Trujillo and visited Chan chan. Go ahead and google image chan chan. Impressive, no? Its also really fun to say. Chan chan. It sounds like a fun dance. My biggest take away from Chan chan were to hairless dogs that were all over Trujillo and around the ruins. Our guide kept saying Obama got one of these dogs, but that was the first I'd heard of such a thing. The dogs seemed pretty creepy to me, but I couldn't stop watching them.
The rest of the journey to Guayaquil was a blur. Just picture the Indiana Jones red line moving up the map to Guayaquil. Play the music, splice in some images of Mirja and me waiting in some lines, sitting on buses, sketchy guys at bus stations trying to sell us illicit tickets among other things... You get the picture.
Ecuador and Guayaquil were a breath of fresh air after so long in Peru. First off, $US$ money!! There's no longer any danger of sketchy conversions or learning what all the bills look like. Apparently Ecuador had some economic problems in the past. These problems led to the government defaulting and the collapse of their currency. For stability they made a deal with the US to use dollars. I wonder if any Ecadorians know who Lincoln, Hamilton, Jackson and Washington are. Stragely, they use both US coins and their own mixed together.
In Guayaquil we treated ourselves to a nice hotel in the fancy part of town near the airport and ate in western restaurants for the day before our flight. We were headed for the highlight of our South American trip- the Galapagos.