Bo and I have been wondering just how honest to be about this last stretch we’ve been through. Totally, we decided. Read on if you dare…
Bo said had we known what we were headed into we would have named our blog “Sweaty Gringos” because
IT IS WAY TOO HOT AND HUMID FOR OUR WHITE, HIGH ROCKY MOUNTAIN LIVING, GRINGO SELVES.
And… there are LOTS OF BUGS. BUGS THAT BITE ON US AND SUCK OUR BLOOD.
The mosquito nets were wonderful at night, but there are all those other pesky hours of the day to contend with…
Also, Luke took his accident-prone streak to new heights. Here. In Ayampe, Ecuador. Where we were completely without medical aid anywhere remotely nearby – or the language skills to ask for it, particularly when I’m panicked and even English leaves my head. Imagine his white little back- now picture it completely covered in bloody scrapes and bruised from top to bottom, with the deepest bruise forming directly over his right kidney, and you will have a small idea of what we have been looking at for the last week and how I almost called this whole thing off within the first 72 hours. He fell down the stairs. Hard. He did it LITERALLY the MOMENT Bo and I got our bags unpacked in the cabin, sat together in the hammocks on the front porch, looked at each other and sighed and said, ” Okay, we can do thi–” CRASH!!!!
My guard was then up permanently. Which isn’t good for my mood or cortisone levels. Not that it did any good. Two nights later we hiked down to a surf bar and Luke hopped onto the hammock, swung all the way around and landed on his head. On concrete. There is a bump. And… another night with him in my bed, Bo on the kid bed, Vaughn alone upstairs, all of us under nets and still waking up bitten, and me startling awake several times a night to check his breathing and pulse.
Also, there was wifi in town, but not where we were staying. Not the worst thing in the world, unless you were planning on using this beach time to strategize and plan roughly the next 6 months of your life of travel in parts unknown. So a hike to town was required for everything, and it was HOT, almost paralyzingly so for the boys, and it took at least 20-30 minutes of dedicated cohercing and carrying on Bo’s and my part to even make it in that time. And making it on time was important because you have to use the restaurants if you want to use the wi-fi, and once ordered, food comes….maybe, eventually, when they get around to it. And the boys are antsy and hot and hungry and cranky. And I’m trying to hard to find us a next stop to take in a place a bit larger, with a hospital, on super slow internet, nearly connecting with one when… SILENCE.
The electricity gets shut off every afternoon.
They say for two hours.
It is not two hours.
It is 4.
In the hottest part of the day…
So, despite the beauty and seclusion and difficult internet connections… we do move on sooner rather than later and head to Bahia de Caraquez. A city on the coast we are excited about because it is billed as Ecuador’s “EcoCiudad” an idea we both are energized by. It takes a 4 hour bus ride, which was actually a blast, that landed us in Manta in the pouring rain, where we caught a taxi to Bahia (the “H” is not pronounced by the way). And it was the Worst Taxi Driver ever. A total crook. Got lost at least a dozen times, charged us too much for filling his car up with gas (but how can I argue when we have two children and all our luggage and don’t want to be left in the middle of nowhere?), is such a horrible driver the kids and I are over-the-top car sick when we finally arrive (more than 2 hours later), pay another taxi driver he flagged over to lead us to the hotel, pay him, he grabs another 5 out of Bo’s hand saying he needed it for lunch, jumps back in his car and peels off. The hotel we are staying it is nice. $100/ night nice (not in the budget!) — but we were so ready to come up for air for a bit we forked over the dough, were glad to see the back end of that taxi and stepped out onto the beachside deck for some late lunch. Bo takes the boys to see the waves, I notice it would make a wonderful photo, smile to myself and, again, think “Okay, now we are good. Now we can do thi–”
Had to have been left in the taxi during our hasty and car-sick exit. I’d used it to take photos of the pretty countryside and either left it on my wrist or tried to put it in my bag and missed… I don’t know. But it’s gone. And I crumpled.
Now, you married folk out there. Take all the info I’ve just given you. Oppressive heat, real language barrier for simple tasks, injured child, all of us covered in red swollen and itchy lumps, hunger headaches, no sense of peace for more than a week, everything new and different and foreign, our luggage soaked through from being on top of the bus through a rain storm, AND losing several hundred dollars of equipment at the first city transistion…. If you had to guess, how would you say the two heads of household are getting along these days?
You’d be right.
And that’s the bad.