Hitchhiking from Ecuador to Peru

Hitchhiking from Guayaquil to Piura,

An Irish, Indian, Viking Lost in South America,
September 2015hitchhiking peru to ecuador

I had taken a nice wee rest for two nights in Guayaquil with my couchsurfing host. My host was a local photographer who was happy to show me around the busy city (which has a higher population than the Ecuador’s capital of Quito). Guayaquil might be bustling and noisy but it also had some lovely architecture, a huge dark rain-forest coloured river, its own Barcelona football team and a cool, free zoo. Though it does not really offer as much to do as a tourist as its fancy brother Quito.

In order to hitchike towards Peru I took a local bus from my host’s house to the main bus terminal without any plan. I resolved to just walk East, crossing the bridge which links both sides of the river and the peninsula which divides the two tributaries which feed the river Guayas before its brief journey to the Pacific

A view from Guayaquil’s main bridge.

It was a long walk in the searing heat so I resolved to try hitchhiking at a set of traffic lights. After a minute or two a bus driver waved me onto his bus, it was empty and returning to his station. He told me I was crazy to try walking out of Guayaquil in the heat, but instead from where he stopped on the east side of the city that I could catch a cheap bus to the town of La Troncal for a dollar. Uninterested in tackling the dense Guayaquil City I opted to pay the bus fare to La Troncal. This plan at least guaranteed I would be hitchhiking the open roads towards Peru before lunch time

After the quick bus ride to La Troncal I jumped out in the towns center which comprised of a roundabout and began walking South West towards the next town on the way to Peru called Naranjal. Hopefully named after the town’s abundance of free oranges growing from every tree. I noticed the stares of people in La Troncal, curious stares, it felt good to be the only blonde in town as I trotted along the footpath with my life on my back.

After twenty minutes or so of walking I started to thumb as I walked, there was a dirt track for cars to pull over and I was near enough to the outskirts of La Troncal to catch the attention of  mainly traffic which was leaving town.

After ten minutes a pick-up pulled over, two brothers who were returning to their home in Naranjal with construction stuff. Friendly guys who asked plenty of questions about Europe. They showed me their home, it was a small brick bungalow with a flat roof on the South-side of Naranjal, their pride and joy and they seemed happy at the prospect of a getting some work done. Luckily for my drying lips they threw me an orange as I jumped out and continued walking South for Peru, good old Naranjal.

I really enjoyed the way my desert camo boots camouflaged my feet in the sandy dirt of Ecuador. Maybe they worked too good though as I continued walking on past a traffic jam which was built up behind a broken down car without getting waved onto the back of anyones pick-up. Then after about thirty minutes I meet Angel, I will never forget Angel, his wife (I think) and his Mother. To do so would mean forgetting probably the best conversation I ever had in Spanish or with strangers who have picked me up.

I first tried to jump on the back of his pick-up but was waved into the back seat. Angel drove (man in his late forties), his mother sat up front too and beside me in the back was Angel’s wife (I guess).

“Gringo, where do you go?”

“Towards Peru”

“Have you any Cocaine”

“Nope”

“Why not, good price in Peru”

He started to laugh and his 70 year old mother punched him, I knew I was going to be interviewed for the length of this drive, as always I didn’t mind. He explained to me how in Ecuador there are three types of people and I will summarise. The Indigenous who live in the Sierra and Jungle (his mother piped in to say they like eating Iguanas). He called them Indios. The black people who live in Esmeraldas (his mother piped in to say they like eating coconuts), he called them Negros. Finally the Europeans or people of European descent that he called Espanoles. Now he wanted to know what I was, so I said

“I’m just Irish no foreign blood that I know of”

“A, you are an Indio of Ireland. What kind are you Indios?”

“Well no, we don’t have indigenous tribes people” (I tried to explain in Spanish)

“There is no such thing as just Irish. Who was in Ireland before the Europeans came to colonise”

“Ireland is in Europe, we are European”

“O so you are not native Irish, you are European, but the people who were there before you what is their name?”

“No I am the Indio of Ireland and I am European at the same time”

“You have mixed blood”

“No, shit, em Celts do you know the Celts” (I tried celtico and celto attempting to find the Spanish word for Celts)

“No I never hear of these people”

“Hmmm eh Vikings too”

“A you are a Vikingo!” he exclaimed with sheer delight.

“Eh sure yes” I didn’t want to disappoint now and be a mud-blood European.

“How amazing”

He proceeded to ring some friend and starts bragging on the phone about how he found a genuine, tall as a tree, blue eyed Viking wondering around Ecuador. When all was said and done I had my own question.

“So what are you Angel? Indio, Negro or Espanol?”

“None I am Ecuadorian”

“But you said… Fuck it, never mind”

We pulled over for dinner and had deer (I think), Angel insisted on paying even after I offered my share. Back on the road I decided to ask where he was going since we had been on the road for hours.

“The border with Peru tomorrow, tonight I need to stop at my brothers and work, you can help”

“Sounds good”

We eventually got to some town in the dark and then I helped Angel and his brother load boxes of tiles into a pick-up which we drove out to the desert in. We unloaded the boxes into an empty house under construction with a trailer of fresh melons outside and moved some stuff around, I became aware of how the lifestyle of sleeping outside and never knowing the time of my next meal was withering away my limited muscle mass. No wonder all these South Americans keep wanting to feed me, being so skinny and tall on a continent of short, heavy men. I also had one of those moments too, the one where your sitting in a desert in the dark eating fresh melon after hauling boxes of tiles up a stairs in a house with no roof in exchange for bed and a lift out of town and you wonder how the fuck did I get here.

Angel’s brothers house had a pet deer which I think belonged to Angel. If I understood his story correctly he found it sick one day and nursed it to health. It then ate a 20 dollar bill which belonged to him. He then decided he would kill and eat the deer because he believed the meat would be “rich” with flavour (he laughed as he told this part so I’m guessing rich was a pun because the deer ate his money). He had a change of heart though and decided to keep and name the deer. So I’m in this house having a beer with Angel and his brother while Angel’s wife (I think) makes supper. Everyone is cool and chatting and seemingly not noticing the wild deer falling around the kitchen as it struggles to grip its feet on the tiles.

The next morning we drove onwards to Peru and I answered more of Angels queries, he seemed shocked that Ireland couldn’t grow coffee, mangoes, rice, bananas etc. What a poor country he kept saying, he nearly cried laughing when I told him that in Ireland both Guinea Pigs and Iguanas are considered pets. By the time he reached Peru he was convinced that Ireland was a barren wasteland where people keep stupid animals as pets (the man who owns a “house” deer that eats money).

The border crossing was quick once all the border police returned from their lunch, which they all take at the same time, I got a three month visa without any questions. Angels wife however never showed her passport to the police I noticed, she instead snuck across the border by walking past the police (the police stay in a little shed rather than outside on the border bridge where there is no shade). She probably just couldn’t be bothered actually getting a passport I guessed. Angel then drove me onwards to Sullana in Peru and left me on the edge of town before going wherever he was going in Peru.

Missing my new friend but excited to be in a new country yet again I starting walking, the hitchhiking was slow and Peru wasn’t impressing me. I got a lift after about 30 minutes though straight to Piura with an elderly man in a pick-up as is the usual in South America, he was less of a character in comparison to Angel but still a good guy. Peru just seemed like a whole load of desert so far and definitely poorer than Ecuador. I jumped out in the center or Piura and decided to chill for a while, maybe sit on a bench have a smoke and eat one of the three melons angel had left me. The Vikingo was in his third South American country!

Angels pet deer
Angel and his Mother
Random house I saw on the outskirts of an Ecuadorian town.

 

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Hitchhiking from Montanita to Guayaquil

 

Hitchhiking from Montanita to Guayaquil

Burnt Intestines, September 2015

 

Montanita’s a cool little party town, the aroma of weed fills the air and every corner features dreadlocked hippys from Argentina selling bracelets and pipes. One such hippy invited me to visit him someday in Buenos Aires. I gladly accepted the invite, jotting his Facebook details down and continued building my network of friends on the Latino Continent.

I only stayed one night however (in a 5 dollar hostel), the drive to keep moving having consumed me and my next to empty pockets. Completely unsure of my final destination or goal I resolved to keep moving and practicing my Spanish each day with the kind commuters of South America.

The Beach in Montanita backpacker
The Beach in Montanita

South it would be to Peru, but first I planned to stop over a night in Guayaquil. A local had offered to host me on Couchsurfing but not for another two days. As always, I kind of had a poorly planned plan.

hitchhiking montanita guayaquil

While digging through Google Maps, a daily activity these days, I noticed a town (being generous with the term town) called Banos de San Vicente. “Banos” being the Spanish word for “baths” I deemed this place my next humble aboad for a night in my hammock but first I needed to rest my aching backpacker shoulders in the thermal “Banos” I expected to find there.

Walking from my hostel to the only main road (a five minute walk as Montanita is tiny, perfectly tiny, no drunk could get lost here unless they were really intoxicated to a substantial level). I encountered two hippies also hitchhiking, a dread-locked couple from yes you guessed it? Argentina. We exchanged pleasantries as hitchhikers do in South America, I offered some water they took some, they offered a drag on a joint…. Best friends now, but not forever, the couple departed for the bus station complaining that there wasn’t enough traffic, and that the locals are too uninterested in tourists here. All true but, yes no one said it’s easy… Amateurs I guess, or maybe it was the girl, she appeared impatient once the stray cat got bored of her attention and wandered off to resume its torture of the local lizard wildlife.

I strolled down the main road since an hour of thumbing in Montanita had achieved the grand total of fuck-all, except slightly more sun-burnt shoulders. However I have faith in Ecuador at all times, and with good reason too. A relatively small by South American standards sized country with not only an abundance of homegrown delicious food but friendly people too. I strolled down the road with faith that by giving up the comfort of a cheap bus to Guayaquil I would be rewarded with a lift directly to some hot muddy bath in San Vicente.

I could be the 40th person to dump my body into that unhygienic bath of dirty mud later that day. In a country where 4 dollar hotels don’t provide warm showers (does any country?) I couldn’t care less about the hygiene.

Eventually I encountered a petrol station after walking for about half an hour away from Montanita, I came to the conclusion that joyfully pestering locals as they refuel would be my noble task for the day. Hoping to encounter people like the young couple from Guayaquil who brought me to Montanita.

These small coastal towns see very little traffic, often just locals in their pickup trucks who might expect payment after you ride on the back. Your best bet for a free long distance ride are the cars of holiday makers from the cities of Quito or Guayaquil.

“Good Morning”, I positively exclaimed to a middle aged man and his teenage son in a jeep (in Spanish of course).

“Hello, what are you doing?”

“Hitchhiking, I’m going towards Guayaquil”

“Where are you from?”

“Ireland”

“Ireland?, how far away.”

“Yes very, where do you go?”

“Guayaquil”

“Could I go with you”

“Yes, of course”

“Much thanks”

And that’s all it took, some quick chats and a smile, in I jumped on the back seat and we chatted. About an hour into the drive the father (roughly 50 year old chubby Ecuadorian) told me his son studies English. I spoke to his son in English for a while too (nice chap, around 18, seemed the studious type).

I asked about the town Banos de San Vicente and they confirmed that there were indeed baths there and that they could leave me there if I want. Happy days. It was maybe 2 miles from the main road to Guayaquil but they didn’t mind doing me the favor.

The baths were well, run-down looking, but if you go to a lake hungry to catch some fish do you care if the lake is dirty?

Maybe but that’s not the point, I enjoyed chilling in the thermal baths anyway. For so long in fact I got a case of the runs but then when I sat on the toilet all I could release was pure steam. My insides felt like a pressure cooker. I bid San Vicente fairwell and politely turned down the old lady standing outside her restaurant trying to usher me in.

How do I explain that I cooked my intestines today and don’t fancy supper in Spanish politely?

Walking along the 2 miles or so back to the main road to Guayaquil I signaled a pick-up down and asked for a lift. No problem but they were bound for Salinas not Guayaquil. No bother I jumped out at the main road. Decided to wait it out for dark (only about an hour at this stage) and camp out here in the desert by the main road to Guayaquil so I could arrive early and safe in the morning.

Around 8 the next morning I began walking alongside the road, thumb out and got collected by the first truck to pass. A friendly, chain smoking, curly haired and heavy Ecuadorian of around 30 years of age. The truck struggled the whole way to Guayaquil and I was nearly flung into the windscreen every time he changed gear. I’m still always grateful for any lift though.

I jumped out on the outskirts of Guayaquil and caught a local bus for a couple cents to the main bus station where I could get some wifi to contact my CS host. Now for a days rest and then onwards to Peru.

The Banos de San Vicente Entrance
The Banos de San Vicente Entrance, to be honest I would recommend a stopover. The bath was like 3 euro for the day and massages could be got for like 10, I just hung out in the bath though.
Where I splet for night near Banos de San Vicente. Notice how I used a random anmal bone I found to help secure my hammock strings from cutting through the cactus.
Where I slept for the night near Banos de San Vicente. Notice how I used a random animal bone to help secure my hammock strings from cutting through the cactus.
Guayaqil backpacker
A picture taken after I arrived in Guayaquil, way cooler animals hanging about the greens than Squirrels it has to be said.

 

 

Hitchhiking from Quito to Montanita

Hitchhiking from Quito to Montanita

A New Ocean – September 2015

 

Three days kicking about Quito, a cool city with drinkable tap water. Lots of gringos and modern stuff, like fast-food and skate-parks for example. A strange accent here too, the people like throwing a sort of f/v sound into every word.

“De donde eres?”

“Quitof”

Real friendly people too who enjoy talking to tourists, in fact Ecuador is a very nice place where every second street seems to be called Eloy Alfaro Street.

hitchhiking quito montanita

Anyway to the hitchhiking, I took a bus from the terminal in Quito to Tambillo on the outskirts of the city for a dollar if I remember rightly. I was still in Quito but at least on the outskirts, I could see a petrol station up ahead and began walking for it.

“Hello Gringo, of what part?” Some man shouted from a parked car.

“Ireland”

“What are you doing”

“I’m making finger to Santo Domingo” (Hacer Dedo, to make finger means hitchhiking in South America)

“I can bring you a little further to the turn for Santo Domingo”

Too fucking easy I hadn`t even started hitchhiking yet.

From the turn I began walking and turning as cars passed, making the crucial eye contact with my thumb out. Fifteen minutes later I was in a car to Santo Domingo. I jumped out in the center for a look around as my driver had told me the center was very beautiful.

It wasn’t, South Americans think wherever they come from is beautiful, has the best food and the best ladies, agree if you want a peaceful car ride.

I walked out of Santo Domingo, using my compass to find the road towards the coast, Canoa was my aim because an Ecuadorian girl in Quito said it was the nicest beach of them all and I believed her. I didn’t care too much anyway I just wanted to take a dip in the Pacific for the first time, maybe see a whale. Not asking much.

I began hitchhiking once I felt I was outside of Santo Domingo far enough for the traffic to not be all local. Ten minutes passed before a pick-up pulled in.

An old guy with what I presumed was his daughter but turned out to be his wife (common theme in South America).

“You can’t be out travelling solo here, you will be killed, people are more dangerous at the coast, many rats, they will shoot you for a dollar”

Christ I hated listening to this bullshit, he had worked for many years in Germany before returning to Ecuador, because the life is more relaxed here. Not the first person I have heard tell a similar story in South America. Whether it be Germany or the US they always say they came home for more freedom and the food (they never say to use their superior foreign currency to buy property and find a young wife).

Anyway he offered to take me to Pedernales a different beach-town, north of Canoa and I could hang up my hammock for the night in his back-yard. Alright then, what a sweet deal.

The road was nice on the way there, at least for me I enjoyed seeing the banana farms. Ecuador has different climates allowing it to cultivate so much different food yet its not a huge country. Still dosen’t quite have Irish potatoes though.

I went for a quick swim in the sea as soon as we arrived, I don’t know what I expected to be honest. That the pacific would have different water? The waves were certainly good, unfortunately the only thing not coming out to stare at the hitchhiking Gringo today were the whales, lazy cunts.

In the morning I left early, around 6am and walked across Pedernales to start thumbing my way to Canoa. I got collected first by a Peruvian after about a half hour. Friendly guy, we had to stop on the road for 30 minutes to allow his car to cool down.

In Canoa I went for a swim leaving my backpack with an American guy I meet on the beach. He had a place here, he informed me in a way only an American can say “I have a place here”. Instead of saying he moved here. Reminds me of how some Brits refer to themselves in a superior tone often as Ex-Pats rather than Emigrants.

I thought about staying in Canoa but decided fuck it, I’ll keep moving. I walked and walked from Canoa without any luck until a pick-up truck stopped and I hopped on the back, I love riding on the back of pick-ups. The best way to enjoy the equators weather.

He dropped me in San Vicente and asked for money, I said I was hitchhiking and he should of said he wanted money before-hand, he seemed surprised that I didn’t give a fuck and I walked off. I wasn`t going to start paying for rides now. To be a successful hitchhiker you have to really not give a fuck a lot of the time.

I ate an almuerzo (lunch) in Vicente then hitchhiked across the bridge to Bahia de Caraquez in another pick-up and began walking again. I wasn’t getting picked up this time and darkness came with me still walking and hitchhiking. I was thinking about rewarding myself with a nice ditch to sleep in or somewhere to hang my hammock up when a car pulled over.

A young couple and their five year old son, dam I didnt catch half the words they said. Really very ghetto Ecuadorians, the guy had a gypsy look about him. I didn’t think they would rob me with their son in the car though so I jumped in. Of course I would of anyway to be honest, I’m sure a bag full of dirty clothes and a tarp aren’t worth so much. They were heading to Porto Viejo, ok I’ll come too.

When I reached Porto Viejo I realised my mistake, the place was big, and shitty looking. They left me at the bus terminal but I kept asking to be left outside the city so I could hitchhike to Manta, a city which I hoped would be less rough. He wouldn’t let me though and shoved 2 dollars into my hand telling me I better get the bus then drove off or I would be mugged. He wouldn’t let me refuse the bus money which made me feel like a piece of shit for thinking that he might have robbed me.

I walked back out of the city, most people just looked confused to see a tall Gringo tipping along with his life on his back. Took about two hours before I got to somewhere I could sleep without being noticed in my hammock.

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Next morning I began hitchhiking again around 7am and got a lift with a young guy to the nearest turn-off for JipiJapa. I wanted to go to Jipijapa because of the ridiculous name. Apologies to any Jipijapians out there.

At the turn-off was a small village  with probably no name. I love when I end up in odd places like this. Its usually only possible through hitchhiking or if you cycle around the world, but I’m too lazy for that.

I used the two dollars the guy gave me for the bus to buy a breakfast which consisted of soup, a plate of rice, vegetables and chicken plus juice. Then the change also to buy three oranges. I love eating in the middle of nowhere, its always cheaper and the ladies are so confused to see a foreigner that they never try to up the price.

A nice old fellow brought me to JipiJapa. He insisted I take a photo of everything I see and show my family when I go home. I took a photo of him.

hitchhiking ecuador
There he is there now. Nice Guy.

I walked to the outskirts of JipiJapa following my compass and got interrupted by a group of drunks along the way. They were sitting under a tree drinking vodka.

“Gringo, Gringo come here”

“Hello”

“Where are you from”

“Ireland”

“Take some wine” one insisted, grinning, the drink was concealed inside a plastic bottle but I knew from the smell it was vodka. He was trying to get me to take a drink thinking it was wine. Then he would laugh when I coughed or spat it back because it was vodka.

His plan back fired however, I took the bottle then took a huge gulp and swallowed it in one like a mad bastard. Concentrating my face so that I didn’t convey any sort of discomfort.

“Weak, we drink much stronger in Europe, have any of you a cigarette”

I will never forget their faces of shock and disgust as I walked off trying to wave down cars.

Aren’t Gringos afraid of us drunks? Why didn’t he think our drink was strong? Why is he hitchhiking, are Gringos not all rich? Did he just finish our vodka? How dare he ask for a cigarette?

Times like this when your tipping along kicking rocks and whistling, that’s when I love hitchhiking, cars stop, girls rarely but occasionally blush and kids wave.

I soon bumped into three Ecuadorian students hitchhiking and we caught a pickup together to Puerto Lopez. Friendly kids.

hitchhiking ecuador

Puerto Lopez looked stunning, there are so many empty beautiful beaches on Ecuadors coast it’s crazy. Forget Canoa or Montanita, just drive around until you find an empty beach with no name.

Next we caught a pick-up to Salango, then another to Puerto Rico where they left me and I was back to hitchhiking solo on my loansome.

I jumped on the back of another pick-up truck and got to Ayampe. It was getting dark soon and the amount of traffic had suddenly decreased rapidly. I tried hitchhiking on the far side of Ayampe then walked back across the town because I was bored and tried again.

This time just before dark I got picked up by a young couple from Guayaquil returning home after a weekend on the beach. They were so cool, and asked lots of questions about Europe before leaving me at Montanita.

hitchhiking ecuador
The Nice Couple from Guayaquil

I began to search for a place to sleep in Montanita, I had heard lots about this town being full of stoners and hippies. After five minutes of walking towards a beach a black fella approached me.

“Hey, man where from?” (In English)

“Ireland, you”

“Cuba”

“Cool never meet a Cuban before”

He introduced me to some Chilean hippies who were getting high in the middle of the street. Apparently the police just turn a blind eye to this town populated by hippies making bracelets.

I’m going to stay here anyway for a night I decided after sharing the joint. I found a hostel, the sign said 7 dollars but I knew that was bullshit. The guy working there charged me five dollars, somewhere behind the dreadlocks was a brain which recognised 5 dollar tourists and 7 dollar tourists.

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hitchhiking ecuador
Hitchhiking the coast of Ecuador

Next stop Guayaquil.

In April 2016 the town of Pedernales was hit by a horrific earthquake as were many of the neighboring towns in Ecuador.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the many people who helped me along my travels but especially the couple who allowed me to sleep in their back-yard and provided me with a lift from Santo Domingo to Pedernables. I hope to Christ the Earthquake hasn’t left your lives scarred.

 

Hitchhiking from Colombia to Ecuador

Hitchhiking from Colombia to Ecuador

 Hitchhiking Buses in Ecuador – September 2015

The time had come to leave Colombia, I was bored of pretending to be an English teacher, plus trying to learn English from an Irish man is like trying to learn to ride a bicycle using a unicycle.

Even though the locals were friendly (I got the nickname “El Gigante Amarillo (The Yellow Giant))” I meet a lovely chica (shout-out to Gabby). I wasn’t staying as long as I had intended but I still had made a little cash and had learnt a lot more Spanish to help me along the road.

Leaving Ipiales I was technically an illegal immigrant since my Colombian visa had expired three weeks earlier. I had simply went across to Ecuador on the day of expiry, got their stamp and came back into Colombia living on an Ecuador stamp. The border between Ecuador and Colombia is extremely relaxed, you can walk across without stopping to talk to anyone.

hitchhiking ecuador colombia

So I got up early and walked to the border from Ipiales (took me about an hour). Then I skipped across the border and began hitchhiking on the Ecuador side.

No luck. Borders are always shit for hitchhiking and especially here with the way people fear drugs, the news in South America has people convinced their goldfish are dangerous.

I walked a couple kkilometers until I reached the turn-off for Tulcan and stood around hitchhiking on the main road for Ibarra.

A Colombian had told me that Ecuadorians eat dogs. Colombians from Ipiales didn’t seem to like Ecuadorians though since they cross the border with their superior Dollars and buy stuff in Ipiales causing inflation of the Colombian Peso. I disregarded the rumour as nonsense and passed the time trying hard to spot a stray dog walking around Ecuador.

After 45 minutes I was giving up hope and decided to pick up my backpack and try walking. While hitchhiking its always good to carry your backpack and walk where possible. People feel more sympathy when they see the rucksack on your back and are more likely to pull-over especially in Ecuador.

Two argentinian hitchhikers had by this time joined me too. Guy and girl, Franco and Jaqueline, two hippies playing music and selling bracelets to gringos on the road. We set out together in high spirits sharing stories and fags and soon got collected by a minivan.

The old lady and fella were happy to take us a few miles away from the border where we easily caught a ride with the first pick-up truck that passed, Ecuador’s Sierra is beautiful from the back of a pick-up. We sat in the back all the way to Ibarra. A beautiful ride only stopping once at a police checkpoint where one officer quickly asked about our passports.

In Ibarra Franco showed off his impressive road tripping skills. He got us free bread and sugar canes by telling jokes and complaining of hunger. Then he convinced a public bus driver to take us for free across the city so we could hitchhike on the northern side.

“No puedo pagar, pero puedo bailar” (I can’t pay, but I can dance)

And we danced our way onto that bus, at the exit of Ibarra we stood at a traffic light asking the stopped vehicles to let us ride. Quickly we got told to jump on the back of one of the pick-up trucks. The driver sped along at a fierce speed too, so we got to wave at all the cars that refused us (only like 5) as we over-took them.

After that Franco stopped another public bus and got us a free ride all the way to Quito.

Hitchhiking in Excuador was proving incredibly simple in comparison to Colombia.

In Quito we ate a 2 dollar almuerzo and I hit up an internet cafe to locate some couchsurfing, later we hung around the street and got offered free weed. Other Argentinian hippies started to materialise from the walls and drop from the sky as soon as the smell of weed got in the wind. Things were looking good in Ecuador, very good. I bid the now growing army of high Argentinians adios.

In the end I stayed three nights in Quito and then headed for the coast solo again for my first swim the Pacific.

Quito`s a cool city, many gringos and other foreigners, the people are friendly and the water is OK to drink from taps. On the other hand Ecuador is more expensive than Colombia since they use the dollar. Still I love Ecuador though, getting a bus here is completely illogical with all the pick-up trucks you can jump on the back of.

Special thanks to my Couchsurfing host in Quito David.

hitchhiking quito
My Argentinian Friends on the Road

hitchhiking quito