Mark and Mika Take on the WORLD!!! travel blog

Loco monkey! He's only 3 inches long!


After a marathon day of plane riding, we arrived in South America, the beginning of our fantastic voyage. We can already say that this portion of our grand tour is going to be a world apart from the whole Europe deal. Ecuador thus far has the same feeling as Mexico, but we've only seen it at night, so that probably isn't a fair shake. Tomorrow the real assessment begins. Already we've encountered the chaos that is travel. We met a moman named Ingrid on the flight over, and using all 100 words in Mark's Spanish vocabulary, he managed to charm, or stupify her. His brain nearly exploded trying to put sentences together so at least we know that learning Spanish will stave off Alzheimers for a few years.

Anyhow, she took us under her wing (plane humor) and had her poor husband, her son, her mother, a nephew, the two of us, and all of the luggage for the group, including her elephant-sized bag which Mark toted for half-a-mile, stuffed in the Ecuadorian version of a Yugo. (All of us with no seatbelts.) We then proceeded to drive around in a futile attempt to find our hostal. All the while, Ingrid was cursing her husband's inability to find the address, and her husband was probably complaining about having to play tour guide for the two of us. Finally, he stopped next to an alley to look at the map. When we say stop, we don't mean pull over. We mean stop right in the middle of the road with cars racing past us. Lucky for us and the squished family, the hostal was down the alley. What a strangely satisfying way to begin the trip. Of course, when we finally got in the hostal, our reservations could not be found. They found a room for us though, and here we are! By the way, they have monkeys running around the building that look like a cross between a small lion and a chipmonk. Macaws, (AKA early morning alarm clocks) cats, green parrots, and turtles are also included in the price. YAHOO!



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