|The amazing thing about Ecuador is the proximity of everything. Two hours from Quito you can be on a glacier atop a 6000 meter mountain, 5 hours to the east you are in tropical rainforest, and 7 hours to the west of Quito are its vast surfing beaches. I had a few days off of work so I decided to hightail it to Canoa, a beach recommended by a few people. It was the perfect prescription. Canoa is pretty much this: head-high beach-break surfing in lukewarm water, miles of white sand, fresh calamari, shrimp, fish, piña coladas, caiparihnas in cheap seaside restaurants, happy hour everywhere, going barefoot days at a time, never knowing the time, exploding sunsets, a beautiful international crowd, plenty of hammock reading time, and a hot sunny days. Not a bad place to be.
The only downside was the nightmare bus ride (imagine that) on the way to Canoa. Before I left I was hanging out at the Reina Victoria Pub with Shaun and some guys and ordered some Indian food. After the meal and I headed back to the hostel to pack up for the 7 hour overnight bus ride. Just before I took leave of the hostel the contents of my stomach took leave of me. Oh shit. But I figured whatever was bothering me had now vacated so I figured it was safe to get on the bus. So I went to the bus station and boarded the night bus. The first hour wasn't so bad, tossing and turning trying to get comfortable. I ofcourse was put in the seat above the rear axle (on purpose I'm sure), so the pot-holed roads started to bounce me up and down in my seat, off my seat, on the next seat and back and forth. Then the road got bad. Around midnight my stomach decided it was time to vacate the premises again. Frantically I scrambled to open a window, which ofcourse did't budge, so I lunged to the seat in front of me to grap its vomit bag hanging from its arm rest. Just in time I buried my face in it and quickly filled it up. I tied it and dropped it to the floor in front of me when I started feeling a second tide coming. I desperately looked down the aisle and spotted another bag four seats down. I made a mad dash to the bag, falling along the way and waking everyone up before making it back to my seat just in time to fill the second bag. I tied it and looked down to find a spot for it. To my horror I discovered the first bag had leaked all over the place, on my day bag, my shoes, on the floor. Now the lady behind me was getting pissed. I needed to get to the bathroom for tissue and to clean up. I grabbed my bags and stumbled down the aisle to the rear of the bus to el baño. Locked. Sickness coming on again. Hold it back, hold it back. I ran to the front of the bus and pounded on the door. "Baño, por favor, baño, por favor!" The attendant slowly walked down the aisle to open the door. "Que son esos?" he asked, spotting my bags. I was sick, I explained. His first priority, before opening the bathroom door, was to get rid of my sick bags. He opened a window at the rear of the bus and told me to throw them out. I looked outside and saw we were passing through a town. "Si?" "Si." I threw one bag out, narrowly missing a car and exploding in the the road. The second bag went out, right as we crossed a road, people looking up to see what was exploding in the middle of the intersection. I think I might have got an old lady in the crossfire. In my 2 a.m. sick delirium I didn't give a damn. I just wanted to use the toilet. Finally into the toilet and ofcourse no tissue, paper or anything resembling a tree product anywhere. I wanted to crawl out the bathroom window. I went back to my seat to clean up with an extra pair of pants that I had in my bag. The spanish music was blasting on the bus, only occasionaly interrupted by a Celine Dion or Mariah Cary song. I don't know what it is but in South America they have a thing about blasting bad salsa music or Steven Seagal movies at full volume on overnight buses while people are sleeping. The locals don't seem to mind it. I was ready to kill someone. My head was spinning, I was tired and couldn't sleep, and I had five more hours and the filling of two sick bags to look for. Just another day on the road.
Hope you enjoyed the story! Nobody said traveling was pretty. Now I better get back to the beach.