Blog posts seldom adequately convey a full picture, even with pictures!
I’ve been traveling now for several months, actually, save some down time in Australia, since last July. I try to post regularly about the places I go, where I’ve stayed, and even some personal stories. But it is really all gloss. The gloss is what makes traveling sound so romantic and adventuresome.
But today I’ll write about the travails of travel, about one day, yesterday, and what was involved in getting from Otavalo to Quito, besides riding the rim of the glorious Andes.
Night before last my gut started hurting and gurgling again. It had started acting up on Saturday. I took some medicine and went on my way, but on Monday night it returned. Along with a problem with a bothersome tooth, which had been repaired in January, but was now acting up again. Between the gut and the tooth, and the insomnia I sometimes get the night before I travel, I had a rough night.
I woke up feeling a bit better, except for a camera problem. My Sony RX100, which has been my favorite camera through 3 versions (the previous two were stolen), not to mention the larger Sony I had that had such lens-opening problems that I gave it away to a student club so they could figure our how to fix it, or not, well, my little Sony developed the same problem as the big one had. Yes, a run on sentence. So it goes. The camera was sitting there taunting me as I pondered what to do about my next two weeks’ plans.
I had some breakfast and coffee at the hostel, and let the taxi driver talk me into taking me all of the way into Quito. I insisted we look for someone else to go along, but it seemed I was it. I think I was so taken with the fear of having to buy a new camera- an expense anywhere, but a huge expense in Ecuador, I learned, due to import taxes, that I just went along for the taxi ride. On some irrational level I felt like my budget was shot anyway, so why not.
At first I sat in the taxi a bit mute. The driver was friendly enough, and a bit chatty, but it was laboring my Spanish, and I was in a ragged mood. Then I decided that for the price, I should practice my Spanish. Silly me for hesitating! We had a great two hour conversation and I learned a lot about Ecuador, and the driver was quite conversant about American politics. We got to central Quito, and the driver, who had promised to deliver me to my hostel, realized he was at a loss with the city. He handed me off to another taxi which delivered me to the door.
From the time I arrived in my room and snuggled under the duvet, at around 3, till this morning, save an hour to fix some spaghetti with butter and garlic for a dinner, I stayed in bed. It is the only warm place here, and I think I needed to just be a vegetable. Tooth still hurting, gut still grumbling, and mood only a little less glum.
So, that is the day in the life of a traveler. And not a bad one at all, but more like any day any where; full of aches, pains, disappointments and some sincere pleasures. The life you bring to the road is the one you will have.There are no real epiphanies, at least not that I have experienced. Get up in the morning, pull on your clothes and put out your best effort, whether in your home town or Quito, Ecuador. This is the life.