My room is pitch black and the city is dead quiet here.
I wake up and start my mantra to get to sleep but the alarm goes off just before I can. I may have been awake about an hour.
I am feeling optimistic and pay for an extra night. I take all my stuff just in case though.
Leon picks me up punctually at 7:30 am with his wife in tow and drops me off at the airport.
My flight leaves on time and I gaze at the scenery from my window seat. There are a few mountains still covered in trees. Just outside of Quito is a lot of farmland. The flight takes 35 minutes.
A taxi takes me to the Migration police office and I am directed to the 3 rd floor computer office. I communicate in mime and my “correcto problemo” limited Spanish. I have all the right photocopies. She turns the screen to show me the correction. “Si” I say. She writes down the address of the other office where I can get a new copy of my migration record. They sure are migrating me all over the place.
The other office turns out to be at the other end of the city in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building. There are lots of people waiting. A woman hands me a ticket with a number on it. I look at the screen to see what position I am in. No numbers starting with “M”. I walk over to sit down. I look up and there’s my number. 5 minutes and $5 later and I have my document. Mission completed. Back to the airport.
There are 3 airlines that fly to Cuenca. First one doesn’t have any seats for today. Second one has seats for 7:30 pm. Third one, Tame the one I came on has a seat on the 5:30 pm flight. I book it. I have 5 hours to wait.
I buy some snacks at the SuperMaxi store across the street and walk around looking for a restaurant. I settle on Chinese food. Shrimp fried rice and Wonton soup.
I plunk myself at a cafe at the airport watching the people coming and going on this sunny warm day. Two hours pass.
I walk around and wind up back at the same cafe for another couple of hours.
I am airborne by 5:30 pm. Window seat with two seats beside me empty. I drink my second pure fresh squeezed orange juice on the way. I had watched the oranges being delivered earlier so I know what kind and that they are fresh.
We pass 3 snow capped mountains on route.
Back on the ground at 6:10 pm. In Cuenca they put stairs at the front and back of the plane so exiting is quite fast. We walk to the terminal.
No answer from Leon so I catch a taxi back to the hotel. My room has been remade.
I stroll into downtown as the sun sets. I am still surprised at the shops I see that disappear behind steel roll up doors at closing.
I return to the fancy restaurant la Pergola ( www.lapergolalounge.com ) that I noticed right around the corner from the hotel. I am the only one in the room. I order grilled salmon that comes with a separate plate of mashed potatoes and a bowl of rice. I feel rewarded after a long days travel.
Feels good to come to a rest.
Came across some Vilcabamba history written by Jack who passed over recently. http://spiral-dream.blogspot.com/2010/08/one-year-later-in-ecuador.html?m=1