After spending the night with the Longgrears’, Patty drove us to Hartsfield in Atlanta…2 hours waiting around in Atlanta, 1 and 1/2 to Miami, a 3 hour layover in Miami and 4 hours in the air to Quito, Ecuador….a little tired but so excited! I read 2 books, while Kelly entertained himself people watching. Getting thru Ecuador customs was a breeze once we found our luggage…the carousels do not have a marquee, so you just keep looking until you find it! Our driver was waiting (with a sign) thank goodness, to carry us to our hostel, L’Auberge Inn.
We had been a little anxious about transportation, since we were getting in around midnight, but no worries. The $10 fee for our taxi to the hostel was added to the hostel bill..Our driver had his family in the van also, and the alarm got stuck – pretty funny since we were the only ones in the vehicle! He finally pulled the wires out and here we go…we can’t see anything – it’s raining and foggy, but we could tell that there must not have been any speed limits…
Our room at the inn was clean but extremely basic. We had asked for a double room with private bath (total cost $24 for one night). We found out that a double meant one small bed and bunkbeds…there is no closet, but some shelves for your blankets. We had a towel each, but no washcloth…linens are expensive here when you consider that the average wage earner is paid $8 per day. Concrete floors, concrete walls, and wood ceilings…we had a plastic lawn chair and a wooden table in the corner.
Hostels are pretty much the American version of Motel 6 – they leave the light on for you and it’s a bulb hanging out of the wall with no fixture. We had to carry our luggage up 3 flights of stone stairs that angled and curved…of course, I had to get my bag stuck between some rocks and needed help! At one in the morning, we finally got to bed. Some folks were drinking beer in the courtyard, but quieted down after an hour or so. We brought earplugs, so once again, no worries! Really excited about tomorrow- our driver should be here around 9am to take us to Cotacachi and our new home for the next 3 months.