Monday, February 19, 2007

Next Stop Puyo - Maybe Not!?

Puyo was a bust!!! Maria Cecilia and I got up had some eats, and tried to catch a bus, the adventure begins. After Realizing we would have to wait a couple hours for the bus, we decided not to go, may be tomorrow (play the theme from the littest hobo.....) We tried to find our ticket agent, she had abandoned her counter, and was coming and going pretty much on a whim. We pin her down and we return our tickets. Instead of just giving us $4 back, nope, she wanted her $6 and the ticket (a $5 and $1) and gave us back our original $10 ( a single ten dollar bill). I would have been fine with getting back 4 singles, but man this country and change.

We left the bus station and made our way to tourist info. After Maria Cecilia chatted with the girl at the desk, we decided to stroll to the Zoo in San Martin. Was a lovely day for a walk, so we decided on our 5k stroll. On the little tourist map, there were 2 routes, one in the river valley, one on the road ways. Looking at the terrain, and the 10 kilos on my back, road it is. Most of the little business, on the road were closed, a couple of the sugar cane shacks were open...(people all around town were chewing on chunks of sugar cane instead of gum or candy) We passed an asedaro that had a whole slow roasted hog still on the bone, strapped to the cooking rack, leaned up against the wall, collecting what ever dust, bugs, and assorted contaminates they the environment had to offer. And then it happened...... SPLASH.... people came running out of one of the buildings had heaved buckets of water in our general direction. Actually, it was at the passing bus that just drove by, but we got it. We were strolling on the highway towards San Martin, and it appears that part of the carnival tradition here is that the people heave buckets of water at the passing busses, and vans. Hmmm.... A traditional water fight, to pass the lazy days of summer.

We cross a couple of bridges, and we get to San Martin. We notice the signs pointing the way to the zoo, not like there were many streets to choose from. We pass a couple more muralled houses, and we notice a little old lady poking her head out the doorway. I snap a couple of candids but I couldn't get quite the exposure I wanted. She waved us over. Then walked to a fence where there were a couple litters of puppies playing, she pointed them to us and I took a couple of snaps, put the memory card in my viewer and showed her. She got a grin on her faced and went back to her chair.
We got to the zoo. 50 species, and a total of 250 animals. The cages were cut into the rock, or on top of the rock or any which way that worked. The paths between the cages were busted or carved rock depending. I saw all but one of species, a type of cat that I had never heard of. It was getting "hot" ~24 or 25 so all the felines were having a siesta. The SPCA would freak if they were at the zoo, but this isn't Canada or the US.
Un helado mora y coco, a couple bottles of water and off we go.
We didn't go to the reptile exhibit, it was a sperate deal, and I think I've see all the species they mentioned on the sign. We strolled a little further up the road and there was a picnic area, and another large crowd. There was a tram taking people across the river valley, and for an extra couple bucks, you could ride on a zipline in a belly harness superman style, or a few road from a harness tarzan style. Was a little hot and I was little tired, wasn't Maria Cecilia's cup of tea either, so back towards baños.

Hey there's a guy with a telescope and a chair, chargin' a couple bucks to take a look. *censored* I can see a smoke plum from the Tungurahua Volcano, the sky is mostly clear. Hmmmm maybe tonight I'll luck out and try my luck on the chiva again. Since I can see the smoke plum, no interest in the use of the telescope. Cabbed it back to the hotel, time for a siesta.

A quick stroll around town, la cena time. For supper, horneado, a fried, seasoned, potato and cheese dumpling (yummy.) On the plate fried bananas (might have been plantanes) popcorn (like in the movie theater) steamed kernels of large kernel white corn, large unpopped kernels of corn, pork cracklings, and a slow roasted pulled pork (carnitas). Yes I'm up to eating the local fare, but haven't quite decided on the street carts yet (maybe in quito)

After supper, back to the square carnival is in full swing. Globus de agua (stylized hot air ballons,) where being released through out the course of the evening, a couple with firecrackers in them. I think there were 7 of them (one for each deadly sin.) We were dancing in the plaza to a live band, and everywhere more of that damned foam. People were a little tipsy, kids wired on sugar cane, and the lil suckers were getting brave with the foam. Initially I thought it was, if you have a can be prepared to face the consequences. Nope. The little kids would see how brave each other was and pick a "random" target. Guess who became the target. Look, large furry grumpy bear... FOAM FOAM FOAM.... RUN RUN RUN.... We strolled around looking for some more bottles of water, and I noticed a little Provencal resturant. I burst out laughing and thought of Pierre and Sujo back home. I stuck my head in, thought I might try some crepes ( I haven't made any in a coon's age), but it was full, I chuckled some more ... why not a french resturant in ecuador. Damn it's clouded over again, so the volcano will be a bust... sigh...

Tomorrow we'll try for Puyo..... Dulce Sueños.......

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