You won´t hear from me tomorrow, or until life in the Spanish-speaking fast lane settles down. After investigating travel options to keep myself moving along towards Ecuador, I decided upon an Avianca flight. This came about at the very moment I passed that airline´s office on my wanderings around Cartagena trying to decide whether to bus across the border and put up with days of freezing, sitting upright, watching violent movies; whether to go back to Medellin or Bogota or on to Cali and break up the trip with hostel stays in more Colombian towns…or just pay the bucks to fly.
$350 later and I have my ticket in hand for a four-hour flight tomorrow. Cartagena to Bogota, Bogota to Quito. Neat and sweet and I would have spent that much by going the slow, hard way.
So, that meant that I needed to find reservations to go to in Quito. No problem, thought I, coming to this nice internet not far from my great little hotel here. The Bootsnall.com site had many to choose from and I liked the sound of a place on the Geobotanical Reserve for $15 per night in a four-bunk room. It was the promise of organic food, hiking trails and horseback riding that made it sound so good. It looked rustic and mellow as well. So, I booked it.
They sent me an email confirmation….AND a long page of directions on how to get there. Here are a few of the salient points. By the way, my plane lands at 6:10 p.m. so my arrival would be well after dark, but one takes a taxi from the airport, or so I thought.
If I go there by bus, it´s 25 km outside of Quito. No mention of taxis or even of getting wheeled transportation to the door. I get off the bus at the trail to the volcano.
Then, I must walk 15 minutes uphill to the edge of the crater…a volcano called El Mirador.
Then I walk another 25 minutes down a steep dirt road, take a left at the junction and continue 100 meters and pay the park entrance fee of $2.50
I carry a 33 pound backpack and a loaded daypack/purse thing.
There was no mention of all of this athleticism in the description of this place. All I wanted was a place to lay me down upon arrival. Luckily, I was able to also reserve, for the same tomorrow night, a reservation for a neat-sounding hostel in town, which I should have taken in the first place. So, I do have an address to give the taxi driver that doesn´t involve climbing volcanoes after dark. In the meantime, I have emailed the Bootsnall staff to let them know about this unclear description and in the hopes that they can void my reservation.
Plus, this country setting of the first one might have had me missing Quito altogether. Perhaps after I have my bearings and have explored the big city a wee bit, I will really want to get out in the countryside. We shall see if I could ever make it, under any circumstances, if I have to haul my own gear that far. But, that´s another story.