First, I just want to tell you that for some reason I have had problems loading pictures into my blog. But that will change as of today and I should have some up soon!
Last Friday I ventured into Ecuador, by myself. The border of Ecuador is about 3 hours from Mancora. I sat in the back of the bus and the local man whom i had bought my ticket from sat next to me.
Before you hit the border of Ecuador, you check out of Peru. There you can get snacks and change your Soles(Peruvian currency) into Dollars(oddly enough, Ecuadorian currency). As I got off of the bus, I soon realized that the man I had bought my ticket from was actually escorting me to the border. He walked me to Peruvian customs and back to the bus. Here is where it got scary and I soon began to think "what the hell am i doing?"
The bus pulls into this city that reminded me of an extremely large flea market crowed with people. There were venders selling clothing, toys, raw meats, tvs, vegetables and fruits. There were people cooking on the side of the road. There was chicken bbq'ing, potatoes being fried and drinks on display.
I had my window still open and people started to wave at me. As i waved back, my escort stops me and says "keep your hands in the bus. they will still your glasses right off of your face if they wanted" that is when the peace inside was replace with absolute fear.
The bus came up to Ecuador's customs station where I got off and got my passport stamped. My escort then tells me to hurry as he grabs my backpack. We rushed to a taxi where he gets in with me. We start to head back to the flea market looking area.
On the way there, I saw a man standing on the side of the road with blood literally pouring out of his forehead. At this point I was numb to the madness.
Mr. Escort takes me to another bus stop, hands me my ticket to Quito and says "the bus leaves in an hour, good luck" and he left me there.
During the 12 hour bus ride, we stopped 3 times by the police to have our persons and bags searched. I was the only American on the bus and was scared that something bad would happen to me but they were actually less stringent on my search.
The only horrible thing that happened to me on my 17 hour bus ride was that I got food poisoning and was ill for two days.
I went to the equator yesterday and will be going to see some archaeological museums. After, a few days here my next stop will be Colombia, which is a far more dangerous journey. Wish me luck!!