Here I am, still in Ecuador, still making very slow progress. I´m not sure if I´d mentioned in any of the previous posts, but the reason that its taking me so ridiculously long to get to Peru is because I´ve been waiting for my credit and debit cards to be delivered ever since when I was robbed in Quito. Thanks to FedEx, which is now yet another week behind on their delivery, I can´t leave until I´ve received my delivery. I won´t bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that if you´re going to try to send something internationally, don´t bother wasting your money on the incompetence of FedEx – plus, once its departed the country of origin, FedEx there will no longer provide any support to you at all.
Ok, well, I needed to get that off my chest (using less profanity here than in the letters that I sent to them). Apart from that, as soon as the delivery does arrive I´ll be back on my way and am now sitting within one to one and a half weeks from the Peruvian border. Fortunately, of all the places that I could be stuck waiting for a package, Cuenca is one of the three most beautiful cities I´ve visited since leaving the U.S. – alongside Mexico City and Cartagena.
Since the last update I finally left Baños, continued onwards to Riobamba, waited there for my package for several days (before having to reroute it to Cuenca, due to FedEx´s incompetence), then caught the Nariz del Diablo train near Alausi. Sadly the almost $8 that I spent on the train ticket was really a bust, since THE day that I went to catch the train was the same day that they banned roof-riding on the train, which is basically the entire point of taking the trip. Then there was also the fact that the journey basically looked just like the places that I bicycle through (sheer drops over endless cliffs), so it wasn´t particularly exciting for me. Oh well, live and learn.
As far as here in Cuenca, I´m starting to get the photos up on Flickr, so hopefully soon you´ll start to get somewhat of an idea of the sheer beauty of the place. Fortunately I´ve had my ¨Hollandaise¨ friend, Susan, here to live it up with me during my down time in Cuenca, and aside from our own trials and tribulations, we´ve managed to get some killer salsa dancing sessions in at a hip and sultry club here in town.
After leaving Cuenca it should be almost a straight shot to the border, however, with one stop in a small town called Vilcabamba. Fortunately this town happens to lie right along my impending route, as everyone has said spectacular things about it, and now that I´m in the Southern Highlands of Ecuador it looks like I´ve escaped the all day rains of the Central Ecuador and am ready for some days in the beautiful spring-like hills before my next chapter.
Will Twitter you all in when I manage to get out of Cuenca. Until then, happy January and enjoy the photos!