Once back in civilization we were happy to stay at Hotel D'Mario. Had to spend a buck to not get stuck in a sheisty place. It was refreshing after sleeping in tarantula nests. They fed the crap out of us in the jungle, so to hit the treadmill felt great. That was followed up by a dip in the pool. Dbl bonus. And the hot clean shower ? Well that just put the cherry on the cake. And for dinner we had tuna and onion open faced sammy's. Topped with our favourite condiment that we cannot live without now. The infamous Ecuadorian hot sauce,....Aji . IT-IS-GOLD JERRY!! GOLD!!! From Lago Agrio we took a bus to Tulcan. It was beyond jaw dropping. I did NOT expect that. At all. It was the most beautiful rainforest drive you could ever imagine. The green canopy jutting so high into the sky in bulging mountain tops. Over many rivers and waterfalls. The way the clouds sat so high in the mountains I could've cried. The entire ride took my breath away. My camera died at the first part. I would've saved the battery had I known it was about to get even more beautiful. We took the very twisty and steep edged mountain side road the whole way. It was dirt and it hugged the beauty perfectly for 8 hours. I was so satisfied. Especially when we literally rode through the sky. Into the clouds. It was like something out of a fantasy.
When we arrived in Tulcan the Ecuadorian border town, it was nighttime. We felt a little sketchy about it, so we did some research at a local Internet cafe. It's quite unbelievable the amount of horror stories we read. Basically that is was a zoo of people. All of which are there to rob you, pickpocket you, stab you and fake officials to rip you off. Insane line ups where you held your hands above your head just to fit. So we woke up at 5am to avoid the crowds and sure enough , we missed them. And it turned out to be the smoothest, easiest and quickest experience one could imagine. Lmao just goes to show ya how exaggerated shook inexperienced people can be.
We got stuck in Ipiales. The Colombian border town for a night to wait for the bus to Cali the next night. It was there we realized we forgot Melvin ;(;(; !!!!!. (If I haven't already mentioned him. He was our troubled shell-less turtle puppet from the Galapagos. He had a great story and was such a character. We adopted him and brought him everywhere. I slept with him every night. I hugged him when I was scared and talked to him when I was alone. He was our best buddy) I cried. So yep we did it. We crossed the damn border again in the afternoon back to the Tulcan hotel in Ecuador on a hope and a whim for a goddamn puppet. Sure enough the maid lied through her teeth and you could see it. She had given him to a hotel child and it was obvious. First she said he had been given away. Then she said she hadn't see him when she saw the look in my eyes. Now he has to live in Tulcan. Where he is probably getting tortured and is covered in some rugrat's sticky taffy. He must've been buried in blankets the day we left in a hurry to beat the border lines. I am SO sorry Melvin. I came back for you! i tried. But they lied buddy. They lied.........;(
We went online and all traveller warnings said "you would have to be insane to take the Ipiales -Cali bus at night ". That sometimes the route is blocked due to high alert warnings of robberies and paramilitary guerrilla warfare. We wanted a day bus, but they were all sold out. So we did the night bus. Lmao I haven't had that good of a bus sleep all trip! I felt the safest I have felt on a bus since coming to South America. There were 4 police checks in 10 hours. Like how much safer can you get?! People can be so stupid. Lol wow.......
We arrived in Cali this morning. And jumped on the next bus to Armenia. We are on that bus now. This kid behind me reeeeeeks like sausage and onion. Lol I keep looking back and expecting a sausage factory in production. And the festive accordion music that is blaring on the speakers would be perfect for that scene. Hahaha!!! Once we get to Armenia we are going straight to Salento if we can, to the coffee fields. It looks beautiful and I can't wait to be off a bus. Been on one since 7pm last night.