January 3, 2012

DAY 47

I do not understand why every hotel I check into they insist on putting my on the top floor. I checked in early and there were no other guests here, lots of empty rooms. It is the oddest thing that I am always stuck not only at the top but also down to the end of the hall in the farthest room away.

I slept another ten hours last night and was still sleepy when I got up. Because I have had less interaction spending time with locals in Ecuador, I have not had as much authentic food here. I did have the traditional meal in Tulcan and for the most part I can do without grilled cow intestines, grilled pig skin and cuy. Cuy is that big rat looking thing. They do seem to eat scrambled eggs every breakfast and all the coffee is instant so I mix the coffee with chocolate in hot milk. The other meals are usually chicken, there are many restaurants side by side with big signs saying "pollo". It does appear that chicken is a major food here and is usually what I eat.

This could have been a decent riding day, after I cycled up above 11,000 feet I was in a lot more rolling hills that were not as steep. The problem was the wind, it was blowing at about a constant 40mph most of the time and wind was going the opposite way as I was.

I have been seeing a lot of cactus like this lately.

I got to Guamote and the sky was dark with an impending rain and I was ready to stop. It was not easy finding a hotel, the first person I asked indicated there was only one. I kept going through town and asking, and kept getting pointed into wrong directions. I finally was sent up one road and I came up to a building that looked like it could have been a hotel but there were no words indicating "hotel", "hostal", "hosteria" or "habitación ". I asked a young man on the road who said no and pointed back out towards the beginning of town. I had no idea what he was saying and he just laughed and walked away. I went back a block and asked a woman who then walked with me back up to that building and knocked on the door, it ends up this is a hostal. Two young blonde haired, blue eyed women greeted me in English, that was comforting to arrive somewhere where I'm understood. I know it is my own fault for not taking Spanish classes before coming here but I really did not have the time. It is just one of my challenges for this trip.



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