January 11, 2012

DAY 55

Hopped a bus to Guayaquil.

photo taken from the bus window as we drove through the Caja area on the way to Guayaquil

As we approached the terminal Ulrike said that there is a hostal about 1km away but the walk would be dangerous. This is early afternoon, tons of people everywhere but yet she was afraid that there were muggers everywhere. Whenever I made a comment about how it could not happen she came up with a way it could. In the end I heard about 15 different ways I could get mugged walking down a crowded sidewalk with police on just about every corner. I actually feel safer in Latin America then I would walking through LA or NYC in the evening. I know muggings happen here, but they do in many cities around the world too.

When we got off the bus there was a pickup truck taxi who asked if we needed a taxi. Although I had no concerns about walking or riding my bicycle, the taxi was $2.00 total. I put my bicycle in the back and we headed off for a hotel somewhere.

While checking into a hotel, Ulrike had to go check out every detail of her room while I had no interest in even seeing my room. After checking into a hotel we found what appeared to be the only outdoor store in South America. I had looked in Colombia and Ecuador and people I asked never knew of any that existed. I was in need of a larger day pack for my 2 week trip to the Galapagos and I would need a larger pack for my possible hiking in Patagonia. I do not think many people do much in the way of camping (note lack of any campgrounds), or technical outdoor activities such as rock climbing and back country hiking. The irony it that this region offers extraordinary outdoor opportunities including some mountaineering and rock climbing. I can only assume that people who do these activities here are from other countries and of course bring their own gear. Being the only outdoor shop it had very little to offer, no thermal underwear at all, only one pair of gloves size "S"(too small for me) and very limited on hiking t-shirts with "wicking' capability. They had plenty of cotton t-shirts but those are not for hiking in. Anyway, the price on what they did have reflected the fact they were the only show in the area.

It is now very warm and humid here so I also wanted one more pair of very lightweight hiking pants. My shoes were also very worn offering very little traction and caused me to slip on several occassons on the recent day hike.

What I got was:

Deuter day 40L +10L Act Lite trekking pack $134.90 USD
waterproof pack cover $18.50
Sherpa hiking pants $79.90
Sherpa wool hat $25.00
The North Face rain jacket $130.91
Salomon XA 3D Ultra2 Adventure Trail shoes $128.00

$550.40 with tax
I could have bought all of this a lot cheaper in the states.

I found a running shirt at a sporting goods shop, Nike "dri-fit" $30.90 + tax

So there goes almost $600.00 for stuff that I could have gotten for about half that back home. At least I'm set up for the Galapagos trip and when I get to Patagonia. My current plan(which is always changing and shifting) is to ship stuff home after Patagonia and cycle north from there.


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