Previously on Raggedy Threads: Angie, Nathan and I were all supposed to fly out of San Cristobal on the 31st at noon. Due to my sudden and violent distain for boats, I moved my ticket, and my ticket alone, to fly out of Baltra at 10:30am.
The 31st was to be a long travel day. I had to catch a taxi at 6:15am to make a bus that in theory left at 6:30 (in practice this was closer to 7:10). This 45 minute ride to the north of Santa Cruz brought me to a ferry to Baltra island. Then another bus to the airport, where I was two hours early for my flight.
I didn’t have a ticket; I’d been told to show my passport at check-in. I did this. The man clicked away at his keyboard. Then frowned. Then scratched his head. Then checked my passport again.
“Donde esta Anhela?”
Pointing at his computer. “No Sarrah.”
“Si. Mi Sarah.”
More head scratching. He finally hands me a ticket with my name on it. I go and sit for two hours until my plane leaves. After the hour and a half flight (meal: peas and potato cubes, slices of ham and cheese) I have another hour and a half to wait at the Guayaquil airport until Angie and Nathan show up. They come into the arrival arrive looking a little worried.
“We weren’t sure you’d be here,” Angie says, hugging me. “They only had a Nathan and a Sarah in the system. No Angela.” Sigh. I get a flash back of the rude travel agent that continued a conversation on her cell phone as she helped me, and it all makes sense.
The next day we braved the buses and ended up in Puerto Lopez. It’s a small, poor fishing village made popular by whale watching and surfers. The bay is filled with fishing boats, and the beach is scattered with small blue speed boats that look long abandoned. We walked along the beach and laughed at Nathan trying to catch ghost crabs. They’re tiny little things the colour of sand and they move lighting quick, popping into little holes they have scattered all over the beach. You don’t really see them so much as sense their movement. After several attempts that ended up with Nathan on his ass, he finally got one.
At night the main street comes alive with tourist shops and small wooden huts that act as beach bars. They have fires in little cans filled with fuel on top of sand mounds that smell like burning rubber. Each hut was blaring music to drown out their competitors. We sat on the beach and I ordered a margarita that was made with rubbing alcohol and a cup of salt. Over all, Puerto Lopez bars left much to be desired.
We found a nice place to eat called Whale Cafe, with massive tasty sandwiches and a huge book exchange. They let Angie and Nathan change their tattered paperbacks, but wouldn’t take my copy of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game.
“No one reads science fiction,” she explained, turning me away.
“This isn’t just science fiction. It’s excellent.”
Traveling in the country of long and late bus rides with no book is no fun.