Every so often a friend places a book in my hands and states something like, “This book is so you…” or  “You will love this book” – or even “You MUST read this book.”     I usually refrain from reading the first paragraph out of fear that I will tumble directly into the story and not emerge until the final sentence.

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1907 Crystal Palace – Guayaquil Malecon   – photo from archives

With a very happy heart, I write from Ecuador{s city of Guayaquil where I said “Goodbye” yesterday to four beautiful travelling companions.   Our itineraries twisted and turned during this two-week “See how Lisa travels” tour.  We embraced surprise wrong-turn experiences and adapted to tweaks in daily plans.   They were surprised by the varied-but-delicious culinary options, from simple options like corviche to high-end presentations like quinoa-crusted corvina (amazing!)   At each stop, each restaurant, each hostal, our days were enriched by impromptu interactions with the locals throughout the country.

By chance – and lots of late-night research – we found an Andean Equinox celebration near the town of Cañar, and in time I will retrieve those images and share those stories and many others.  For now, this link shows the ancient archaeological site we visited, where the locals embraced us into their annual Killa Raymi ritual.   

The more-popular site of Ingapirca is a short distance from the baños site near Cañar and the Killa Raymi event.

Presently the laptop battery is totally depleted, and I am using a cyber computer at the bus station.   The laptop recharge-cable is hours and hours away, thanks to a quick transfer of items at the most-hurried stop: my apartment.  My friends were surprised by the apartment – and the CasaLoca relic bathtub-boat which now cradles many herbs and plants.   We dashed to the bus station and booked tickets on the final bus  option to Guayaquil!

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The Reina bus was a bit more modern than this one!

Yesterday friends left the hostal for the airport at 3 am, 10 am, and last night I said “Goodbye” to the other two  (another story!)…. Today after visiting with two “tourists” at the hostal who asked at breakfast, “Are you Lisa?”  I gathered my bags and left for the bus station. (Yes, we met years ago –  It was fun catching up and swapping stories.)   Today I remain in a holding pattern  – because the entire transport systems are on strike throughout the country!

Ecuador – Strike Paralyzes Country.

Discovering there were no buses bound for Portoviejo – or any other destination in Ecuador – I am delighted to settle into a quiet area and open that book and resume reading.   If the strike ends soon, I might continue to sit in this neutral spot while appreciating the mastery of the written word and marveling at this unique story.

Unable (and unwise) to log into my email account, I send this smoke signal via cyber cafe and WP account to let concerned parties know that I am fine and totally happy to spend the day immersed in The Overstory.

Perdon for the rambling.  The keyboard and its punctuation options are also quite strange!

Logging out for the day — and I will return to the hotel tonight if the bus drivers remain on strike!