Four-Day Bus Trip

Tuesday morning, Oct.27, we left on a bus heading to Guaranda with our friends Shirley and Frank.  Our first leg was two hours to Puerto Viejo where we changed to a bus to get us to Quevedo, 5 hours later.   From Quevedo we caught a bus to Babahoyo.  This was only a two hour leg, but we arrived after 5 PM so spent the night in a hotel near the intersection where we could catch a bus in the morning to carry us up into the Andes to the town of Guaranda.  The bus driver was most helpful in telling us where to get off the bus and pointing out the hotel where we could spend the night.

Wednesday morning we caught an early bus up into the mountains.  The road was twisty with steep valleys and spectacular views as it rose up into the Andes from the wet river valley around Babahoyo.  We arrived into Guaranda before noon.  After checking into a hotel and leaving off our bags we decided to continue on to Salinas with its many cottage factories.  It was quite warm in Guaranda but at the higher altitude of Salinas it was cold.  Our first purchases were therefore sweaters.  The yarn is spun in one of the larger of the cottage factories and the woman of the town knit some of the yarn into items for sale.  The  entire town is run as a cooperative, so that the many products of the town can be grouped together for export.  We took an afternoon tour of many of the small factories and purchased lots of chocolate, cheese and small amounts of tea and salami.  We caught a combi back down the mountain to Guaranda after 5 PM and by then it was even getting cool in Guaranda, so our new sweaters were much appreciated.

The hotel in Guaranda only had rooms for Wednesday night so Thursday we headed back down to the coast in Guayaquil where we spent one more night before returning to Bahia de Caraquez yesterday.  Even that trip was an adventure as the bus broke down about 2/3 of the way home.  The drivers spent some time trying to get the bus running again but eventually called for another bus.  Three hours later we were on our way again and arrived back in Bahia just before dark.

It was a short but interesting trip as we passed thru parts of Ecuador that we had not been thru before.