Published: July 16th 2012May 22nd 2012
The long awaited departure from Guayaquil had finally arrived and we returned to the ankle-spraining bus terminal to hop a ride to Riobamba. The 5 hour trip took us away from the hot & humid city and up into the lush and much cooler Ecuadorian highlands filled with farmland and rolling hills. We took a cab downtown to find a hostel, agreed to the first reasonably clean and cheap one we saw, then walked/hobbled to the train stain a few blocks away. We planned to take a rooftop train ride down ¨devils nose¨, a steep switchback mountainside outside of Riobamba. After finding out the price had increased significantly ($11 to $25) and that it was no longer possible to catch the train from Riobamba but instead a 2hr bus ride outside of the city, we declined. Sometimes cool things just have to get cut. We found a pizza restuarant with a woodburning oven and spent the evening with pizza, beer and coffee. It seemed like we could be anywhere in the world.
Riobamba was a much welcome relief as a smaller and more managable city by foot. We relaxed, explored, ate delicious brunch and pizza again and really just chilled.
That night an interesting religious parade filled with school children was happening on our street. The kids all wearing their school uniforms walking the street singing and holding candles and Matt and I never figured out what the celebration was about.
As we caught a bus out of Riobamba the next day we were (for the first time) unwelcomed by the locals at the bus company who told us that they had no buses that went to Banos when all evidence indicated otherwise. It was a strange feeling to know we were being lied to but with no ability to do anything about it due to language barriers.