Misfortunes in Ecuador

On June 16, 2013

I had quite the experience the last few days. Leaving Loja was a pleasure, riding on a brand new cement road. It quickly turned into construction. The road was a river of mud and I had to once again cross many streams and rivers. Rather than having people tell you when to stop for construction, I’d round the turn to find machines clearing the way through a new landslide. Eye contact and some hand gestures by the operators let you know when it’s your turn to go. I was covered in mud, but was able to wash it off in a river.

I got to Zumba (the last town before the border) late in the afternoon and decided to take a break here before crossing the border to Peru. I carelessly left my phone on a bench while running into the hotel and it was stolen. I asked around to no avail but got a message on the Christian radio station (only radio station) for the next day (Sunday). On Sunday a boy aproached me, saying that a man named Castro has my phone and that he saw him take it. He was working in the shop behind the bench. He was really dodgy and didn’t want  to be seen showing me around. Eventually an over-zealous completely inebriated man took me under his wing and stumbled me around to the local police station. I’m sure he just wanted some beer money from me. The place was abandoned but a man on a motorcycle there offered to take me to the national police station. I gladly accepted, mostly to get away from this guy. The police were nice and drove me around town telling me to look at people. I tried numerous times to explain that I didn’t see the perpetrator and after a few times they finally understood. We found a guy on a motorcycle who they called Castro. I’m not sure if it was the right one. They first berated him for not having a license on his moto, then asked if he had my phone. They told him this was the last time they’d let him get off but I wasn’t convinced. When I got back to my hotel the kid said he’d go to the police to tell them what’s up. My Spanish is being stretched to its limits. Hopefully it works because I’d really like my photos from the ride to Zumba and my GPS.

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