Loja to Gualaquiza

P1000531Somewhere between Loja and Zamora. Highland cloud forest.

Departed Vilcabamba 11AM Monday. Vilcabamaba to Loja took about an hour.  Next leg was to get a bus from Loja to Gualaquiza. That ride took me through Zamora, Yantzaza, El Pangui and a few other small villes. Bus departed Loja about 2PM. It was cloudy and partly sunny, partly rain during the trip.

Passed through Zamora, Yantzaza, El Pangui and several other small villes on the route from Loja to Gualaquiza.

P1000571Large statue at a traffic circle on the North side of Zamora.  Man is panning for gold.

Mostly flat to slightly rolling is the road from Zamora to Gualaquiza. We are always not far from a river.

P1000605Bridge at Yantzaza

Dusk became dark as the bus approached the town of El Pangui. This seemed to be the biggest ville after Zamora.  There was a small circus in town.  And the people here do what they can to keep themselves amused.  A volleyball match was going on within a couple blocks of the bus station.

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Photos of El Pangui

Arrived Gualaquiza about 8PM. Long ride, beautiful scenery. Located a hostel not far from the bus terminal and hit the sack. My breathing was not good. Still have either allergies to new pollen or I have a cold of some kind.  Recover a little then seem to relapse in a few days. Coughing, stuffed nose all night long. Tossing and turning, not restful sleep.

Next morning, I got to the bus station at 9AM. Only 5 or 6 buses proceed North from Gualaquiza to Macas.  I just missed one of those that departed at 8:30. Inquired at a pharmacy for possible medications to relieve nasal congestion. Described my symptoms. Was given 3 tablets of antibiotics. Told to take one per day. Also got some powder antihistimines for the schnazzola.  Walked around town for a few hours. Bus departed 2PM.

Ride from Gualaquiza to Macas is another 6 hours. The first thing you notice when heading Northboung from Gualaquiza is that you are ascending.  The scenery gets more intense the higher you go. Passed many different streams/rivers. So many that it is very hard to keep track of their names. One thing is sure. On the Eastern slope of the Oriental chain, all the water is headed for the Amazon.

Enroute to Macas you pass through Amazonias,  San Juan Bosco, Limon, Longona, and Sucua; as well as several other small villes.

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Bus window, SanJuanBosco square, Longona public info

Arrived Macas around 8PM. Checked into a hostel across from the bus station. Same drill at night. Symptoms are much less aggravating during the day, in an upright position. At night, symptoms worsen and both nostrils were clogged all night. Had to rest sitting upright, and got very little sleep.  There was real hot water (only lasted about 5 minutes) coming from the shower.  Felt really good. Had a few crackers and raisins, took my meds and passed another fitful night.

P1000762El Presidente visited and spoke to the Macas crowd earlier that morning. Elections are 23 Feb.

Checked out of the hostel and arrived bus terminal at 11AM. I had checked the night before. Plenty of buses from Macas to Puyo.  Boarded one departing at 11:20.  Three and a half hours later I arrived in Puyo. Ride was generally  flat.  Passed many small farms, very tropical feel. Rained the entire way.  Can only remember that Veracruz was a small town just South of Macas.

There is a local tourism board office inside the Puyo bus station. I asked if I could leave my two cases there to walk around a bit and locate a hostel.  Received a positive response and was assured my equipment would be secure. Many hostels to choose from within sight of the station. Checked out 5 of them. Picked the one closest with internet included. It was the cleanest as well.

Had a plateful of fried rice with shrimp and chicken. Got some cough syrup, and back to my room. The room is large, comfortable bed, has hot water shower and wi fi.

Hoping to get some real sleep.