Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Ecuador Epilogue

Sorry, there has to be one more entry for this beautiful country of high mountains and small stocky people with wonderful faces who dress in their national costume even for everyday work and are so quick to smile and offer a greeting. The hacienda at Cayambe was one of the most atmospheric and charming places I've ever had the privilege of enjoying. As I have said before it is 4 hundred years old and the decor was in elegant decay along with much of the furniture - trapped in time warp! A one storey building that spread over two or three acres with a pretty chapel, riding stables, etc. At supper on the last evening there I did something I've never done before - I spontaneously stood up and sang a song - a very appropriate song - 'The Mission Bell at San Miguel' - and got a nice reception from my startled and indulgent audience. Very satisfying for a normally inhibited scribbler.

Now Ecuador is wonderful but it does seem to have more stomach bugs that India, China and Indonesia put together. Most of the 14 suffered at least once, sometimes twice. There were a couple of iron-gutted individuals (Annette, never falters) but for the most part we all had to reach for the immodium tablets in a hurry. For myself I had just sat down on the public bus from Otavalo, a wonderful market town which we all adored and expressed a desire to live in, when I felt stomach cramps. 'Oh bless,' I said to myself in so many words, 'I've got two and half hours on this bus which doesn't stop.' Panic. The cramps came again. Within half an hour I was absolutely desperate and given a few minutes more was going to disgrace myself utterly. 'STOP!' I yelled. 'I HAVE TO GO TO THE . . .' The conductor came to me and said, 'Cinco minutes - solo cinco minutes mi amigo.' They are so kind these people. The bus screeched to a halt outside a gas station loo in dead on five minutes. I ran from the bus with a concerned Annette flying after me, while at the same time the driver threw me a toilet roll, expertly caught, made the loo with seconds to go - and not to put too fine a point on it, a huge flock of starlings came out of my rear end. When I sheepishly re-boarded with 'Lo siento, lo siento,' (sorry, sorry) the local Indians clapped, their square pleasant faces creased in grins under their trilby-style hats. I tipped the driver and the conductor a couple of dollars each and thanked the Lord for filling this amazing country with such pleasant people.

Today we catch the plane home.


  1. The bottom fell out of your world.... or was it the other way round? Despite tummy problems you sound as though you had a great time.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful place to take a you-know-what, Gary. Seriously though, makes me want to visit one day.

  3. Is this the Garry Kilworth I worked with at C&W?? Fiona Doggett here!

  4. Thanks for all the blog entries, Garry. Perhaps it is time to stop my worries about travelling in South America, or parts of it, at least. I would love to see all those volcanos.