Thursday, March 16, 2006

"Mañana" means "sooner or later" ...

We are down to our last "mañana"--if we don't get to Quito tomorrow we will miss our flight home. I don't guess that's such a horrible tragedy because it's not as if we're in any danger or anything (this could change, here's the latest CNN coverage), but the uncertainty is making me anxious, which is making it hard to enjoy the few small pleasures the town of Latacunga offers.

The good news is that the transport blockade was lifted yesterday in the province of Tungurahua, which is south of here, and everyone is expecting and official end today in Cotopaxi province, which is where we are. We strolled down to the bus station this morning, as we do every morning, and while it's still completely devoid of buses, there is a lot of traffic alon the Panamerican highway, which indicates that the blockade has become symbolic at this point. It's likely that the many of the people who were enforcing the blockade have returned to tending their crops and livestock or gettint their perishable goods to market. So we could probably, for about $20 each (compared to about $2 each for a bus) get in the back of a camioneta (pick-up truck) and get to Quito. But since we are in complete agreement with the protestors, we don't want to cross their political picket line no matter how porous it may be at this point, and we're still not sure how safe we would be as gringos. We've nixed the idea of walking it just because of the safety issue--lots of Ecuadorans are making the hike up and down the panamericano, but tourists laden with luggage represent a potentially lucrative target for robbers. (Although lots of people assume Mr. Pants must be from the province of Esmeraldas until he opens his mouth and no Spanish comes out.)

I don't even know if we'll have a protest today to break up the monotony ...

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