At the start of our travels, Sean and I were dropped off at Logan Airport in Boston destined for Cuenca, Ecuador. The first stop on our new “full-time-world-travel-location-independent” lifestyle. It didn’t take long for us to run into a snag. Actually it was about 20 steps. Hello, Copa Airline ticket counter lady.
“What’s that you say, It’s not ok to fly to Ecuador without a return ticket?” Or at least a ticket out of Ecuador. All of those things that we read about not actually needing to purchase a ticket in advance appeared to be wrong in this case. We have since learned that having purchased a refundable bus ticket out of the Country would have been ok. (Here is our subsequent article about proof of onward travel, if we only knew….).
We ended up purchasing what we were told were 2 fully refundable tickets back to Boston. (We now know that “fully-refundable” doesn’t include penalties and fees, etc. Sigh . . .
Fast forward and we have landed in Cuena, Ecuador. Slightly jet lagged and disoriented. Never the less we are able to secure a taxi to our apartment for the next month and are quoted the $3.00 fare we had anticipated. I collected by bag and made my way toward the door while Sean got out to pay the driver. Just then a truck filled with pre-teens drove by and doused Sean’s shirt with water. Welcome to Cuenca tall Gringo guy.
Turns out it was Carnaval and this was a big part of the celebration in Ecuador. No booze or beads here, just super soakers and cans of silly string or shaving cream. It ended up being a lot of fun.
Next lesson comes courtesy of the Cuenca open market. We wandered in to inspect the local produce, flower stalls, lunch counters and meat/fish market after taking a run by the river. Not far into our wander Sean leans down and whispers “People are staring at you.” Uh-0h, this can’t be good. Sean then observes “I think it’s your legs.” I look around — shorts don’t seem to be the standard market wandering garb.
Once back to the apartment I reach out to Google, and find many articles giving subtle advice, such as “Please . . . no shorts.” No shorts, tanks or sandals. Leave them for the beach Sister. We dress up here. How did I miss that piece of advice? Especially prior to picking up some cute new shorts and sandals that I squeezed into my 21 inch carry on before leaving for South America? There is not a lot of real estate in a carry-on bag (see prior post, Size Matters _ the Luggage Debate).
On a positive note, there are plenty of cool boutiques here. Time to shop!
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