Tag Archives: bus ride

Montantia, Ecuador

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April 2013    20130614-092856.jpg

It’s currently 9:30 am and I can still hear regaton. It’s the type of loud music with a deep base that sounds like the same song over and over. People here party all night and all day. Montanita is a small beach town on the coast of Ecuador with a infamous night life. For me, good luck trying to get me to stay up past 3:00 am. In my hostel the walls and windows were shaking with bass.

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To get to Montanita from Baños:
Get ready for a long bus ride. It’s wasn’t too bad but I would recommend a night bus as many of the busses during the day make a 45 minute longer trip to Ricabamba. Make sure to ask if the bus is going to that city as it does make a difference in time and people will try and rip you off! They will even say its a direct bus when it really isn’t. If you don’t don’t stop in Rhiabamba its a direct bus.

The total time was 7.5-8 hours and $8.00 USD. It’s a standard Ecuador price as the rule is $1 dollar for every hour.

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Once you get into Guayaquil, you must transfer at the station to get to Montanita. Warning for anyone traveling to Guayaquil bus terminal: Only go to Guyaquil via overnight bus or 6am departure time from surrounding cities. We took the 9 am bus from Baños, got into Guayaquil at 4:45 pm and missed the last bus transfer. Therefore we had a really hard time trying to find something legit to get us to Montanita. It seemed odd that at 4:30 pm there were no more busses. It almost seemed like a scam because the people working at the terminal directed us to a man who wanted to charge a whopping $10 a person!

All in all Montanita isn’t a city I would be dying to go back to anytime soon, but for the person that enjoys a good party…you would fall in love.

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Here is a little painting I did while in Montanita

Viejando de Cartagena a Manizales

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Backpacking: when a person travels with their belongings on their back through unknown places. I have not been doing much of this as I stay in one place 3-4 weeks. My backpack usually stays on the floor of my dormitory. When I chose to fly from Cartagena to Medellin and then bus to manizales I heard that it was easy and cheap so I was ready at 11 am to travel. I took a bus to the airport. The bus was easy to take $1,500 COP ($.75 USD) and there was even free WIFI at the airport. Go for be airport in Cartagena early! At least an hour and a half early because I almost missed my flight being an hour early. Colombian time is usually late but in this circumstance it is better to be safe than sorry.

The flight was horrible. Seriously, horrible. The whole time the plane did the up and down move where your stomach goes up in knots. It was bad, but manageable. About this time it is 3:30 pm.

Once in medellin I knew I had to take a 45 min bus to the terminal where I would take another bus to manizales. The bus from the airport to medellin was $8,000 COP ($4.00 USD). The taxis are twice as much starting at $15,000 ($7.50 USD). Make sure you ask the bus driver where the bus ends and where you want to get off. The bus driver dropped us off at a place which was not the terminal so I took another bus to the metro which I knew connected to the terminal. The metro in Medellin is super easy to navigate and costs $1,500-1,700 COP ($.75-1.00 USD) to go one way from one spot to the next.

Once I got to the terminal there were no buses to Manizales. Why? Because I was at the wrong terminal. Apparently there is a south terminal as well. Don’t go to the north terminal in Medellin if you want to head south! Trial by error!

About this time it is 4:50pm and I hop on another bus for $2,000 COP ($1.00 USD) and I arrive to the south terminal. it was about a 20 minute bus ride.

At the terminal I learn that the workers jn the coffee region are on strike because of fair wages making the whole area extremely difficult to travel through. It was 5:30pm, I was tired and just wanted to get to Manizales. I decide to start asking people around and see if there was a collective taxi since all the buses were shut off. Sure enough there was one and not a bad price. $38,000 COP ($19.00 USD. There were 7 people in a van but it didn’t leave till 6:30pm.

7:00pm we finally get going, everyone in the car is from Manizales, apparently not a lot of tourists go there. The van was okay for the first 20 minutes because we were in traffic. Once we started going I was terrified of the corners that the bus driver was cutting because they were blind corners and the only thing he based off cutting the corner by was if he could see headlights. This as well made my stomach turn into knots!

The poor gentleman beside me was helping me calm down but for 6 hours this continued and sure enough I was sick the whole time. Horrible!

I arrived safely I manizales at 1:30am and slept the whole night. 6 1/2 hour bus ride hat was supposed to be 4 hours with one bus. Next time I am bringing anti nausea medicine. So glad that is over. Staying in one place for a long period of time is much easier for me than traveling at a fast pace!