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Cuenca

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After my unplanned, but most enjoyable week, in the city of Cuenca I started the three day journey to the Galápagos Islands. My first worry was finding a driver I could actually trust to take me on the 125 mile journey to the airport in Guayaquil, my second was how to avoid being robbed en route and my third was the notorious mountain pass I had to cross in the El Cajas National Park. The hotel recommended a ‘safe’ driver who turned up at the correct time, which was promising, and I told him I was going to the Holiday Inn at Guayaquil Airport. He looked at my blankly then said with a with a huge smile ‘Si! Si! Holida Yin!’ Relieved he knew where we were going, I settled down for the trip, momentarily. I have actually no idea how the hotel could describe old Carlos as a ‘safe’…

Cuenca school

After I made the tough decision to leave the turtle project in Las Tunas the next problem was where to go for a week before I flew to the Galápagos Islands. Ecuador is a dangerous country to travel around, even by car, as drug cartels are known to set up road blocks to stop and randomly rob motorists. There were even five muggings on the Interstate bus that week, which left me with a real dilemma. In the end I hired a taxi company I found on TripAdvisor and made a very stressful 7 hour journey across country to the beautiful historic city of Cuenca.