These last few weeks in Ecuador are going to be ruled by my need to find ways to keep busy. As of yesterday afternoon, I have nothing to do with the university until Monday. There was a possibility of going to the beach for the weekend, but I don't think that will happen. And worse still is that after Monday I have nothing to do for another week. When I learned this I started doing some research.
For the hell of it I looked up flights from Guayaquil and Quito to Medellin, Colombia. Using BargainTravel, which I'd previously used for flights to Chile and Peru, I found a deal of $242 before taxes, which is pretty good for international airfare. A friend of mine who's looking for a job in Medellin right now was going to be heading back there shortly, so suddenly it looked like I could be heading to Colombia for a few days.
Even though it still has the image of cartels, violence, and kidnappings, I've heard nothing but good things about Colombia. Everyone who goes loves the people, the food, and the women. In fact, it's probably now safer than Ecuador. Rumors say that Colombia has pushed out many of the major cartels, and they now operate out of the coast of Ecuador. But that's unconfirmed on my end, just a rumor. Anyway, I tried getting back to that Web site for the deal again, but suddenly as of yesterday afternoon I'm no longer able to access the page with the airfare. Something about being foreign and needing 7 days to check the credit card. Yet in the morning it worked.
So I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it to Colombia. I checked in at a couple of travel agencies yesterday as well, and their prices were too high for me. But someone told me if you go to the supermarket you can buy airfare for $250 to Medellin. So this afternoon I'm going to take a walk down there and see what the deal is.
If I don't wind up going to Colombia, I'm still probably going to go somewhere, just because I have so much time and nothing to do here. One possibility is going to the jungle, the last region of Ecuador that I haven't really explored. There are a few places I can head to, but they're not exactly close to Cuenca. Another option is going to Mancora, Peru, which is a popular beach town about 8 hours away. Mancora is supposed to be kind of like Montanita, here in Ecuador. That means it's a surfing town by day and party town by night. I don't think I'll try surfing, but it will be nice to get to the beach one more time and to go back to Peru.
I'll keep posted what my plans wind up being, and hopefully I'll be able to do something worthwhile.