Sunday, September 11, 2011

new friends in PL


new friends in PL, a set on Flickr.

In the week plus since we've left Pijal, I realize I haven't written much at all.We had a misadventure making our way to Peurto Lopez through Quevedo. We finally arrived in PL for about 4-5 days filled with humpback whales, boobie birds of every variety and making good friends. We first met Richard, a Dutch man who is for the second time in 6 years touring the world! We met Kevin and Diane, who own the Cafe Ballena (Whale Cafe), expats for over 30 years, and Bernie who owns a meditation center in Vilacabamba. We met a great young Argentine couple at the end of their tour of the continent. they shared their mate with us and invited us to stay with them when we make our way down there. They were with a bright eyed young Portuguese couple traveling during their school break. We spent most of our time with Kevin and Diane eating lots of their good food, and swapping stories. On our last day Kevin took us and his two nephews, Paulo and Rafael for a hike and explore the fog forest of Ayampe a few km south of PL. After we took our first over-nighter bus back to Quito and landed back at the Maple early enough to curl up on their couches waiting for our room to be available. The Maple has turned out to be a great spot to meet other interesting travelers from all over the world. This is where we met Jo on her way home to Scotland and Anja who turned out to be a great friend. This morning we met an American family with 2 small children that have been living in Cuenca for the past 10 months. They were on their way to Mindo then Puerto Lopez. Over breakfast they invited us to stay in their apartment in Cuenca with their nephew for the few nights we would be there.

Its this kind of generosity that seems to grow here. Honestly, it's at a striking contrast to our American culture I have found. I understand that there is a certain level of vunribility we are all in being forieners and therefore reaching out, looking out, and starting a conversation with a complete stranger is so common and easy here. I mean at home though, how often do you make new friends? Or when you do, how often do they drive you around to all their favorite places or invite you to stay in their home and sleep in their bed? No, this is a new kind of generosity I haven't before seen.        

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