Pages From My Skin

Saturday, February 14, 2009


On our way to Mindo, Ecuador to view the Butterfly Farm...

Nick, Sam, Hillary, Tommy & I took a bus from the city. It is normally a 2 hour ride.  Along the way, we received word that there was traffic up ahead due to a mud slide. The bus driver decided to find an alternate route instead of waiting the estimated 30 minute delay. Along this route, there was a truck that flipped over ahead of us. So, that caused another delay. Eventually, the bus driver went mad and drove off the road. Everyone on the bus was confused. He ended up going up a muddy one-way mountainous path. There was rainwater and waterfall debris making the thin road even more muddy. 

For a Honda, Toyota, I would say, "This road was a tight squeeze."  For a bus the size of a Greyhound, I would say, "What the HELL is this bus driver doing!!??" The driver's helper went around collecting an additional dollar from everyone because after already driving the expected 2 hours, this new route was going to cause us to arrive in Mindo an even 2 hours later. Hesitant, we paid. However, by the time we got HALF-WAY up the mountain, the bus driver was desperately speeding while beeping his disturbing horn trying to make other trucks aware that...uhm...he may be on the road to causing a head-to-head on collision. As we got higher up the mountain, the road got thinner and thinner. 

After awhile, I began FREAKING OUT!!! We were all at the back of the bus and could literally feel the back tires dragging along the edge of the road. There were no rails or additional space for protection. We were looking down several thousand feet to an abyss of rain forest. Eventually, we could not even see the side of the road...MEANING our left-back tire was on the brink of skidding off the mountain. MEANING...we and everyone else on the bus would be going with it. All of the passengers started bugging out! I was screaming, "Holy shit! Holy shit!!!" That was all that could come out of my mouth. Seriously...I was scared for my life! Nick had even began texting his Dad, "Just in case I don't make it" messages! (What a jerk!) Eventually, we forced the bus driver to stop the bus and let us off. The other passengers couldn't believe it. They were asking, "Are you REALLY getting off! Are you walking back down the mountain? Do you know where you're going?" There was this one group of girls with sheer fear in their eyes. We told them, "We don't know where we are but we'll take our chances deserted in the rain forest than on this damned bus!" Sure enough, we got off.

With all of us trying to recover from anxiety attacks, we tried to relax and regain our composure. We were all still talking about how we just managed to escape death and how we were scared out of our freakin' minds! After walking down the mountain and trying to hitch a ride, a random pick up truck stopped. We immediately hopped on the back and got a ride all the way back to Quito. Lucky us! The driver wouldn't even take our money for gas. The Sun came out and began to shine above us. We got in town early enough for almuerzo and ate with new senses of self. PHEW! What a way to spend Valentine's Day!


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