La Bella Crucita – Monday, 02/11/2019

“Remember our plan to have pinchos for lunch today Nilla.”

“Don’t know if it will be open because it’s Monday, but we can try.  What’s the weather going to be like today?  Do you feel like an adventure?”

“What kind of adventure?”

“Don’t know Jackson, maybe a bus ride to Bahia de Caraquez or Boca.  I’m in the mood.”

“After pinchos?”

“Maybe.  We’ll have to clear it with the Ts and make sure Aventurero is up for the trip.”

“Bus rides have been fun.  We’ve only be on that one that was really crowded.”

“Intra-city buses have spots for elderly and those with impaired mobility, they also ride for a reduced fare as we know Jackson.”

“The ones that we’ve taken from Crucita to Manta or Portoviejo have been nice, most with air conditioning except that one ride.”

“That was the bus to Rocafuerte. Have you noticed the WiFi doesn’t work on them.”

“Nilla, the best coaches are for the longer inter-city routes.  Those are the ones that say ‘ejecutivo’ or ‘autobus de lujo’.  Those have AC and toilets and sometimes WiFi.”

“I don’t think we’ll be taking any long bus trips this visit to Ecuador.  Maybe next year.”

“The ‘lujo’ bus fare is more expensive while the standard buses are less expensive and slower, making more stops and allowing standing passengers.  We’ve noticed that for those buses you don’t even have to be at a bus stop for the bus to stop.”

“And you barely have time to get to a seat before the bus takes off with the ‘conductor’ hanging on the door handrails.”

“Rural and more remote areas have smaller informal buses and services.”

“Here in Crucita the buses run relatively frequently.  Wonder what the schedule will be like in San Clemente.  It really isn’t rural, but it could be considered more remote.”

“Most towns, including Crucita have bus terminals.  The bus terminal in Crucita is on the same road as the pizza and pincho restaurants.”  Remember in Roacafuerte all the buses with different destinations?  Much less formal ‘terminal terrestre’ than the one in Manta.”

“I’ve heard Quito has more than one bus terminal.”

“No doubt, it is the capital Nilla.”

“If you were to travel up into the Andes you might see some buses that remind you of school buses back in the U.S.  They have roof racks and are called ‘chiva’ buses.”

“And in really rural areas ‘buses’ are smaller unconventional vehicles such as pick up trucks with wooden benches for seating.”

“Doesn’t sound particularly safe to me Jackson.”

“But do you know what is super exciting here on the coast Nilla?”

“About buses?”

“Yes! On February 5, 2019 a flota of twenty electric buses arrived in the port terminal of Manta from China.”

“Electric buses! That is exciting! Who built them?”

“They were assembled in China by BYD, well seventy percent of the bus, the remaining thirty percent will be completed by Ecuadorean assemblers.”

“Are they coming to Crucita?”

“No, Nilla.  They were purchased by Saucinc Bus Company in Guayaquil.  Each bus has an eighty passenger capacity and will travel the northern and central routes in the city once placed in service in March this year.  High speed charging stations are already in place.”

“Who is BYD?”

“BYD is a Chinese manufacturer specializing in electric cars, bicycles, buses, forklifts, trucks, etc.  BYD is an acronym based on the phrase ‘Build Your Dreams’.    The electric bus was tested in the city from November 2017 through March 2018.  It is estimated that it will save three million gallons of diesel fuel in one year with an associated significant decrease in emissions.”

“That’s fantastic!  Is it the first electric bus fleet in Latin America?”

“No.  Santiago, Chile already has about one hundred electric buses serving the capital city.  But this is the first electric bus fleet in Ecuador!”

“Hopefully more to come. Oh, the Ts say it would be a long trip to Bahia, save that for another day but Boca is do-able.  Look at the mural, they’re popping up all over Crucita.”

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“A smaller adventure, but Nilla, it is still an adventure none the less and we have to take a bus!”‘Aventurero is going to meet us up at the pincho place at noon.”  Of course he’s up for a field trip today, only ‘partly cloudy’ if you trust the weather forecasters.”

“Pincho place is closed Jackson, Aventurero is standing on the corner.”

“It’s off to Boca, let’s see if we can get a tricimoto to take us.”

“No bus ride?”

“Nope, not going there at least, on the way back we’ll take the bus.”

“What an exciting ride Jackson, through the mud and ruts, along side chickens, dogs, banana trees – really up close to everyday life here.”

“Numero seis.  Half an hour trip, not bad.”

“Not much is happening here.  At least one restaurant is open for lunch.”

“Looks like they’re filming a commercial Nilla.”

“And they didn’t even ask us to be in it!”

“The beach is wonderful, it must be crazy here on the weekends.”

“Let’s see if we can cross the river to San Jacinto, it’s just over there.”

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“Look at the rushing water and all this mud.  Looks like they are dredging the Portoviejo River – have to keep it flowing – get rid of the silt and sand.”

“Are those flamingos?”

“No they’re spoonbills, pink from eating the river shrimp.”

“Look over there, he’s net fishing in the river and the birds don’t seem to mind.”

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“That’s because they’re hoping for a handout if he catches any thing.”

“Back to the restaurant, and to the bus!”

 

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Extra seating. No smoking, no eating, no ???, no dogs/animals

“That was a quick ride back.  Primo Dos is closed. Onto Ramblas to see if Diego and Guardagatos are around.”

“The Ts’ favorite Crucita cat is here.”

“Aventurero wants to go to the bakery, they were open when we went by on the bus.”

Bakery is sold out of all the breakfast sweet breads, have to try again tomorrow.  A tricimoto to Crucita Village, nachos for the Ts and a cheeseburger for Aventurero.  They only cook the burgers one way…WELL done.

“Amarita says the Ts have to pay the electric bill!”  That was supposed to be included in the rent.  Have to talk with Russell.”

“The Trio is talking about a trip to Montecristi tomorrow, won’t that be exciting Nilla!”

“Another bus ride Jackson!”

 

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