Escape from Paradise


This blog entry about the events of Saturday, November 29, 2003 was originally posted on November 30, 2003.

DAY 42: I had a 9:30 airport shuttle to catch back in Puerto Ayora in the morning, which would have been an easy thing if I was there.  I woke up with the sun as always around 6:30 wondering how the hell I was going to get out of the Middle of Nowhere.  I laid in bed next to the girl I had only known for a couple of hours, figuring I’d wait til at least 7:00 to make any moves.

At 7:00 I got out of bed and wandered around the house.  I contemplated just leaving, but the resort had asshole-protection — security cameras and guard dogs at the gate.  I remembered that I wasn’t exactly an announced registered guest and realized that I was stuck.

I flipped through some books and rediscovered that the British girl’s name was Menna — I had forgotten it the moment she told me the night before.  I was hoping she would wake up so I could try to get back into town, but she was still out cold.  Another ten minutes I thought.  I killed time by taking a dump.

It was 7:15 and nudged Menna around to see if it would wake her.  She stood up and mumbled something in Welsh I think. 

“Um, yeah…so like, how do I get out of here?” I asked, trying not to sound too much like a jerk.  But Menna just passed out in her pillow and went back to sleep.  Okay, another ten minutes perhaps. 

I killed more time by worrying.  Puerto Ayora was a good 20 minutes away by car and I still had to get there before the shuttle departure to pack and grab my laundry.  I contemplated walking the whole way, but I remembered the dogs at the gate again.

A nudge at 7:30 finally woke Menna up.  “Yeah…so…um…I need to go…” I said.

“Oh right, I forgot.”  She assured me there was a 7:30 shuttle to town and called reception on the phone to confirm.  I overheard half of the conversation:

“Right…Oh…ten o’clock, huh?  I forgot it’s Sunday…okay…okay…well, let me ask him and then call you back.”

I was shit out of luck and stranded at the resort miles away from anywhere.  The only option was to call a cab to come all the way out from Puerto Ayora to bring me back into town for the “whopping” cab fare of seven dollars, which I was gladly willing to pay.  Menna had reception call me a taxi from town, which would take 30-40 minutes to arrive.  In the meantime, she got dressed and gave me a quick tour of the resort. 

We were in the highlands so clouds were everywhere that morning, and the little villas stood out like Smurf houses.  Menna showed me the extravagant main dining hall (picture above), the tennis courts and the pool, and the path that led to the super secret Presidential House where I think Al and Tipper Gore stayed out a little while before.  It being the low season, we were the only two people staying there and with the island mist it was sort of creepy.  It didn’t help that all the early morning staff was giving me weird looks.

Luckily the pickup truck taxi came around the rotunda to pick me up.  I thanked and kissed Menna goodbye and rode the half hour through the highlands back to Puerto Ayora with the friendly driver who liked to discuss the prices of pickup trucks.  I got back to my hostel room by 8:30.  Birgit was still lying in bed, feeling a little bit better.

I managed to shower, get my laundry, and pack my backpacks in record time.  Birgit and I ran into Sean and Sonya playing chess out in the common room and bid them farewell.  We picked up Navid at his hotel and managed to hail the only Sunday morning shuttle bus down from the road as it already started its hour-long route to the airport.

FAMILIAR FACES WERE AMONG US in the waiting room as it was relatively small tourist community and there was only one flight to Guayaquil and then Quito.  No one sat next to their partners, not even the couple of Hamburgers (from the city Hamburg, silly).  I caught up on some reading and writing and took a nap.

Upon arrival back on the continent, a time zone ahead, Navid tried to get a flight to Lima right away so he didn’t have to waste another day in Guayaquil.  I waited for him in the cafe to see what he could get, but in the end, he decided to prolong his parallel journey with me yet another day in hopes of getting a cheaper domestic fare within Peru.  We split a cab and checked into a the only hostel recommended in the Lonely Planet book in the quieter suburbs of Guayaquil, which was reminiscent of Los Angeles. 

I had a huge craving for Chinese food for some reason, and we found a fancy restaurant with some kick ass chicken with broccoli and spare ribs.

Sometimes “paradise” can come with a fortune cookie.

Next entry: Adventures in Border Crossing

Previous entry: I Love Boobies

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Comments for “Escape from Paradise”

  • Whao! I’m finally caught up! After reading the past few blogs I feel like I’ve been traveling the Islands for the last 6 days!

    And I’m the first poster!! For the very first time!

    The Blogs from the Islands are AMAZING… Holy National Geographic Eirk! Those pics were unreal!

    This has been the best Airchair traveling I have every done! Your Blogs have been the only thing tiding me over until my Asia trip… Thanks Eirk.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/01  at  03:50 AM

  • i retract my comment from the previous blog.

    dood..i think you got used. heh.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/01  at  12:49 PM

  • I can’t believe you forget her name…next time, repeat it a couple of times in your head. Excellent pics from the islands, I think I’ll have to place an order for some dups. Keep it up!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/01  at  03:22 PM

  • I’m glad you made it to the airport on time.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/01  at  07:13 PM

  • Doh! See now you understand the benefit of reeling in the girl with your fancy blue-footed dance moves EARLY in the evening.

    You’re such a gentleman. Nice. Now call the chica from the plane!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/01  at  07:33 PM

  • Go erik! And I don’t think he minded being “used.” And penny, you’re too young for such thoughts!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/02  at  03:38 AM

  • that resort is high class! how was she lucky enough to live there?

    no pic of menna?

    (i’m jealous)

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/07  at  01:02 AM

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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

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Next entry:
Adventures in Border Crossing

Previous entry:
I Love Boobies


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