Saturday, March 29, 2008

Don't Throw "Krystle" From the Train

While on my Trip to what I thought was Cotopaxi...all I thought about was the Movie with Danny Devito and Billy Crystal Throw Momma from the Train. Why? Because I was actually riding on top of a moving train. Not that scary, but now looking back at it...that's pretty daring!

It all started when my friend Joanna and I wanted to go horseback riding around the Volcano Cotopaxi. She was about to leave and wanted to do as many things as possible. It's so beautiful. Who wouln't want to ride around a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire!

We decided instead of taking a bus (as usual), let's live on the wild side and take the train. Sure they derail and are totally uncomfortable (we're not talking AMTRAK), but what the hey...nothing is impossible.

We had to get up Super Early and this is right after my Galapagos Trip, so I didn't really get a chance to rest. So in my defense, this picture looks bad because it was early and I really did look bad!

So, we are expecting a 3 hour train ride, since of course, it's about 3 hours away. After about an hour, the train stops. EVERYONE on the train is wondering why we are stopping at a station....since when do they take restroom breaks!

Turns out...we aren't going to the Cotopaxi Volcano....we are going to Cotopaxi Train Station (which is an hour away in car)


So, they provide transportation for those who want to go to Cotopaxi....a Truck. $5 per person, not to mention a $10 entrance fee to Cotopaxi Park. I hadn't planned on spending $20.00 for this trip. Now I know it sounds weird and you think I must be crazy to not take a trip for under $20.00, but here in Ecuador, that's highway robbery. This was the truck, that I was EXPECTED to ride in the back of along with 20 other people. Umm....this excitement was staged for the picture!

So, instead of hitching the ride, why not go into what seems like a nice little park to spend 3 1/2 hours (that were originally meant for horseback riding)

We decided to go to El Boliche (A Park that is a real tourist magnet....sarcasm....)

It wasn't sooo bad to spend our time. We saw lots of llamas and hiked through brush, leaves, and mud.

There was even a museum, which was pretty cool...but remember how I said it was a really big tourist site. Well, I'm not the smartest button on the sweater, but I don't think they get too much business around there. It was a nice small museum that provided warmth. It was really COLD there!

By the way: This is a model from the museum showing where we were and where we thought we were going.

So when it was time to go, we decided to ride on top of the train. It wasn't any warmer, but you only get one chance to ride on the top of a train. There is NO WAY you could get away with that in the US....people would sue them just for the wind getting in their faces!

Now, this was technically the highlight of our trip. The interesting thing is what happened while on top of the train. We saw some beautiful sights and of course took picture after picture and video after video. So, again, I tell you that I'm not the smartest button on the sweater nor am I the smartest weathergirl! I KNOW that it rains in Quito every afternoon. I KNOW this...I've been living here for like 8 months. For some reason, I forgot this small stormy detail while on top of the train. I did however bring a poncho...but honestly, COLD, RAIN, and a Plastic PONCHO didn't make anything any better.

My pants were soaking wet! It was horrible....It is not a good idea to get jeans wet. We all were kicking on the train so they would stop. "Pare, Pare, Pare". Finally, the train stopped (brakes weren't so great) and I was the first one to high tail it off. There was no ladder, but I showed off my acrobatic skills and did a double somersault into the train. My primary focus was to get out of the rain. I can't believe that even now, I think that is probably one of the most exciting and dangerous things that I've ever done!

This is why I don't think I want to hear anything else about ANYBODY being thrown from a Train again! I have a different perspective on train rides.

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