Everything was going along swimmingly. I had finished up all my calls and was getting ready to leave the hotel. I had worked it out with the Hotel Bell person to arrange a Taxi to take me from Guayaquil to Ballenita. A 2 hour drive, easy. He had quoted $60 and that was, according to my Uber estimate, as savings of $40! So, I was all for it and booked the transportation. I'm not one of those people who cares about whether I'm being robbed or not. What I care about is my perception (at that moment in time or at that moment in my learning curve) of the value. Try to arrange a cab from SFO to the Napa Valley. Right?
So there you have it as to why I thought it was an amazing savings. I'd checked out and was handing my backpack to the bell person when I asked if the guy took credit cards.
He looked at me like I was an idiot. And I probably was because I'm sure he was making a bit and credit cards mean paper trail, which mean taxes which means paying more.
So, I said "Donde esta un Cajero?" He replied that the ATM was around the corner.
I ran down the block to find money. My card was rejected. I used another card. Rejected.
And then I used my last card. Rejected. Holy Shit! I'm f-cked! What am I going to do?
I've checked out. I have a guy sitting there in his cab waiting for me and a bell person holding my 60lb backpack with everything...everything in it. I went back to the front desk, all the while quietly pointing out "un momento, por favor...un momento"
The front desk told me to buzz off. They don't ever ever and even double with Gringo's give cash to a guest in crises. I asked if they would accept my credit card if I stayed another night...and you know the answer.
Finally, by a sheer miracle, during all that stress and frustration, I realized I had my cell and could use the Uber app. I handed the cab driver and the bell person my last $20 and apologized.
So, I banged on my phone and ordered an Uber. It banged back with a $100 charge for Uber Comfort and $120 for Uber X. I had no choice. I confirmed the order.
As the driver got within a minute of the Hotel, he texted me "Ballenita?" I replied in the affirmative and the app went blank for a moment and then started looking for another ride.
4 attempts and 30 minutes later, a hero name Xavier accepted the deal when I offered an extra $20 in cash on the side.
He turned out to be a great guy and we talked soccer for 2 hours until he dropped me off at the Farallon Dillon Hosteria in Ballenita. I gave him an extra $20 and he drove back the 2 hours to Guayaquil and texted me "Thank you Mr. Larry".
My check in with Mr. Douglas Dillon the 3rd Generation Dillon to own the Hosteria went perfect, the room overlooks the ocean and is above their restaurant. The Quincenera's and Weddings and Fashion shows have been non-stop. This place is the party place of the region. And it's one group of beautiful people after another and One Great Band and Singer after another. No wonder Latin American's are the happiest people I've ever meet.
Music and dancing are in their soul. The moment the singer starts to sing, everyone else follows in full voice and then they get up and dance! It's fantastic! It's like the best Bar Mitzvah you've ever been to 24/7!
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