Otavalo, Ecuador, June 15, 2003 — We left the market and the beaten path behind on Day 8 of our round the world adventure, and hiked through the hillsides. It was a beautiful hike and nice to get away from all the commotion of the town. We left that evening on a bus back to Quito, and it turned into the first of many bus mishaps. A truck swerved across the line and hit us. The truck looked totaled, and our bus didn’t look really great either, with a gash in its side and a rainbow spill of oil on the asphalt. We piled out with the others and tried to hitch rides with passing buses. We piled back on after failing to catch rides. Then down the road, at a toll booth, the bus crier found rides for all of us, paying for them himself. We stood in the aisle of the overloaded bus initially (no matter how rough a subway can get, it’s got nothing on a bus screaming down the curves of the Andes), but we eventually got seats as others reached their destination.