Otavalo to Toacaso (Drive Day 143: November 19th, 2003)

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Never take North American ATMs for granted. In Ecuador, like many developing countries, those machines of convenience distrust your means and resent dispensing cash that would otherwise say in its country’s vaults. Otavalo’s $300 at a time withdrawal limit is actually generous, but it means we can only travel with enough cash to finance six days on the road. And once we leave Otavalo we have no idea if any of the high Andean towns on the map even have ATMs. If the roads are any indication we might need to start stashing cash under the camper’s carpet. This is seriously remote and rough terrain. The camper’s water tank crack is getting more serious. Instead of ATM’s we’ll have to start searching for a hardware store or market to buy contact cement.

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Follow this bonus-material blog and ride along on a one-year road trip that inspired the memoir The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan American Highway. On sale now. Get yours through the buy-the-book links at the bottom of the landing page on my teresabrucebooks.com website or here or here. Planning a road trip? Buy the audiobook here. Like The Drive’s Facebook page and tweet back at me @writerteresa.

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