I think I have everything worked out for my departure from here and what I'll be doing once I reach my destination.
My friend who went down there twice said that one of those times her luggage did not arrive with her. If that were to happen to me, it could be pretty bad. I'll be flying into Quito, the country's capital, and then taking a car service to Cotacachi. The drive costs $70, which might seem like a lot but it's a two-hour drive and I keep trying to remember what it would cost to do that here. What if I wanted to take a cab to Duluth?
At any rate, the idea of going to Cotacachi without my belongings and then having to go back down to get them was not my idea of a good time. Then I had a flash of the obvious.
I'll arrive in Quito a week before I'm due to move into my apartment and get a room there for a few nights and then go up to Cotacachi, even if my luggage all arrives with me. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, I'm going to be dead tired after a full day of airplanes and airports. I get into Quito at 10:56 p.m. and then I still have to clear customs. Second, it would be good to just have a few days to get used to the altitude and not have anything I feel I need to do. And of course if my baggage doesn't arrive with me, it would be so much simpler to be there rather than a two-hour drive away.
Then I'll go to Cotacachi a few days early so I can spend some time with the woman from whom I'm subletting my apartment. She has offered to show me around town, introduce me to people, help me learn some of the local customs, point out the best merchants at the local outdoor market, etc. That was so generous of her. She has already reserved a room for me at the hostel in Cotacachi and as soon as I confirm my arrival date in Quito, I'll reserve my room there.
The room in Quito will be almost twice the cost of the one in Cotacachi but it has excellent reviews and it's only for three nights. One of the major benefits is that it has a restaurant and coffee bar on the main floor, so if I'm totally fried on that first day there I don't even have to go find a restaurant.
The Quito location is The Magic Bean and the one in Cotacachi is La Cuadra.