Usually we have been pretty lucky with our travels but I’ve been done for the second time this trip. Firstly my $1000 stash of US dollars was taken either from the hotel room in Houston when we were at breakfast or when the luggage was handled at the airports Houston / Quito. Hidden deep in the toilet bag it was only the top note that was left, so it appeared there when I looked. Can’t get any action from the police in Ecuador unless ther is an assault I have been told, but I also wasn’t prepared to lose a day trying to get copy of a report from them.
Today the taxi driver got us for far fewer dollars when he dropped the $5 I gave him and produced a $1 and asked for the rest of the $3 fare. It would be a scam that would be easy to fall for, and if Ruby and I hadn’t been looking for the exact change and been sure of what we gave him we would have had doubts. You look at the average income of the folk in this country ($US 7000 ) and realise that seeing the relatively wealthy tourists could make a poor taxi driver keen to get a few extra bucks. It is nicer to give it rather than have it taken though.
It is a problem for us at times where you have to have cash for travel essentials, you spread it over lots of locations to spread the risk but it is not fool-proof.