“Oh sh*t.” I thought as I looked at my friend who I was driving to south Quito main bus terminal.
Now, anyone who knows Quito knows don’t go to south Quito.
Its rough. Locals joke with reason, ‘go into south Quito and you’ll come out naked.’
In fact, there’s only one reason I can think of to EVER go to south Quito, and thats to go to the main bus terminal in Quitumbe, where we were going.
And it was 10pm at night, pitch black.
I pulled the car over and told my friend, “man, sorry but we are really lost.”
Should I even try to ask someone for directions in my broken Spanish or is that not a good idea? I thought.
As we sat there pondering what to do next, among the shadows we saw this figure, it looked like a baby. A baby selling something. As it noticed us and started walking towards us my ecuadorian friend from Guayaquil pulled out his phone and opened the WAZE app.
He said, hey look at this… my friends and I use this all the time. Its a free GPS with great, detailed maps of Ecuador. Just plug in where you want to go and it will tell you how to arrive and where you are.
“And we better get out of here cause that baby is about to rob us,” he finished.
So we did just that and plugged in the Quitumbe Terminal and zipped out of there, and a guided U-turn, and two rights later we were at the bus terminal saying our goodbyes.
The road detail complete with street names of WAZE, even deep in the ghetto of South Quito, is amazing. And even the smallest towns on the coast appear too.
Other users called Wazers even upload info about police stops and traffic problems in real time.
And its much better than buying GPS hardware like a Garmin for which you then need to buy an Ecuador map chip which may or may not be out of date.
Plus, try pulling out a Garmin while walking in the middle of the street. Think not. Talk about looking like a tourist.
Or just pull out your phone and open Waze and you can get a quick look at where you are and where you need to go. Very nondescript!
And its free!
And by far the best maps of Ecuador I have found!
So go download Waze to your phone and check it out before you come to Ecuador!
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