After disembarking from our 5 hour water adventure it was dark out. We were tired and our tempers were short. We had no idea how we would get to our accommodations. Were there taxis? Where would we eat? We passed a band playing to an audience on what we thought was the main drag (it wasn't), and I thought to myself, if we would have arrived when we were supposed to have we could have been watching this. Oh well, the fact was, we arrived late and there was nothing we could do to change that. We followed some of the people who had been on the boat with with us and all of us started to ask for a taxi which we quickly found. It was someones pick-up truck. Tom and I were put into the back seat (I think because we were the oldest) and at least a half dozen or so other people were crammed in the back of the pick up truck. We told the driver where we were going and we were dropped off at Hostel Loja (and compared to the cost of the taxis on Santa Cruz, this was expensive, but hey, it was still cheap and the guy was doing pretty good business). Tom showed the staff person, Evelyn our booking confirmation and we were taken to our room but it was not the room we had booked. Tom had booked a room with a balcony and a double or king size bed, but we had two twin beds. When we tried to explain this is not what we had booked, it became obvious that our lack of Spanish and the hosts' lack of English was a barrier. Somehow we figured out that Evelyn had been sick for a couple of days and another couple was put into our room by another staff person. By making a handmade calendar on a scrap piece of paper we learned our room would be available in two days. Tired and not too happy about this, we agreed to spend the next two days in this room and by the way, it was awesome to have air conditioning which we had not had while we were in Puerto Lopez (a fan) and Santa Cruz (a fan)!
Next, where would we eat? Luckily as we left the main entrance of the hostel we started talking to a young couple from Ottawa (small world, isn't it) who had been on Isabela for a few days and knew where we could find a place to eat. As we walked together together, they showed us a place where they had ate which was a mom and pop place (aka soda). Through our conversation we learned they both worked in Ottawa for the government and were able to take several months off with pay due to a program by which a percentage of their paycheque is deducted which could be banked and by doing this when they were taking extended time off, they would still have a salary.
Although they did invite us to join them for dinner on the main strip (later on, during our stay we located the main strip which was about a 5 minute walk from our hotel and considerably smaller than the main strip in Santa Cruz) we decided since we were both somewhat grumpy and tired, it would be best to eat by ourselves and then head back to our room and hit the sack.
The meal we had was great, and inexpensive and the hosts very friendly. We ended up going to this place every night for dinner while we were in Isabela.