Monthly Archives: April 2012

It´s been a while

Hey all,

Soooo, where to start. Uuuuuum maybe from where we are now and then work backwards… At the moment we´re in a wee coastal town called Canoa, we got here early monday morning on an over-night bus from Quito, and after staying one night in a strange place a wee way outa town we found a better hostal in town that a couple we meet on the bus were staying in (10 bucks a night with kitchen, own bathroom and hammocks looking out onto the beach aint bad!).  Canoa is a little town with one main street, and pretty quiet. It´s beach is great for learning to surf so we´ve hired boards for the week and have been getting up early to have a surf while the waves are nice and small, then generally being pretty lazy as there´s not a lot else to do! The other day we took a bus to another wee town not far from here so we could find an atm…turns out the bus doesn´t actually go through the centre of the town, which we didn´t know, so we stayed on it waaaaay to long, waiting for something that resembled a city center, which didn´t happen haha. I got to use my sweet spanish to ask the bus man if the bus would eventually turn around, aparently not. He flagged down a passing bus going the other way which we hopped on and made our way back to a different town where we found an atm and got back to Canoa in one peice. Aaah the adventures we have.

We meet a cool Aussie couple who are awesome surfers following the swell around south America, living the dream. They took us to an awesome eatery that we mighten´t have been adventurous enough to go to otherwise, and we got an amazing fish and coconut curry. I now have a bit of a gasto thing but it was soooo worth it (so much so that I had the meal again the next day haha). We´ll hopefully be meeting up with them in Cusco to do a bit of trekking after the inca trail.

Before leaving Quito we went to the crazy Semana Santa Easter parade which we posted photos of. We also missioned it to Cotopaxi national park for a few days, just getting there was an adventure in itself, having to use our spanish to try and find someone to take us from a wee town that we bussed to, to the actual park itself. It was pretty freezing there and high up, around 4000 metres. Dave said the landscape reminded him a bit of Tongariro national park. It was kinda weird coz there was a few roads that ran through the park, and we hiked for a few hours to get to a lagoon to find lots of big tourist buses there and large groups of people, and there we were, puffed and with massive packs on! It felt a little fraudulent, I think New Zealand has spoilt us in terms of national parks. Anywho we ended up walking up a hill and found a sweet camping spot that had a view of a rocky volcano. My favourite part was the nights; we could see sooo many stars and there would always be this weird thing going on in the sky, all around the horizon it would light up like lightening but without the noise, it was so cool. On our way out of the park we had a great pick-up driver who was really friendly and new a little bit of English, so we managed to have a mixed language conversation with him which was great.

On Tuesday we´re off to Riobamba to see Martin and Anke who are working at the hospital there, and then making our way down to Peru.

I don´t think there´s really anything else to report, hope all is well with everyone,

Love lots, Jess and Dave

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procession of the saints in old town

procession of the saints in old town

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todo con queso: everything with cheese

Hi all,

In the weekend we finally got out of the city! Very exciting. We organised a trip with a few of our friends (that´s right, we have friends) Wenke (lovely German girl from our hostel), Martin and Anke (a German couple from our school, also lovely) up to Mindo, a wee town 2 hours bus-ride north west of Quito in the cloud forest. It was AMAZING! such a lovely warm climate, with lush bush, lots of birds, friendly people AND it was even safe to walk around at night-time! We found a lovely place to stay that a random american guy told us about, about 10mins walk out of town. It was a little paradise; hammocks on the deck looking out into the trees, open air house, swimming pool and spa, and we had it all to ourselves. On saturday we walked to a mariposario, butterfly farm, with about a million butterflys and I finally got to see lots of hummingbirds too, amazing! Then we hailed a pick-up and rode on the back up to a walking track that leads down to the river and waterfalls. Half-way down the track we spotted some sweet zip-lining high up across the river, and after watching a couple of people jump off we decided we had to do it – how could you not for only 3 hux? I was a wee bit scared when the guy in charge left 3 teenage boys to get my harness organised and clipped in, but i didn´t die in the end so it was all good. Once that was done tiene hambre (we were hungry, a phrase that me and Dave know well) so we stopped at a wee bbq also down the track (they honestly set up bbqs everywhere you can imagine) and had big fried bananas with cheese…i know, cheese, everything has cheese, BUT it was actually really yum! After feasting we carried on down to the river and saw a big concrete water-slide and a place for jumping into the river, which dave and martin were very pleased about, although after walking a bit further down-stream and seeing a deadly waterfall and a couple of ropes to grab onto so you weren´t swept down said waterfall, I was a little hesitant. The others didn´t seem to mind and bravely had a go on the slide, and after a bit of encouragement i did too, and once again I didn´t die. Dave, Martin, and Wenke were muy valiente (very brave) and jumped from 10 metres above the river, each of them looking a bit beaten up when they emerged from the water. Loco chicos. That night we went out for tea, it was great eating and drinking and chatting with lovely people. I also learnt how to eat a whole fish, totes awesome bro. The atmosphere was great, people just hanging out on the one street of the town, dogs roaming, kids playing, vehicles giving way to everyone – certainly somewhere you could spend a lot longer than just 1 weekend.

As written earlier, we´ve finished up at la escuela español, feeling a bit more confident about getting by, and able to understand a bit of what people are saying which is pretty cool. Even though we´re pleased to be finished and it feels like our holiday is actually starting (we got to sleep in til 9 today!), it was definitely worth doing and I´d recomend it to anyone wanting to travel in a country where English isn´t spoken much. Semana Santa (easter friday) is coming up so we´re looking forward to seeing some crazy procesions through town, where people wear purple capes and hoods, a bit reminiscent of kkk-style pointiness… I hear they make a mean soup with everything in it around Easter time so I´m on the look-out for that (of course I am).

Love you all lots, and have a lovely easter xox

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Last day of school!

Today was our last day of school, they gave us this photo of us with our lovely teacher Ruth. I can’t believe we’ve been here for a month already…
Tommorow we’ll write more and post photos of all the things we’ve been up to, promise xox

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