Posts filed under 'Ecuador'
Wow, sorry for such a long hiatus between updates. As we mentioned, our little Acer D255 laptop has managed to kill its second hard drive – its currently averaging only 4 months per drive! Which means we haven’t blogged about the end of our journey through Ecuador nor have we even started on Peru (very bad, since we’re now at Lake Titikaka, ready to pop over to Bolivia in the next day or two).
So the rest of Ecuador. We stopped in the mountain town of Banos, expecting only to be there for a few days but ending up staying for over a week. There’s heaps of adventure activities to do there, from bridge swinging to white water rafting to volcano hiking and much more. What did we do out of all that? Actually none of it. We just chilled out, did several walks up the sides of the valley where the town is located and enjoyed the vast multitude of restaurants on offer. One of the other main reasons for hunkering down for several days was to finally work out if we were going to do the Galapagos Islands or not. Even from the initial day dreams about the trip, we had been hoping to get out there and now that we are both Dive Masters the thought of doing some diving there with all the hammerhead sharks was super appealing too.
But even with all the help we got from friends and contacts we’d met along our travels about doing Galapagos on a budget, we realised it wouldn’t be cheap. In fact, chatting with my parents who were about to leave on a 6 week “safari” around Southern Africa in their trusty landrover, we discovered that what we could expect to spend in as few as 10 days out on the Galapagos would cover 2 months of safari-ing around Southern Africa. In the end we just couldn’t justify it, and so we decided we’d carry on South into Peru.
After leaving Banos, we caught the bus down to Cuenca where we stopped for 2 nights. We enjoyed strolling around the town and saw our first real-life shrunken heads(!!) in one of the museums we popped into. Crazy. No photos of them though as they were very strict about not taking cameras into the premises. One of the highlights of Cuenca was finally spotting the Southern Cross for the first time.
From Cuenca we bussed on down to Mancora in Peru. The trip wasn’t nearly asÂ arduous as the forums we’d read on the web made out to be, so much so we actually did a writeup about that specific leg for other travellers who stumble across our blog. Check it out here.
Anyway, as we’ve said, our photos are what are holding us back so for the next few updates it will be text only.
Add comment July 13, 2011
On our way down south, we decided to pay a quick visit to Quito, Ecuador’s capital city way up at 2800m above sea level. We thought the taxi driver was having a laugh wanting to charge us $8 to get from the bus terminal to our hostel – turns out the new bus terminal was miles away from anywhere and it took us 40 minutes just to get into town.
We arrived at The Secret Garden hostel and had to climb 5 floors to get to the roof terrace / reception area to check in, but the view that greeted us as we coughed and spluttered, was amazing (it wasn’t that we’re unfit – it was the altitude!)
We were based in the Old Town and one could see all the way down the valley to the base of one of the volcanoes to the left, and the Old Town sprawled in front us.
Over the following few days we explored a bit of the city strolling through the winding cobbled streets and taking in all that Quito had to offer. One of the days was a public holiday and in one of the main squares we watched a mountain bike event – lots of expensive bikes being ramped off the side of a wall. Only 3 wipe-outs!
Once we’d acclimatised, it was time to move on!
Add comment June 6, 2011