Monday, June 22, 2009

Going Home

Well we are leaving in about 5 hours and we are packed and ready to go. We have spent the last week or so on the beach in a few realy cool towns along to coast of Ecuador. We have had a blast and are now ready to get home and see everyone!

I will save the last week of the trip to tell you about the next time I see you.


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Three Canadians Seek Boobies on Island of Silver...

What an exelent day, we took a tour today over to the Isla de la Plata (Island of Silver). It has been called the poor mans Galapagos Island, since it has some of the rare species on it that are found also on the Galapagos.

The island is 40 kms off the coast and takes about an hour and a half to get there. The seas were about 5 feet on the way over and it was realy choppy. Quite a rough ride. The guild had told us that there was a possibility that we may see some humpbacks on our way over, but we wern´t holding our breath. Luckly about 30 minuets into our journey we spoted some spray comming from the blowhole!! We chaced them down and found three humpback that put on a prety good show for us. The smaller one was doing some half jumps and splashing his tail arround quite a bit. We lost them for a little while but then they poped up right behind us and we watched them swim right under us!

Just as we were pulling up to the island, the bay we were in was full of huge sea turtles!! So we watched them for a while from the boat, but then they got spooked and swam off. On the island we did a 5km hike and saw a bunch of birds. The highlight had to have been the blue footed boobies. The jokes for these birds just flow like wine. If you have ever seen a picture of a bird on a Galapagos postcard or poster on anything, its probly a blue footed boobie. We also saw red footed boobies, red headed turkey vultures and a few other jarassic park looking birds whos names I can not remember.

We got back in the boat and took a 5 minuate ride to our snorkeling spot. It was much cooler than where we went yesterday. We saw alot of huge fish at this spot, and lots of cool coral formations. We spent alot of time in the water snorkeling but then Sage and I swam into a pack of jelly fish...No fun. Sage some how got stung on the nipple and on the leg and I got one on my moooustache and my forehead. They dont realy hurt but just are realy anoying so we got out. They were so small and clear that you couldnt even see them till they stung you. Besides the jellys, it was an awesome snorkeling adventure.

The way back was a little crazy, the seas got alot rougher and it took us almost 2 hours to return. I figured the swells were about 10 feet, since when we were in the bottom of them the water beside us was well over the roof of the boat! I had a great time getting soaked but Sage on the other hand with her motion sickness was not enjoying it nearly as much as I was. We made it tho, safe and sound and had an exelent day.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Leaving town

Quito has been great, Riley has got a new passport and we are heading out in a few minuates to get to the coast and get diving. Quito has been great. The hostel we are staying at is awesome and we have been cooking up a storm! We even found syrup for our pancakes and sour cream for our nachos. Stuff we havent had since we left! We have just been exploring arround the city and checking out some of the cool old buildings a such. We went into an old church where you could climb all the way up the clock tower and see out over the intire city. Quite the view!

One evening we headed out to the hot springs about 2 hours by bus from town. It was an exelent place and the pools were nice and deep and great to swim arround in. It was kinda wierd as we got a bus out there in the afternoon and were told that there was busses returning all night. So we enjoyed our time at the hot spings then did the 2 km walk to the road to catch the bus at 11 at night! Kinda creepy.... We sat for a while playing cards till we decided to walk another 2 kms into the town since there was no sighn of buses. There was a hotel right beside where we were waiting so I sugested that we go in and ask to see where to catch the buses. There was a happy family in the hotel enjoying a meal that informed us that we needed to walk to the highway to catch the bus, but they were heading to Quito that night and could give us a ride. It worked out perfectly, we did have to ride in the back of there truck, but luckly they had a canopy to keep the wind down and after a few games of 21 questions we were at our hostel!

The next day riley spent all day getting his pasport and trying to get an entry stamp. Hes standing in the capital city of Ecuador witha brand new passport and they still wont give him a stamp into the country??? Cant seem to figure that one out, but the people at the embasy say they will call the airport and let them know so he can get out of here in 2 weeks.

We left the next day for Quayguil, where we spent the night then today we headed to Puerto Lopez. An easy 3 hour bus ride that landed us right on the coast with lots of diving and snorkeling to be had!!!! Riley and I were hoping to take our PADI diving course but it seems that they want over 400 american for the 4 day course so we are thinking of doing the introduction to diving to at least get us breathing underwater 10 meteres. With the short time we have left we are going to try to spend most of it on the coast doing some diving, snorkeling and swimming!!!

Thats realy all I have new to report. Riley is still an illegal immmigrant to this country and we spent a little time last night half way thru our bus ride explaining to an officer how stupid his country is, but it was realy nothing and after about 5 mins we where back on the bus.

2 weeks till we get home.....See you soon.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Quito - A Wild One

Well Jordan left and had a decent flight home apparently, the plane out of Chiclayo was a little late so his connection in Lima was tight, but he made it home safe and sound and with a few storys im sure. We had planned to leave for the Ecuador boarder the next day but that night I fell quite ill so we had to stay in town for a few days till I was up for a bus ride.

We were fairly late leaving so we only made it as far as Mancura, wich is a good thing cause Tumbes (where we were trying to get to) is a terrible terrible place we learned yesterday. The worst part is that Riley left his pasport on the bus and when he went back someone had stole it along with a few hundred american dollars. He got a police report from the cops and they told him that he could probly get into Ecuador with that and get to the Canadian embasy in Quito. Otherwise he was going to have to take a bus to Lima, 1000 kms away and get a pasport there.

Mancura was a nice little town on the ocean that is packed full of tourists and tourist spots, but the beach rules and the water was warm so we spent a few days. The resturants all have tables set up right on the beach so you can just sit and eat awesome rice and seafood dishes for a few bucks! Riley was ancious to get going and try to get into Ecuador so we left yesterday to give it a shot.

Yesterday was the most stressfull days so far. The bus ride up to Tumbus was a little cramped witch im sure didnt help the whole situation. They cram so many people into a van down here it sucks. Luckly it was only about an hour and a half of not feeling my legs. When we got into Tumbes we were, as always, bombarded by people trying to give us a taxi. We thought the boarder was right in Tumbes so we jumped in a mototaxi (motorcycle turned into a trike). We drove for about a minuate then we stoped at a car and he told us that we were going to take the car to the boarder. As we threw our bags in the back a bunch of guys just came out of the wood work, wich happens down here some times cause people just love to stare. We got a bad feeling about it right away so we grabed our bags out of the car and told him that we weren´t getting in the car. He said alright and told us that we would take the moto.

Now looking back on it, its quite easy to see that we should have just walked away from the situation. But for some reason when your standing with your bag on your back, in the heat with a few people trying to talk to you in spanish its very hard to make decisions some times.

The guy said it was 2 soles each to get to the boarder, so we went for it. Between the three of us we were not worried about 1 guy on a motorcycle, but just as we were leaving another jumped on the back of the mototaxi. We seemed to think that he was on the bus from Mancura with us and just need a ride to the boarder and we thought he was on our side. He was a realy nice guy and chatted with us most of the way, till it was his turn to drive cause these mototaxis vibrate like crazy on the highway and no man could hang on for the 30 minuate ride it turned out to be.

We got to the Peru immigration and I tryed to pay the guy and get him to leave us alone. He wasnt going for it and told us that there was still 10 minuates to go to get to the boarder. He was in the immigration office before we were and at this point I was not happy. Riley had no passport, just a police report to try to talk his way through. We entered a room with an official and had a good conversation with the guy, he stamped something and sent us to another guy who stamped us out of Peru in our passports.

We were waiting outside for about 5 mins, then Sage decided to go inside and check on Riley. As she walked into the room she saw Riley and an official standing in the corner of the room and Riley, looking very pissed off was handing over a bunch of money. Sage was quickly led out of the room and told to wait outside. About a minuate after she came out so did Riley, looking still very pissed off. Rileys luck has not been traveling with him and had just been robbed by a cop!! There goes another hundred american, poor guy. He did get a stamp out of Peru and was told he could get into Ecuador.

Anyway, now we were infront of the immigration office wich is still apparently a few miles from the boarder. So we loaded back into our mototaxi and headed for the boarder. At this point we were three pissed off travelers. The mototaxi then proceded to take us to some sort of truck storage lot and told us that the boarder was right arround the corner. Now we were very unhappy and a little scared as a bunch of men came over. We went to pay him our 2 soles each and 2 quickly turned to 12. After a little arguing with these guys we decided to cut our losses, pay the guy and get the hell out of there. We threw him the money, told him what we thought of him and bailed, quickly. The next corner was lined with cops and we had a little bit of relief.

This boarder crossing was "stupid". Theres 2 towns, one on the peruvian side and one on the Ecuadorian side and the immigration offices are hidden in the towns for you to find. The Ecuadorian immigration office is 5 kms out of town....great. So we grabed a taxi and went to see what we could do. Sage and I got through no problems, but of course they weren´t giving Riley any kind of stamp on anything, but hell we were already in Ecuador so we jumped on a bus to Quito where there is an embasy so he could get some sort of passport.

We were a little nervous taking a bus with an illegal immagrent for 12 hours, but we realy didnt see any other practical option. As luck would have it, about 15 minuates after we left we were stoped at the exact immigration office that we had just been at........Luck was on our side an no one came onto the bus and we left in about 10 mins, then to another checkpoint, again 10 mins of shaking in our boots, and agin more luck. Finaly at the third checkpoint "everyone off the bus with your passport".......Shit. Riley was last man through the gate and the guard was great and understood our situation and let him go!!! Best news all day. This new lefted our spirits a little and we had a nice bus ride to Quito.

We got an awesome hostel in Quito in a big old house with a nice kitchen, patio, laundry area and everything we could ever need. Perfect for our situation.

So on the whole yesterday was a big learning experiance. We had heard that that boarder crossing was the worst on the continent and boy was it ever. But we made it thru and Riley is at the embasy as we speak arranging to get a new passport. It takes only 15 days to get a passport here. Wish it was that easy in Canada.

Anywho, we are relaxing now and heading to the store to get some ingrediants to cook up some food for the first time since Cuzco!!! I think that they even have beans here.
Adios for now.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Well the surf was great. We spent our fair share of time on the beach and finaly had to set out to get Jordan on his plane. It was a very entertaining 3 hour bus ride with a few salesmen selling all sorts of stuff. Then we had a flute player play us a little tune then a guy with a guitar stumming away! The local buses are a little crazy.

We are just on our way back fro the main market in town that has everything. Hundreds of vendors selling everything from fabric, fruit, veggies, meat, tupperware and realy anything you could ever imagine. Sage is feeling a little sick today so the boys are out running arround trying to speak some spanish. People in Chiclayo realy like to stare, and when we were at dinner last night these 2 kids watched us for about 20 minuates steady till there parents left and they followed.

Well Jordans plane leaves tonight, so we will send him off, stay the night, then head to equador tommorow hopefully if Sage is feeling better. I believe that its only about a 12 hour bus ride right into Quito so it shouldnt be to bad. The boarder crossing is suposed to the worst in south america so we will see how that goes and hopefully we can just cruise into equador without any trouble.

Recent reports have told me that the weather is getting better in the okanagan and in vancouver, so I hope that everyone is enjoying it and riding there motorcycles as much as possible. jajaja

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Surf

After tortugas we jumped another bus a headed north to Huanchaco. Its a awesome town and are looking forward to spending a week here or so. Jordans flight is from the city about 2 hours north of here and the surf is awesome and so is the cheap food. We realy cant see any reson why we would leave.

We have just been hanging out and relaxing! Theres random people with little BBQ´s arround on the steets that have amazing kabobs for a buck or so, and these wonderfull stuffed potatos. A few liver kabobs and a spud make a great meal for under 4 bucks! We have are ladys picked that we go to, and they seem just thrilled to see us.

We surfed the second day we were here and the next working I awoke feeling like I have fallen down the side of a mountain. I think a few weeks of surfing would whip you into the best shape of your life. We have now taken 2 days rest and are looking to get back in the water tommorow. The surf is huge today and its supposed to be big still tommorow, so im a little nervous but with bigger surf comes way nicer waves that look easyer. Im just not looking forward to battling through them to get out to where there not breaking where I can just sit on my board in awe waiting for a wave that looks good.

We are livin the life now and realy enjoying it. As soon as Jordan takes off we are going to head to Equador and hit some surf on the southern coast then bust it to Columbia where we can do some snorkeling and hopefully get our diving tickets on the Caribbean!!!!

Well sorry I took so long to do a little writing. I regret waiting that long since I just never feel like writing so much and I feel like my writing goes to shit, so im going to try and keep this thing up to date. Dont know how many times I have had to say that. My journal has that in it at the begining of every page...


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Such a Long Time Ago...

We left Cuzco arround 8am, and got tossed in a van and headed up and over the hill to Machu Pichu. None of us realy had any idea how far the van ride was going to be, but I was thinking somewhere in the 2 hour region, boy was I wrong. The road twised its way to Ollantaytambo, where most people jump off the bus and get onto the train. This is a very expensive option since the train is owned by and european company now and they have made the prices just rediculous. So we pressed on for Hydroelectirca.

The road past Ollantaytambo was the most impresive roads I have ever seen, and made Jordan I drool in disbelief that roads like this exist only when our motorcycles and thousands of miles away. It was probly over an hour up and and hour down of 1/2 - full mile straight aways with hairpins on either end and brand new pavement. Would have been wonderfull. Sage on the other hand was not enjoying tyhe road so much and was starting to get a little pale in the face region. By the time we got to the top and saw that we had just as far to go down she had had enough and made the driver pull over for a few minuates to stop the spinning in her head.

After we left the pavement it was still a good hour till we got to our lunch spot. Oh and we expected to eat breakfast at our hostel before we left but for some reason on that day they didnt feel like making any breakfast so we were all starving. The dirt was a little slower so Sage was in stable condition as we wound through the jungle. It was the first real jungle we have seen, with banana trees everywhere!

Things were looking up and it apeared that the road was going to chill out a little bit but soon agin we started climbing and climbing. This road was just as impressive but in a different way. It clung to the steep mountain side for what seemed like forever about a mile over the canyon floor. I was sitting on the cliff side of the van right at the window and was TERRIFIED! The driver actualy had to get out and move some of the rocks that formed a little barrier so we could get the van by!!! It was about an hour of terror before we got to the town where we ate some food then contiued about 30 minuates to Hydroelectica where we got the train to Aguas Calientas, our base camp for Machu Pichu.

In Aguas Calientas we met with our guide Freddy, who showed us to our hostel and eatting spots. He was a little scatterbrained and realy didnt know what was going on sice some of us had 2 days there while others were only there for 1. He got us our tickets for Machu Pichu and we went straight to bed to get some rest for our 4am departure.

The alarm beeped and no one moved. 4am was a terible time to be starting a hike, but after a while we all realized that we best get moving if we want to see the sunrise. The hike started out quite enjoyable. Even tho it was 4 there were quite a few people stirring arround town. I guess its a popular time to leave. The hike startes with about 20 minuates of flat road walking before the trail heads straight up the mountain for 3 kms of hell. It was one hell of a climb that left me gasping for air quite a few times. Once we got to the top we realized why we left so early, as the line was already quite big and the busses were pouring people in.

We had been told that we were allowed to bring in 20 litres of whatever we wanted, so we packed up some nice lunch stuff and a bunch of water. But at the top there was a stir of people that were pissed of cause they were getting there bags searched and getting told that they couldnt come in with there bags and they had to leave them in the storage area. With some stroke of luck just as we got to the ticket booth, the other side opened up and the guy on that side didnt seem to care at all and just waived us through. Perfect!

We waled for about 500 more feet to where it all opened up and we could see it all. It was amazing, so green and peaceful. Of course there was one more "rush" that had to be done. That huge mountain you see in the back of all the pictures of Machu Pichu is called Huanupich and actualy has a ruin on the top of it and of the thousands of people that come to Machu Pichu everyday, they only let 400 up. So we had to go jump in line to get our stamp so that we could go up. After we got our stamps, we headed to the highest point to watch the sunrise over the mountain.

The sunrise was so beatutif that we missed our tour. Whoops. We figured that we could just wanted and toss an ear in on some other tours that were taking place so thats eaxctly what we did. We wander arround in awe till 10 when the gates to Huanupichu opened when we started another gueling climb to the top. This climb seemed a little easyer for some reason and reach the top in no time. What a view, you can see the intire machu pichu ruin along with the inca trail cut across the mountain.

Huanupichu is crazy, you look at a stone and cant imagine how anyone could have got it there. That one picture of Sage laying in the dirt looking down over the edge is incredable. The pitures dont realy show it but that is a cliff that is over 1km tall!!! and somehow there is a little rock wall along to the top of the cliff. It was terrifying yet amazing.

After we were done browzing Huanupichu we desided to go check out the "great cave" and there was a trail that went down the back side of Huanupichu that apparently went to this so called great cave. After about a hour of walking down and down we were getting a little nervous. Finaly after alot of downhill walking (very hard on the knees) we got to the cave. It was cool and there were even a few other people there wich was exciting since we handnt seen anyone for about an hour of wandering through the jungle. The only problem was that we were exhausted and the hike from the cave back to machu pichu was over an hour!!!! This was hell and just about killed us.

After reaching Machu Pichu completly exhausted and out of water, we recharged and headed for the inca drawbridge. A nice flat walk to a cool little structure built to try to stop intruders from getting to machu pichu. There we ate some palta sandwiches and decided it was time to head back to home base. It was raining at this point and the walk sown to the valley floor seemed like a very long way, but once we got going it was alright and we made it just after dark. We then hit the hot springs for a quick dip in the pools before the power went out and we were sitting in the for some reason, draining pools.

The next moring we headed back to Cuzco arround noon. We had a smaller van this time with AC and Sage sat in the front and had a way better journay. Jordan, Riley and I were in the back having a great time singing along to all the 80´s hits the driver had on his cds. Clare I sang the Rocky tune extra loud for you! We got to cuzco arround 9ish and hit McDonalds!!!!! Its exactly the same as canada, except they provide mayo in the pump beside the ketchup.

We stayed one more night in Cuzco and hit the bus terminal the next day to catch a bus to the coast and that we did. We wanted to go to a town called Pisco, but the bus never stoped there so we continued the 24 hours through to Lima, than grabed some KFC (crazy amount of fast food latley) and continuted a few more hours to Tortugas. It didnt say much about it in the book, but what it did say sounded nice. I supose sometime in the year this is a hip hapenin little town but definatly not at this time of year. We seemed to be the only people in the town and had to walk a few Kms to find and elderly lady to cook us some food.

Speaking of food the guy running this internet cafe seems to want to go and get some of that himself and is closing us down.... More to come. Along with editing.