Page 4 of Rob2008 Travel Blog Posts

South America » Ecuador » West » Puerto López July 16th 2008

Peurto Lopez has a picturesque setting, golden sands, turquoise waters and lots of whales 20 minutes out to sea by fast boat. Its only a 30 minute flight from Quito and then a 2 hour bus journey from Manta and its well worth a visit. I went for three days and crammed in a lot including seeing whales for the first time which was an amazing experience, visitng the National park nearby ( Playa Los Frailes beach) and staying at the Hosteria Mandala and eating lots. The whale watching was a highlight and the main reason gringos come to PL between June and September when the whales are travelling up the Pacific coast from the Antartic to give birth to their calves in warmer waters. They literally jump out of the air to do an acrobatic ... read more
Puerto Lopez
Puerto Lopez
Puerto Lopez

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Cotopaxi July 11th 2008

After the Galapagos trip we returned to Quito for two nights out on the town sampling some quality red wine, Tapas, traditional ecuadorian food and cocktails. I decided to book a tour to Cotopaxi National parkwith Gullivers travels after a couple of recommendations. Cotopaxi (5897m) is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. Its last eruption was in 190. The land around it has tundra like vegetation, wild horses roaming around and the air is very thin at 3500m ! After an early 7.00am start it took around two hours to get to the National park where the guide recommended we purchase some gloves and hats as it gets really cold up at the refuge. The bus then took us to the Museo Mariscal Sucre where there are lots of maps of the park ... read more
Climbing Cotopaxi
The serious hikers learning the ropes for when they start the hike to the top at midnight
Climbing back was a lot easier

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos July 10th 2008

The Galapagos is a truly magical place with stunning scenary, gorgeous beaches, great snorkling and the highlight is the incredible animals that let you come up really close!!! Its very expensive to get there from Quito but its worth every cent and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to see the Islands which are probably most famous for Charles Darwin´s visit in 1835 which spurred him to formulate his theory of evolution by natural selection. The Islands were claimed by Ecuador in 1838 and are officially known as Archipielago de Colon and consist of 18 Islands. I booked a 5 day 4 night tour with GAP Adventures which took in the Islands of Santa Cruz, Seymour, Santiago and Bartolome, Santa Fe and Isla San Cristobal. As part of the tour you also stay ... read more
Sunset in the Galapagos
Sea lions on Seymour Island
Bird at the port in Peurto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island

Bellavista Cloud Forest is a charming place two hours drive from Quito on the Mindo road. Its worth taking the 1 or 2 day all inclusive package as they pick you up from your hotel which is a lot easier than getting the bus to Mindo and then arranging for further transport to the reserve. I took the 2 night 3 day trip and it was recommended by the Rough guide and a few trip reports on the South American Explorers club had said it was great. The reserve comprises 7 square kilometres of mountains, deep gorges, streams, waterfalls clothed in dense cloudforests. There are 20 well marked trails and a guide takes you out twice a day. Some of the trails are challenging but excellent walks and I´d never been to a cloudforest before. There ... read more
Out hiking
Waterfall on trail Q
View of mountains

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito June 26th 2008

Quito is the capital of Ecuador and is high up in the Andes mountain range at 2800m. The altitude took my breath away when I arrived on 19th June feeling a bit dizzy for a few seconds when leaving the plane and for around three days the symptoms were shortness of breath when walking around or up stairs, feeling tired and a slight headache. The medical experts say to literally do nothing for a day which was not difficult and to avoid alcohol and take asprin if required. A taxi from the airport is USD 5 from the little taxi kiosk outside the terminal on the right and it takes about 20 minutes. Central Quito is divided into two distinct parts, the compact Old Town with lots of Squares, cobbled streets, Churches and Police, Security guards ... read more
The equator line

South America » Chile » Santiago Region » Santiago June 21st 2008

Well you´re in for a treat I´ve been hard at work for the last two days in numerous internet cafe´s creating new blogs. Santiago is the first city I visited in South America after departing New Zealand on 17th June. That day was the longest in history lasting approximately 36 hours! I left Auckland at 5pm after spending a full day wondering around and ended up in Santiago at 1.00pm the same day and went out sightseeing until I finally crashed out around 7.30pm after watching a few episodes of Nighty Night series 2. Santiago is very much like a European city surrounded by huge mountains and in that sense was not what I was expecting so was glad I´d only scheduled in 2 days. I had no guide book so took a map from the ... read more
View from cable car
The Andes in the distance
Mountain from view point

Oceania » New Zealand May 27th 2008

Well New Zealand certainly exceeded my expectations! I wasn't sure what to expect as a few people had mentioned how amazing the place was but its the kind of country you have to visit to appreciate why. I hope the pictures I took do the place justice! As with the Oz blog I've done just one covering all the places I visited. Enjoy the piccies there are 105 of them to keep you occupied during those dull moments at work! Wellington - Windy and rainy Welly that´s how I'll remember this place. Its actually a really nice city with a harbour, mountainside, great RB's, brilliant museums but the weather was awful it rained everyday I was there and during the All Blacks v Ireland rugby game the temperature suddenly dropped 8 degrees and I got soaked ... read more
Cook straight ferry
Wellington view
The sun trying its best on Wellington

Oceania » Australia May 23rd 2008

Hi everyone, Here is the Oz blog at last. You might have noticed its become impossible to keep up to date on these blogs I don't know how other bloggers manage! I have created just one blog for the whole of Oz rather than seperate ones for each region I visited, which were in order of appearence (1) New South Wales, Sydney - home of the Waratah's, sophisticated HRB's, Opera House, Sydney harbour bridge (and Lou Lou) (2) Victoria, Melbourne - home of the Quigleys (3) Queensland, Cairns area and Brisbane. Sydney The flight down to Sydney from Bangkok on 9th April was pleasant enough and we touched down at around 6.00am. It was a great feeling walking through the terminal and being back in Oz after 2 1/2 years and Sydney 5 1/2!!! After clearing ... read more
Sunset in Sydney
USD 50 room in Hostel !!!
The Quigley's

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap May 4th 2008

Hi everyone, Well here is the last of the SEA blogs, better late than never!!!. Siem Reap reminded me a bit of Chang Mai in Thailand when I first got there. It is supposed to be Cambodia's fastest growing city and serves as the gateway town to the world famous heritage the Angor temples. The town itself is really nice, small and easy to get around with the usual HRB's. I stayed at the Mandalay Inn which spookily was also the name of the guesthouse in Chang Mai!! For USD 17.00 a night it was pretty comfortable with fridge and cable TV and the staff as always in Cambodia were all smiles. I got there on a Sunday I think after another uncomfortable bus journey but at least the scenary was nice!. When the bus turns ... read more
Angkor Wat
Path leading up to Angor Wat
Angor Wat

Asia » Cambodia » South » Sihanoukville March 29th 2008

Sihanoukville is a port city on the Gulf of Thailand which has a number of different beach resorts. After another uncomfortable bus journey ( the seats are too small) I got a moto to Serendipity beach where I'd heard was where the backpackers head to. Serendipity is quite a cool little town with lots of guesthouses, bars, restuarants and beach front bungalows. The rest of Sihanoukville is quite spread out so you have to get a moto to the other beaches ( Otres, Victory and Sohka) or if you want to pop into the main town area. I'd only planned to spend 4 days here but ended up leaving 2 1/2 weeks later!!! It was an amazing place where I had the most fun in Asia. The people were so friendly and good fun. The beaches ... read more
Bamboo Island
My home for 2 nights
View from bed in beach bungalow

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