Published: June 8th 2012June 8th 2012
Dear family and friends,.....................(If this is too much to read, then at least have a look at the pics!!)
The last time you heard from us we were on the ecuadorian coast. Well we have travelled through two counties and have picked up more friends along the way. Lets get back to the tale.
We endend up in Montanita on the coast of ecuardor and spent a lazy week soaking up some sun and playing on the beach. Our good friend Charles had to go back home and it was sad to see the lad leave but as they say 'all good things must come to an end' (Thats your trip im talking about charles!!! ha ha ha). We got out the lonely planet and formulated a basic plan. The plan was, pass the dangerous Columbian border and then try and make our way up to the Caribbean. We jumped on another bus and boosted it up to Ecuadors capital city Quito. It turned out to be a very dangerous place (A girl got mugged outside our hostel at 11am). While Alana and Frankie were in hospital getting their parasites looked at, the rest of
the crew went to the middle of the earth (Ecuador is spanish for equator). We also checked out the biggest market in South America and it was a massive mistake, as the girls went crazy!! The market was in Otavalo, a three hour bus ride from Quito. Another adventure led us to the Persidents palace where we were enlightened by a tour of Ecuadors presidential history, entirely in spanish. We learnt alot.
From Quito we bussed it up to what was renowed as the most dangerous border crossing in South America. We were all quite nervous about what might meet us there, as it turned out it wasn't as bad as people had warned us. What was bad was the fact that Ecuador's border security had no working computers for 2 hours and they seemed reluctant to fix the problem. so we waited and waited until they got 1 computer working to process about 100 people. The longer they took the more nervous we got as we had some information that it's not a good idea to catch a night bus through the south of Colombia as buses have been known to be targets for
hijackings. So we caught a night bus to Cali a mere 8 hours away. The actual bus ride took alot longer as our bus broke down in the middle of our journey and we had to wait on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere for another bus to arrive in one of the most dangerous places in Colombia. We arrived in Cali safe but very tired. We decided that because of our hygenic state (which was that of an animal) that we should visit the zoo. The zoo turned out to be abit of highlight in Cali as it was the only thing we did.
We said goodbye to Franky as we were headed to see our good friend Pablo in Medellin, and she was headed to Solento the heart of Colombia's coffee region. We caught another night bus and arrived bright and early in Medellin, which turned out to be a beautiful city. We spent our first day wandering the streets in our new surroundings, playing basketball at the hostel and watching beverly hills cop. The Caribbean was soon calling us and another bus ride took us all
the way upto Cartagena. The first thing to hit us was the heat!!! Sooo hot. Our Aussie/English magnetism drew in four more wayward travellers in the form of Harry, Seb, Connor and Annabelle. Cartagena was a beautiful city with narrow streets and beautiful buildings. A day trip out to the mud volcanoe was just what a group of dirty travellers needed...More dirt!! See the photos as it was amazing.
We then went on a two day mission to Playa Blanca, which is a world famous beach. This was very taxing on our energy levels as we spent the time relaxing on hammocks, snorkelling, drinking pina colada from coconuts and other such strenous activities. We spent the night sleeping in hammocks and on one occassion, narrowly avoiding a herd of stampeeding cows, horns and all (Paul woke to the horns of a cow gliding past his bed). We returned to Cartagena and immediately set off for the Northern town of Santa Marta, leaving behind Connor and Annabelle. The greatest English VS Australia pool comp kicked off and we are proud to say that the Aussies are the holders of the Peter Cheese Moores cup!!. With need of more
sun and adventure, we headed off to the golden sands of Bahia Concha. A range of activities took place from cliff diving to watching a columbian TV show being filmed (and having a package of money dropped from a plane). Sleeping on mats on the beach proved more difficult then first thought as a hurricane strenght wing swept through the bay, nearly blowing us away. A ride in the back of a pickup truck brought us back to where we now sit. The end for now!!!!
There are more photos below