Page 2 of Hippobear Travel Blog Posts

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Torres del Paine February 27th 2010

We left Ushuaia heading towards Punta Arenas on a bus leaving at 6am and taking about 12 hours. The journey was fairly uneventful, but some of the tundra scenery was lovely to see. When we finally arrived in Punta Arenas we were unsure what to do, I think we were a little punch drunk from the trip, so we wandered around for half an hour not finding a place to stay, however we didn't really look that hard, and finally decided to move on to Puerto Natales, so booked a ticket and left about an hour or so later. When we arrived in Puerto Natales it was late, gone eleven, but the bus was met by a hoard of Hostel owners touting for business, we chose Hostel Nancy, and were driven to the hostel where we ... read more
Ram, Liz, Byron and Marika
Orange Michelin Men
Camp site Rio Serrano

South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Ushuaia February 8th 2010

It is hard to talk about an old memory with enthusiasm but I'll try. I remember that we left Ushuaia huffed and puffed. For some reason for us Ushuaia has a taste of a miss even though looking backwards we got to meet interesting people, Pippa and Catherine, and got to see the beautiful scenery around, but whilst I wanted to do something more adventuristic Liz had a cold and I didn't feel so good to go out to the wild without her. The Gloom - Crossing to Isla Navarino: After spending time with my parents in Buenos Aires and meeting Liz's friends Von and Beth we rushed down to Ushuaia to catch summer. As we do in this trip we took a bus (not a flight) down south, 36 hours to Rio Gallegos and then ... read more
When the sun is out the pristine colours of nature appear like a divine vision
Laguna Esmeralda

South America » Peru » Huancavelica February 7th 2010

I can tell you that we left the hacienda in Tarma heading to Buenos Aires, I can also tell you that as we planned it we did this journey by bus, and you may think that we are crazy, even if I tell you that it's much more exciting actually seeing the way than skipping over it by a plane. But because it may become a bit boring to describe the fantastic scenery we passed through, especially as the combination 'so beautiful' will repeat endlessly I will be short on the description of the road and try to portray to you the excitement of discoverring it. Although there is a direct bus from Lima to Buenos Aires, we decided not to return to Lima. Instead we thought to continue to Nazca and see the lines from ... read more
Santa innes in the morning
Typical courtyard
Cramped in the bus

South America » Peru » Junin » Tarma January 2nd 2010

We arrived at Hacienda la Florida on December 8th 2009, by bus from Lima, a gruelling six hour journey with the usual latin music blaring from the radio the whole journey. By the time we had taken a taxi from Tarma the short distance to La Florida it was well past midnight and we were absolutely shattered from our journey from Chachapoyas. We were greeted at the gate and shown our room, and were able to throw off our rucksacks and get some well earned rest. The following morning at about six we heard the sounds of the Hacienda waking, with footsteps above in the kitchen, and voices calling across the yard. As soon as we stuck our heads out of the door we were accosted by Carlos, one of the employees on the farm, and ... read more
Liz dances
Welcome to the secret garden
Humming bird

South America » Peru » Amazonas » Chachapoyas January 2nd 2010

So… we crossed the border into Peru on December 2nd and arrived safely in the city called Jaen, after a long journey of about 14 hours (!), using almost all means of overland wheeled transportation, we pulled off the motorbike taxi near the Cesar Hotel in Jaen and took a deep breath of relief. We left the small village Vilcabamba, which turned out to be a disappointment, with the 6:30am bus to Zumba on the way to the neglected border point La Balsa. We were ‘lucky’ to stop half way at the village of Palanda for their celebration of a 12th anniversary for the region, this hindered us for about an hour and a half with scores of marching bands of children closing the route for their celebrations, and although it was a nuisance to be ... read more
Typical pattern on the wall
Catarta Gocta from Distance
Walking to the village of the dead

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Puyo December 7th 2009

Back in Baños we got ready for the expedition to the jungle. Via Rainbow Expeditions we took a trip to a community of the Shuar tribe set in a primary rainforst 40 minutes flight and then 40 minutes walk from Puyo. We could have done this walk in 2 hours and enjoy it but we really didn´t want to lose eye contact with the ‘guide’ - the man and woman from the community where we landed who carried food and other things to the community, Tuna, where we stayed the next 4 days. Tuna is a relatively new community comprising three brothers and each one´s family, all together about 20 people. They welcomed us with a short ‘official’ welcome including a traditional Chicha drinking (not yummy, a sour tasting drink that was made from fermenting, mashed ... read more
House and a kitchen
Picking up yuca
Papaya tree

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Chimborazo December 7th 2009

After our great day in Misahualli, although the jungle was not in our comfort zone, we , along with Stephanie, decided that we wanted to experience a bit more of the jungle, but this time something that was a bit more challenging, something that was not just put on as a tourist show. After exploring a few tour operators in Baños, we found one that did specialized trips into the deeper jungle. We had to go with a tour operator as to go this far into the jungle you have to obtain written permission from the chief of the tribes you wish to pass through. The guide we were using was related to the tribe we wanted to visit so he was able to gain that permisson easily for us, but as he was the only ... read more
View of Salinas
Baby Canyon
Chimborazo unvealed

South America » Ecuador » East » Misahualli November 19th 2009

We left Papallacta in the direction of Tena. We had had enough of mountains and high altitude, as I (Ram) realised that my lungs cannot really aclimatize to the altitude. We thought that a change in direction and a detour of the Andes via Tena and then to continue back up to Baños would be a good idea. Liz didn’t resist even though she really wanted to take the horse ride trip around Cotapaxi. We thought that maybe from Baños we hop to Cotapaxi later. When we arrived in Tena we met Stephanie, a Swiss girl, who joined us at the hostal we stayed and later on became our trip partner for about 2 weeks. As Ram primarily prefer to do trips without a guide he was happy to find a routes map in the hostal ... read more
View from the canoe
I call this a jungle
They don't really have doors or windows

South America » Ecuador » North » Cayambe November 18th 2009

This trek is from Viva book: Hiking and climbing in Ecuador. If you like the peacefulness that the solitude in the mountains offer we recommand this trek. It is quite an easy walk for hikers, especially down hill on a sunny day. But on a rainy foggy day it can be muddy and therefore more difficult. Personally we think that walking it up hill would be much more strenuous. It took us about 7 hours to reach Papallacta´s Thermal Baths which was a great reward for the effort of the day's trek. On the way we saw a few rabbits and two andean deers. But if you are really up for it there is enough room to camp and ambush other animals, but you have to be patient. We went out from the beautifully located village, ... read more
In between lakes
Waving grass
The trek winds along scattered lakes

South America » Ecuador » North » Otavalo November 2nd 2009

After the bad expereince in Quito we were and still are surprised to find nice people in Otavalo. To see how lovely relaxed and warm the people are here was a relief. We stayed in a nice hostel run by an American - Ecuadorian couple, it was called Rincon El Viajero, quite a common name for many hostels as we found later on. Otavalo gets lots of tourists, especially at the weekend, due to its market, but yet keeps to its values and friendliness - it completely changed our mood since we arrived there. As it is only two hours bus ride from Quito, many tourists come here for a day excursion or a weekend. We, however, made it our new base for excursions in the north of Ecuador. We found here some nice and cheap ... read more
Halfway the rain begun
Searching for a shortcut
A gloomy Laguna Mujanda

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