Page 5 of Katravels Travel Blog Posts

South America » Ecuador » North » Atacames July 3rd 2008

After Colombia we decided we needed a little rest and relaxation in the form of sun, sea and surf. Well, sun and sea for me and watching the others surf. Spent a couple of days at Las Peñas (absolutely impossible to get to - I understand fully why it isn't even mentioned in the Lonely Planet). Absolutely beautiful and amazing seafood (add to that I was the only non-Ecuadorian there) and it was very relaxing. Next we headed to Tonsupa (quieter, smaller version of Atacames a ten minute motortaxi ride away) in search of a hotel and a cocktail after the long journey. Spent a day just hanging out on the beach touring the line of grass-roofed huts serving as cocktail bars and topping up my tan on the beach interspersed with frequent food and drink ... read more
And another
Drowned rat!

South America » Colombia » Cali June 25th 2008

After all the warnings of gringos being kidnapped or falsely accused of drug smuggling I have to say Colombia was almost a bit of a let-down. Apart from the style of salsa being different and maybe having a few more mountains, on first impressions, I can't say it struck me as being all that different from Ecuador. The scenery in southern Colombia as we crossed the border and made our way towards Pasto was certainly breathtaking and the caminetta decided to liven things up a bit by taking every turn (and there were a great number of these) at breakneck speed. No wonder caminettas can make the journey to Cali in three hours less than the buses! The only annoying thing about the public transport system in Colombia is, unlike Ecuador where the buses (generally) leave ... read more
Weird pretty flower
Museum in Cali

South America » Ecuador June 24th 2008

I thought I might as well write a blog about somewhere I spend as much time whilst travelling as I do seeing stuff - ie. Sat on a bus. Now in England a ten hour bus ride would certainly be an absolute hell but here I think bus journeys are half the fun! Unlike England there is no need to buy snacks before you leave and sit quietly in your seat making every effort not to touch the stranger sitting next to you. For a start your neighbour is your best friend for the next x-number of hours and you will know their entire life story by the time you step of the bus. Or, depending on the level of mutual language at least be told 'you like Ecuador', 'very pretty', and 'you americana.' However emphatically ... read more
Church in Ibarra
More pretty buildings in Ibarra

South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca June 19th 2008

Well I´m back in mi linda Cuenca after almost a year. I was woken this morning (rather annoyingly) by peals of bells at quarter to seven - I would be greatly indebted to any Catholics out there who could inform me just what is so special about 6.45am on a Thursday morning...and 7.05.....and fact the bells continued at frequent intervals until eight so I just gave up on trying to readjust my body clock after two days of straight travelling (I officially hate airports after having had an eleven hour delay in Madrid) and decided to have breakfast. Now who can find fault with a giant bowl of fruit salad, yoghurt and museli in the morning for less than $3?! Well, in tue English style I can and I will say that the tea here ... read more
Rio Tomebamba
Random Cuencan church
Random Cuencan street

South America » Ecuador August 16th 2007

Having had the most amazing six months living and working in Ecuador I thought I would do a photo summary of our time there just to have a chance to inflict my photos on yet more people! Don't worry - it's just some highlights, not the full 3000 photos!... read more
Tadeo Torres
Me at the orphanage
Feeding time at the orphanage

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito August 15th 2007

Well me, Soph and Louisa reached Cuenca after three days straight travelling exhausted, dirty and dishevelled. We'd had an absolutely amazing time in Peru and Bolivia but were glad to be home (yes, Cuenca is now our home!) We got in to the bus terminal at about midnight so just got a taxi straight to Robbie's apartment (he had been nice enough to say we could all stay with him to save Soph having to return to her family!) and pretty much just collapsed. We managed to stay up for a while (personally I think it was still the effects of all those coca leaves!) for zhumir and pilsener (which we had been missing like crazy) as some of the guys had come round to see us. We went to say goodbye to our family the ... read more
Last night in Cuenca
The remaining few in 'Strawberry Fields'

Somewhere in the south of Bolivia! We arrived in Uyuni on the overnight bus to find the town is exactly as described; desolate, dull and completely pointless going to except as a stepping stone to the Salt Flats. Well that's alright seeing as that's what we were here to do. We wandered around in the truly FREEZING weather (although we had been warned far worse was to come) looking at tours but ended up going with the first woman who approached us and who managed to talk us into the full three day tour which we had initially been put off of by a couple of English guys we met at the hostal in La Paz who claimed that the Salt Flats were 'pure punishment' and 'sheer torture'. Sorry to say this guys but, having returned ... read more
Somewhere in Bolivia!
Mountains of Salt
Salt processing

South America » Peru » Puno » Lake Titicaca July 24th 2007

Islas Flotantes We arrived in Puno on the overnight bus from Cusco and found a hostal. We were here to visit the Islas Flotantes, the floating islands of the Uros people, on Lake Titicaca. When people said 'floating islands' I was picturing some sort of complicated set of large rafts tied together. Even when they said 'made of reed' I was still picturing the sturdy raft-style thing covered in reeds. So it was a slight shock to realise that the islands are truly and honestly just made of reeds packed together in bundles and squashed down onto each other until they form a (almost!) secure place to walk. The Uros people originally built the strange floating islands of Lake Titicaca in order to escape the aggressive Inca and Aymara tribes and several hundred people still ... read more
Shopping stop!
Reed boat
Uros woman on Isla Kontiki

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu July 23rd 2007

Well, we are in the Land of the Incas about to visit one of the new official Wonders of the World, the Lost City of the Incas and all I can say is.....I'm tired! The 'new' 7 Wonders of the World have just been announced this July although the advertising campaign would seem to be ongoing by the amount of posters we have seen with the president of Peru ordering all Peruvians to vote for Machu Picchu. Strange we've heard nothing about England's only nominee (Stonehenge.) Anyway, the official new wonders are as follows: Machu Picchu, Peru Christ the Redeemer, Brazil Colosseum, Italy Great Wall of China Taj Mahal, India Petra, Jordan Chichen Itza, Mexico We had a very early wake up call in order to get the first bus up to Machu Picchu which left ... read more
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Steps in Machu Picchu

South America » Peru » Cusco » Ollantaytambo July 21st 2007

Well, we left Cusco behind and headed to Ollantaytambo - our stepping stone to Machu Picchu! This involved a four hour coach ride followed by a two hour taxi ride with the six of us (me, Lou, Jack and our bags) crammed in. At least it saved the four hour train journey to Machu Picchu! Lou and I headed off to the ruins at Ollantaytambo (told you I'd be making to most of my damn, over-priced ticket!) while Jack stayed at the hostal. Headed up the terraces to explore the Inca fortress - I'm definitley going to be very fit when I finally get home! Spent a while at the fortress and probably an equal amount of time at the market below helping hopeless English men who a) have no idea what things cost here (a ... read more
Woman in traditional dress at Ollantaytambo

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