David Tong


David Tong

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A Journey South..

South America August 17th 2009

AUGUST 15. AREQUIPA. FIESTA, BULLFIGHTS AND WARM BEER.2300m "Para bailar la bamba Para bailar la bamba se necesita una poca de gracia" -Ritchie Valens Getting to Arequipa was both frustrating and uncomfortable. Our bus arrived 4 hours late, leaving us stranded in a shady area of town with the temperature dropping rapidly. At least I had someone to share the boredom with...I had crossed paths with Fiona who I´d shared drinks and conversations with, taking in the view from The Secret Garden terrace back in Quito. After a restless sleep on the overnight bus, we were awoken by the stifling heat. Our bus was winding its way through the mountains, struggling to make it over the high passes...so they turned off the AC to take some load off the engine, leaving us with no ventilation at ... read more
alpaca lunch
Plaza de Armes
Bell tower

South America » Peru » Ica » Huacachina August 15th 2009

AUGUST 10. HUACACHINA. DESERT OASIS. SAND IN MY SOCKS. "Two jumps in a week, I bet you think that's pretty clever don't you boy? Flying on your motorcycle, watching all the ground beneath you drop" -Radiohead After leaving Mancora I skipped through Lima, only staying long enough to enjoy a starbucks mocha frappucinio...a little creature comfort in what has otherwise been a long week. Everybody I have met so far has insisted that I see Huacachina and I was quietly excited boarding the bus for the 4 hour trip south to Ica, from where a 10 minute taxi ride drops you into one of the most surreal landscapes you can ever imagine...think of a Salvador Dali painting a scene after not having drunk a glass of water for 10 years. Nestled in between 15 story high ... read more
sand mountain

South America » Ecuador » West » Puerto López July 29th 2009

baby humpback
the view

South America » Ecuador » West » Puerto López July 26th 2009

JULY 23. PUERTO LOPEZ. BLUE DOLPHIN CABANA. HAMMOCK TIME. SEA LEVEL Montanita did my head in and I found myself still yearning for my little bit of summer. An hour north on the bus I found it. Bracketed by headlands to the north and south, Puerto Lopez is a lazy little fishing town made famous by the annual migration of Humpback whales to its warm waters between July and September. With my pack on I walked up and down the beach trying to find somewhere to stay. I could have easily found a hostal in town but I was determined to stay beachside and it took nearly an hour to find a room. Hostal Turismo near the fish markets at the southern end of the beach was far from luxurios but it was family owned and ... read more
lonely boat
hostal family

South America » Ecuador » West » Montañita July 22nd 2009

JULY 20. MONTANITA. RUTA DE LA SOL. MORE LIKE RUTA DE LAS NUBES. SEA LEVEL Billy Jean is not my lover, she´s just a girl who thinks that I am the one...but the kid is not my son RIP MJ Leaving Guyaquil behind for now. With Scott and Camillo in tow we throw our bags and our serious hangovers on board a bus bound north for Montanita. Anybody reading this expecting some intelligent, insightful look into Ecuadorian beach culture may as well turn the page...scotts girlfriend and some of Camillos friends are meeting us there later this afternoon and things are guaranteed to get ugly.. After enduring yet another brutal Canadian winter I couldnt wait to get my beach on, especially seeing that the remainder of my trip will get progressively colder the further I move ... read more
montanita scene
montanita scene

South America » Ecuador » West » Guayaquil July 20th 2009

JULY 16. LEAVING GUARANDA. 2500M. SEAT 12F. THIS BUS COULDNT BE ANYMORE HOT AND CROWDED. "I've got lots of pictures in my head...you better not turn off the pro-jec-tor" -SNEAKY SOUND SYSTEM It turns out that finding the right bus to your next location is actually quite easy in this country..all you ned to do is stand in the middle of the bus terminal with your backpack on and a confused look on your face, eventually 20 different bus drivers assistants will approach you yelling their destination. After storing my luggage, I board the bus and sit directly above the under-carriage so I can keep an eye on my backpack. You can never be too careful. Climbing through the mountains outside of Guaranda we hit roadworks...the minutes turn into an hour and in the scorching heat ... read more
nic and scott
Guayaquil crew
ecuadorian flag

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Central Highlands July 19th 2009

JULY 15. GUARANDA. 2500m. PARQUE SIMON BOLIVAR. PEOPLE WATCHING. TIME TO KILL. "Took advantage of a straight believing town, tore the bandage..look who is bleeding now" -SILVERCHAIR I said goodbye to Latacunga and jumped on a bus to Ambato where I would make a connecting bus to Guaranda. I had no intitial plans on visiting Guaranda but it was on the way to Guayaquil and it also appeased my new found desire for getting lost in small mountain towns. Although my collective bus experience may as yet be limited to three bus rides, if there is one trip I would recommend it would be the journey between Ambato and Guaranda. Spectacular views and compelling interactions between the locals. The most interesting aspect of this trip for me though was observing the sometimes subtle and often dramatic ... read more
chimbarozo fly-by
chimbarozo in the distance
terra firma

South America » Ecuador July 18th 2009

JULY 14. LATACUNGA. 2800m. RESIDENCIAL SANTIAGO RM 8. OVERLOOKING DOS DE MAYO. "All i ever wanted was a chance to catch my breath, see the world and lay my ghosts to rest" -DIRTY VEGAS Started the morning early and caught a ride back down the valley to the Panamericana highway. Waiting on the shoulder to flag down the first bus south, everything started to feel right. I was truly alone for the first time, had my pack on for the first time and was about to take my first bus trip since arriving a week ago. I only had to wait 10 minutes before i paid my $1, loaded my pack and jumped on. There were no seats available and i spent the hour standing shoulder to shoulder with the locals...everytime the bus stopped to let ... read more
market day
textured scene
afternoon street n meat

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Cotopaxi July 17th 2009

JULY 13TH. SECRET GARDEN. COTOPAXI NARIONAL PARK. 3500M. GETTING COLD "No its not my kinda scene, footprints on the other side remind me of where i have been" -POWDERFINGER Any chance i get, i like to ride on top of a bus, truck or train. When our driver said that two of us had to ride in the back of the truck i jumped at the opportunity. Unfortuntately if i knew who i would be sharing the scenery with i may have thought twice. Not for the first time has some obnoxious yank spoiled the ambience. For some reason he felt the need to knock back a sixpack of the local pilsner along the way and proceeded to belch (not burp) uncontrollably the entire trip, his empty bottles left to rattle at the bottom of the ... read more
leaving quito
speed racer
the distance

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito July 12th 2009

JULY 11th, SECRET GARDEN TERRACE, 4PM, 19 DEGREES CELSIUS, CERVEZA MUCHO FRIA With all the people in the street walking as fast as their feet can take em i just stroll through town -JACK JOHNSON As spectacular as the approach into quito was, nothing could have prepared me for the view that i awoke to on th first morning. The taxi ride from the airport the night before sped me through the city at street level, i barely had time to focus on anything before it faded quickly behind me...the taxi driver seemed to be more focused on the TV perched on the dashboard and a number of dogs crossing the street nearly paid dearly. The Secret Garden is situated halfway up a steep hill in the old town and as i was soon to find ... read more
El Panecillo
lady in blue scarf

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