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Published: December 11th 2009
We needed a couple of days recovery after our motorcycle adventure, and Baños is the place to relax! We had a lovely weekend wandering around town, eating the rediculously sugary cane sweets (the type that threaten to stick your teeth together forever!), and generally trying to get the feeling back in our bums after the motorbiking.
After that, we headed to the capital, Quito, for a couple of days. It seems to be just another big city, although the old town has been nicely renovated with lots of colonial splendour. The heavens kept opening up so we found a spa in town and spent an afternoon swimming, steaming, sauning and bubbling, which was a lovely treat. We also got chatting with a man from Quito, who despite speaking no English, chatted with us for over an hour - how glad we are for our Spanish lessons! He is 70 years old, has lived in the USA for the last 3 years and works for 6 months in the States, then when it get too cold, pops back to Quito to enjoy the summer. Sounds like a good plan to us!
After a few days, it was time for our
last but one flight - to Rio de Janeiro. We were quite nervous about visiting a city purported to be so dangerous, but checked into a wonderful guesthouse in one of the posh parts of town (near Ipanema beach). We stayed with a lady called Fatima in her home, which is a really nice change from some of the hostels we've stayed in! We had an enjoyable afternoon at the botanical gardens and a couple of walks along the lovely beach during the short breaks between heavy rain showers.
Four months after arriving in South America, we hadn't realised how much we were using our Spanish, and how much it had improved, until we arrived in Rio and got all confused again - the only South American country to speak Portuguese and its all Greek to us! We were back to puzzled looks and lots of charades to order food and drinks, although as this is a huge city, so there's a bit of English spoken. We discovered 'per kilo' buffet restaurants, where your plates are weighed and you're charged for how much you eat. You also get a receipt to tell you how heavy all your food is...
not necessarily a good thing! The food was so amazingly tasty we went two nights out of the three we were in Rio!! Having a buffet also negated the need to be able to speak Portuguese!
On the 8th of December, we set off on our last journey - back home to Blighty. We had the absolute pleasure of a British Airways flight, and it definately lived up to expectations! The journey was sadly marred by our arrival at Terminal 5, and the hour it took us to get landed and in to the Terminal. Unfortunately our rucksacks full of all our dirty, smelly clothes arrived back with us too, much to Dave's mum's delight!! We had our own lovely welcome party at the airport, complete with banner, followed by being chauffered back to Norwich for something we hadn't had in 8 months - fish, chips and mushy peas!
Now we're home and it all feels suddenly so distant. We've had an absolutely amazing journey, seen some of the great wonders of the World, met some amazing people, and have thousands of photos to help us remember those wonderful times. Its something that we will never forget -
we're already trying to decide where to go next, but for the time being will be more than satisfied travelling around the UK to catch up with all our friends and family.
Here's a few stats for you:
Total miles travelled - 36,000 miles (58,000 km). That's according to the map, so it will be much more when you take in to account the winding mountain roads!
Total number of days away - 236
Methods of transport - plane, bus, car, campervan, motorbike, bicycle, train, canoe, 4x4, boat, horse
Favourite modes of transport (motorbikes, mountain bikes, horse)
Favourite food - SE Asia (especially Thailand), Argentinian steak
Favourite country - not a question we feel we can answer as everywhere was so different, but our favourite experiences were - campervanning in New Zealand, meeting up with our friends Jaqui and Phoebe in Australia, all of Bolivia, all of Ecuador, our two motorcycle adventures
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