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Published: June 26th 2006
This was the bug that greeted me in quayaquil!!! that´s my hand-yo!
Hey all, I made it to South America!!! (note-photos are very large and will load slowly-gotta work on that)
I flew into Guayaquil, Ecuador on June 17th. Doing pretty well on my spanish pretty far and am adjusting to the backpacker lifestyle, altho i haven´t yet mastered the art of taking one thing out of my pak without exploding the entire contents onto my bed. Guayaquil was a bit scary i must admit, but the hostal was wonderful, except for the enourmous roach who greeted me in my room (see pic below). After freaking out in a decidedly girl way, i went to the receptionist.... "um...yeah... there´s a bug the size of texas in my room". she responds apathetically " yeah, there´s one in the pool too." "well, if this one wants to stay in my room", i continued, " he´s going to have to split the bill.". so he was swept up and relocated but damned if he wasn´t heading straight for my door when i got up to pee. (i decided i didn´t have to pee that bad). I think he decided to visit the girl's dorm next door because an hour later i heard screams. (he hee)
Flew into the Galapagos on June 18th. I booked a land-based tour, so i didn´t have to sleep on boats. We stayed on San Cristobal, Isabella, and Santa Cruz islands. Rode mountain bikes speeding down a gravel road ( a little scary), walked through a lava tunnel, snorkeled, visited giant tortoises and learned about the efforts to re-populate them after non-indigenous introduced species almost wiped them out. The most magical part was swimming with sea lions. Since the islands are a protected park, the animals are very tame and you can go right up to them. The sea lions were totally playful, nipping on the rope of our boat, jumping in and out of the water and nibbling our fins as we snorkeled. You´d be in the water, surrounded by sea lions dancing all around. they would sim up to you, full force and get to the point of almost running into you before they dashed off under or around, leaving a trail of bubbles in your face. amazing!
We also saw blue footed boobie birds, some with their babies. soo cute. penguins, lots of red crabs, pelicans, sting rays, and iguanas. one of our group saw a
shark while snorkeling.
i managed to catch a travel bug midway throught the week and spent 24 hours in bed, missing the horse back riding. just as well tho, because i got reports that they whipped the slow horses and i would´ve made a scene!
All in all we hit 5 islands, speeding between them by a tiny boat. the beaches were GORGEOUS. the weather was a bit cold and cloudy. very muggy. but we had a great group. 14 in all. 12 from the US. 3 of us were backpacking, the rest were just on a week vacation. the other 2 backpackers were from australia and new zealand. wonderful gals. so we totally bonded. i picked their brain. On the day we left the islands, our tour guide collected our plane tickets back to quito. out of 14, guess who was the one who couldn't find her ticket?? of course it was me. the airlines were going to charge me a $200 fee, but due to some heroics from our guide, (which included a call to the head of the airline at home and an exhange of an ipod, i'm told), i only had to pay $40. whew.
so now i am in quito for a week. í know a picture tells a thousand words, so i´ll get to it!
take care. Tana
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