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Published: October 17th 2005
Lady On A Rocket! OK, OK, OK... That's probably being very harsh on this probably very wonderful country & anyone
This actually from a street in Bogotá... But I knew it would catch your attention.
I love their street art.
who's been there is surely cursing me right now for this outrageous headline. The truth is I am still missing Colombia and its people tremendously. You all know the feeling... You go on a great holiday for a few weeks, have a wonderful time somewhere, maybe drinking & dancing & tanning, you come back home and soon you have to go to work... Then those horrible gut-wrenching holiday blues kick in. And it's like someone's punched you in the stomach and you are winded, unable to breath freely. Well, that's how I feel after leaving Colombia. And it's seriously impairing my judgement of Ecuador I am afraid. The crazy thing being that I am still ON holiday and not in work! That´s the magic of Colombia folks, be careful where you tread. (Note to myself:
STOP talking about Colombia, it's getting boring).
Sometimes I read other peoples travelblogs on this website, and almost without fail they are all happy, smiley and wish-you-were-here accounts of the places they have been in. I don't understand this at all? Surely some of these places are hell-holes
This is a picture of the many steps that lead up to the statue overlooking the lovely town of Baños.
that they visit, but you'd never believe it by reading their sugar-coated accounts of places like Caracas, Quito, Doncaster or Cardiff. If some of these people went to Iraq
you'd still have pictures of them smiling, giving the thumbs-up in their lovely fleeces, zip-off cargo pants and expensive shades! Or am I just being cynical? I don't know anymore?
I really haven't done much here and really don't plan on doing a lot, motivation evades me and apathy surrounds me at the moment like a deep mist. But this the brief low-down on the past weeks... Quito
Well this is the
truth. Quito is just dull, dirty and has a dangerous underbelly. I did not like the feel of the place at all. There were regular muggings outside & near to the hostel I stayed in called 'El centro del mundo' with all sorts of shady characters lurking in the shadows waiting for the gringo to stumble out invariably drunk, easy pickings I'd say & why not? The time I was there, Ecuador were playing Uruguay in a world cup qualifier. They drew 0-0 and thus qualified for the next summer's tournament in Germany & so it
That´s about it really. What more can I say?
was party time in Ecuador and the country went wild. BUT, if they win the world cup next summer, I will eat this keyboard I am typing on... They are bloody awful & I am sure my Wales would beat them given the chance, having said that we are awful aswell, as our results show. It was here in Quito that I again finally gave in to another stomach bug and paid a visit to the doctor. One blood test, 15 tablets, $42 and four days later I am now fine again. Baños
This is a small town a few hours south of Quito, it has thermal baths and a gorgeous natural setting of rugged hills, lush green fields and crashing rivers. Although I only spent a day and a half here it was really nice and a place I would recommend in Ecuador.
Anyhow, as you probably all know, in countries like these there is a big market in fake and bootleg CD's - a lot of which are by recognised big Western artists. So I bought 6 for $5 (Don't know why, I don't have a CD player with me!). I just thought I'd
I thought so too.
share some of the tracklist spelling mistakes with you, because out here you always see spelling mistakes when they try to replicate something in English, whether it's on shop signs, CD's or hotel notice boards! Here's just a few: Oasis:
Don't look back in angel
Merrie with children,
Rock with it The Beatles:
Let it Jude
I want to hold your hana
I saw her starding here The Rolling Stones:
Can't get no is satisfaction
Star me up
Under number and this last one is my favourite...!
Jumping Jock Flash! Riobamba
Now this is a town another 2 hours south by bus. It's a town where the famous Devil´s Nose Train ride starts its journey. A train ride that ascends a virtual mountain face by a series of impressive switch-backs and all the gringos get to sit on the top of the train! Well the journey starts at 7am so I didn't bother getting up for it. The reason being a little apathy again and that the first 4 hours until the next station are pointless, it's only after the next station the fun begins. So after laying in, I decided to
What more can I say again?
go to the next town called Alausì and get ready for the Friday train instead.
Alausì is tiny, make no mistake about it, only 4000 people - but I liked the place, everything was within two minutes walk of my hotel! I paid $8 for the Devil's Nose train ride and it was worth it with 15 or 20 gringos packed on top of a rickety old train, traversing a sheer cliff by a series of switch-backs until you get to the bottom and then climb back up the same way to the station at Alasuì. Vilcabamba
This is a great little town in an amazing setting, bounded by hills and bathed in sun most days. Unfortunately my run of bad luck with health continues and I spent my two days here in bed, drinking whisky and consuming painkillers to numb the effect of a pulled shoulder and neck muscle, which I think is due to too many hours on buses and the result of my head lolling about when in a dreamstate.
Anyhow, today I leave for Peru! I am catching a bus at 1pm for Piura in the land of llamas and
Boarding the train!
The devil's nose train.
paddington bear - a great country I visited last year. I now have a rough plan on what I am going to do in the next 3 months before getting to New Zealand with my work visa... Get to Cusco quickly from here, then La Paz in Bolivia, then hopefully get a flight to Paraguay or Uruguay and afterwards head down towards Patagonia (especially Puerto Madryn where they speak Welsh!) and see as much as I can of Argentina and Chile... I'll maybe go down as far as Ushuia the southern most city in Argentina and the launching place for trips to the Antarctic (though that's a mega-expensive trip which would take some strong consideration!). I have time I may even sneak a visit to Brazil, although it's not high on wish list.
Well that's all for now people. I know it's been a dull travelblog this time, but hey, this is Ecuador not Colombia - you can't have shotguns pointed at you every week.
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