Ecuador....joining the Tucan tour

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October 22nd 2012
Published: January 22nd 2013
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After crossing the border with Chris and Sam the two English guys I'd met in Colombia we arrived in Quito the capital of Ecuador, huge city with old and new town. Stayed in the new town which was very commercialised, full of restaurants and bars and not much else! Leigh and Graham the two South Africans that we also travelled with in Colombia arrived a day later. We went to visit the centre of the world at the equator, the old one that was discovered a long time ago and the new one that has been determined by GPS...only 200m in the difference, not bad! Got to do weird experiments like watch water flow down a sink, it goes opposite directions in the southern and northern hemispheres and straight down when on the equator line, weird.

Visited the old part of the city and some nice parks, climbed up to the top of the basilica which was a bit hairy, on ladders out in the open up so high with nothing around you!
Joined the Tucan three week tour Saturday night, had a meeting to introduce everyone and tell us all about the tour, then we all went out for dinner and drinks. Stayed in hotel majestic. Met everyone, 11in total, lots of Aussie boys, English girl, two Swiss girls, a Kiwi and two Germans. Most people were in their 20's with one or two older. I was sharing room with the two lovely Swiss girls Lea and Isabelle.Left early for Otavalo next morning, stopped at another point on the equator on the way, on the 23rd Sept at midday at the equator there is no shadow due to position of the sun. We just missed midday by half an hour!Had an Evening in Otavalo went to markets and went for really yum pizza.Left next morning for jungle near Tena. Long travel day, Damo our driver missed the turn off and drove two hours in the wrong direction! So had to go back 2hrs and go another 2hrs in the right direction! To top it off we kept having trouble with the brakes so lots of stopping time while that was being sorted. Damo treated us to some beers on board that evening so everything was good and merry. also stopped at a police station for a pee stop, cops were a bit iffy about allowing it until they asked are there girls on board then they were only too happy! Eventually after 13hours we arrived at the lodge in the jungle. Lovely place beautiful food, well impressed, can't remember the damn name! Had three fun packed days in the jungle. Went gorge walking next day, painted faces before going. Through jungle and forest and rivers and climbed up waterfalls with rope. Stood underneath one waterfall! Fun day!Next day was tubing down the river, on route visited an indigenous family. Crazy eggs huevos loco had 15kids! Alex cooked us some grub-those big fat white bugs they eat on 'i'm a celebrity get me out of here!', and I actually ate it, looked gross but tasted ok, a bit like maize or potatoe. Had some lovely headwear made for us by Lucho. Played soccer with the local kids. Bought a bracelet from mama crazy eggs. Started to thunder and lightening and rain heavy as we made our way back to the raft tubing thing. Got soaked and very cold sitting In the water. River contains parasites called penis fish that swim up the stream of urine so can't pee in the water!Next day went canyoning, scary! Hiked a bit and Alex showed us plants and stuff along the way. Then got the the caves and rocks and started climbing up them without rope using our bums and legs. Lots of bats flying about and some very tight squeezes where you have to go sideways and you just about fit between the rocks. Scary!Had a little party that night with some salsa dancing and a BBQ. Left in morning headed for Banos.Banos arrived at pequeno paraiso campsite. Miserable weather so upgraded to dorm instead of camping. Cooked inner that night. Next day went into town for wander, went out that night, was fun trying to flag a lift into town in a group of 13! a minivan that was already pretty full actually stopped and we all managed to cram in somehow! Bumped into Chris a that I'd travelled with in Colombia which was cool, nice to see him again. Stayed up til 5am that morning thinking it would be a great idea to crack open a bottle of rum when we got home from the city..hmm, was a bit worse for wear the next day. Watched some of the guys throw themselves off a bridge doing a bridge swing, crazy people. Treated myself to a massage and pedicure, mmm, bliss!Left Banos for Cuenca, spent a day wandering the city, beautiful town, visited the Panama hat factory to see how they're made. Left Cuenca and headed for the Peruvian border, everything was going smoothly and we all got through immigration, but then there was a problem with the wasn´t on their system even though Damo our truck driver had the documentation to say otherwise! They huffed and puffed for four hours, in the meantime we proceeded to cook lunch outside the offices with an audience of officers, they were not impressed and made us move across the road..threw the rugby ball about for a while with music blaring from the truck..finally we were let through, adios Ecuador, it's been fun..

Unfortunately I don´t have Ecuador photos to hand so will upload them later..


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