to South America and beyond


from the mountains to the beach

I´ve returned after a brief hiatus due both to necessity (shitty internet connections) and a desire to not spend hours of my trip in front of a computer. I spent the last few days at Yanayacu Research Station in Cosanga, but more about that later. First, let me tell you about life in the mountains and on the beach.

The first few days following my departure from Baños were filled with infinitely long bus rides and disappointing destinations. I developed a love-hate relationship with my bus rides through the Andes. Just when I´d had enough of the music blasting in my ears and the squirming in my seat for hours, we would begin a descent through the clouds or overlooking a volcano.

I would be so awe-struck that I almost forgot my legs had completely fallen asleep.

I arrived in un-impressive Cuenca and then inexplicably got on yet another bus to Ingapirca, Ecuador´s Machu Picchu.

Ingapirca was a good lesson in the history of the Cañari people, but as with Cuenca, I was unimpressed. I´m sure the real Machu Picchu will not disappoint.

Then it was off to Guayaquil, Ecuador´s second-largest city, where I was welcomed by a barrage of car horns. Why I didn´t die in Guayaquil, I have no idea. In Ecuador and much of South America they don´t believe in the pedestrian right-of-way, so whether the light is green or red, if you´re in the street, you better get your ass out of the way. After several near-death experiences, I realized that one night in Guayaquil was one night too many.

From Guayaquil, the cities and mountains faded away and I passed into Ecuador´s coastal region. Small fishing towns dotted the beach along the way to rest and relaxation in Montañita.

Ah, Montañita. Half hippy-town, half tourist-trap, Montañita was a welcome break from big cities.

My first day was comprised of lying in a hammock with una cerveza, dinner and piña coladas with a couple from England and reading under my mosquito net before bed.

The next day I felt a little sick, so I planned another day in the hammock with a good book. Before the hammock, I had a quick lunch and met Amanda, another American traveling alone. She said she was taking surfing lessons after lunch and that I should join her. I looked at my book for maybe a second before I enthusiastically agreed.

So we surfed.

And then we drank. And then we went to La Fiesta de la Luna (the full moon party) and danced until 4:00. God I love it when life gives your plans the finger.


Blogger nick said...

At times I look at how much fun you're having and how much you're doing and then I have to take a nap. It's so much, I'm really impressed by how fearless you've been with everything. I hope you're loving it, and as always be safe.

3:23 PM

Blogger KIM said...

Wow! It so wonderful to read and see your travels. Like Nick said I'm impressed with how fearless you are, but it looks like your getting some rewards from it.
I love the beach town pictures. Like the wet suit, did you get it from a friend?
Love, Mom

9:12 PM

Blogger KIM said...

man I've always wanted to learn how to surf. Hope you had a blast. Wow, with all these bus rides and list of cities you been to, I wonder how far you traveled so far. Well, I excited for you that your trip is going so well. Of course stay out of those dark alley ways and after this last postining look both ways before you cross the street.
love your "little" bro,

9:19 AM


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