Thursday, November 19, 2009

A few picture from South America

Alright, I'm in San Francisco trying to get used to not traveling anymore. I'm trying to organize the 5000 pictures I took on my trip, so here are a few from South America. The order is a bit mixed up, oh well.

Llamas at the crater lake in Ecuador.
At the top of the crater with my Dad.
Hanging out in the colorful Valparaiso in Chile.
Hiking around Peru.
Birds, sea lions, and penguins in Peru.
Trying to blend in at the monastery in Arequipa.

Dressed like locals on an island in Lake Titicaca .
Crazy island made out of reeds!
Caimans in the jungle in Peru.

Machu Pichu! After four days of hiking we made it!
Along the hike to Machu Pichu

Friday, November 6, 2009

Around the world in 298 days

I can´t quite believe it, but its been ten months already. I fly back to the US tomorrow morning. Once I get back I´ll probably write a bit recapping some of the best parts of the trip, but for now I should talk about Ecuador. Its been a pretty quick trip around Ecuador with my Dad, but its a great place. I sort of expected it to be very similar to Peru, and it is in some ways but its also seems pretty different. The food has been great for one thing, lots of fired bananas, beans and rice, fruit smoothies and humitas which are like tamales. We stated off in Quito and walked up lots of hill to get great views of the city. We also climbed up the basilica towers on these pretty crazy rickety latters which was fun. The city is divided up into Old Town and New town and we spend out days in Old town seeing the sights and headed to New town at night for the fun new restaurants. There was even a mongolian bbq with tofu! I was pretty excited. On Friday night we went to Otavalo so we could go to the huge Saturday market where I bought so much stuff I had to get rid of some of my clothes to fit it into my bag, haha, but thats ok because after 10 months my clothes are not in good shape anyways. Otavalo was a really nice town also, much smaller then Quito and therefor a bit easier to walk around. The only bad thing was that for some reason I took my malaria medication before breakfast, which made me feel terrible for half the morning. Thats one good thing about coming home, no more malaria to worry about!

After coming back to Quito for the night, Halloween actually, we headed west toward the mountains to spend a few days at the Santa Lucia Lodge. This was a really cool place. First of all to get there you had to hike up a mountain for over an hour, the lodge was right on top with great views. Its and Eco lodge so they had solar power and composting toilets, which is pretty cool. While there we did three cool hikes moslty looking at birds, but also seeing how they make sugar from sugar cane and hiking to a nice water fall. One morning we got up at 4am and hiked to see the Cock on the Rocks do their crazy mating dance at 6am. It was the craziest thing I´ve ever seen a bird do. All the males get together each morning and make tons of noise and jump around and dive off trees. Plus they look really crazy with huge red heads and black and white bodies. That night was the Day of the Dead which they celebrate more then Halloween here. Its mostly a family thing, but it was cool to be at the lodge because they made (and we helped) all the traditional food. They make baby dolls out of bread and food coloring and this crazy corn and fruit soup which was really tasty. If we had had more time I think we would have liked to stay at the lodge longer, but we had to leave after just two days so we would have time to go to Latacunga which is next to the Cotopaxi Volcano. Latacunga is just a small town, not too exciting but there are volcanos all around it which is cool. Cotopaxi is the biggest but we decided that we didn´t want to hike up that one, instead we went to Quilatoa which is another one with a creator lake inside. It was really cool, we hiked down to the lake and then around it a bit and back up again. The hike up was really hard, but totally worth it for the views of the lake. After the hike the next day we didn´t really want to hike any more so we spent most of the day wandering around the city and I got a hair cut, haha, it had been months. Now we are back in Quito for our flights early early tomorrow!