London Underground

IMG_9425

I did it! I crossed the old pond and at long last touched down in Europe for the first time in my life! It was a heck of journey to get here: a four hour bus ride from Cuenca to Guayaquil at 1am, a three hour flight from Guayaquil to Chile Santiago at 7am, an 11 hour layover in the awful Chilean airport, a four hour flight to Panama, another hour flight to Puerto Rico and after running to my next gate with no time to spare, the eight hour haul overseas to land in Frankfurt to switch one last time for the last little jaunt over to Heathrow Airport in London. I made it!!! I was exhausted, sleep deprived and jet lagged. And of course, on my eight hour overnight flight a two year old toddler sat behind me on his mothers lap kicking my chair and crying hysterically the entire time. I’m not exaggerating here either. I felt terrible for the child and the mother as something was clearly wrong with the kid – the crying was hysterical screaming – not just regular crying. It was exhausting. He would scream himself silly until he passed out, over and over again. I can only assume he had an ear infection or something else the pressure may have aggravated. Continue reading

Hola, Loja!

DSC_0340

After Argentina, I flew back into Guayaquil, Ecuador and then bused it out to Montañita to spend some time back on the beach in my favourite spot. The weather wasn’t near as lovely as it was back in June, this was their cloudy/rainy season after all, but it was still warm compared to the rest of South America and I was able to hang out in shorts and a tank top and throw down my yoga mat on the beach and get back in my groove after a long hiatus. I met with old friends, ate at my favourite places, practiced yoga daily, took dips in the ocean and worked on my blog. Continue reading

Sleepless in Salta

DSC03105

Time was of the essence… Once our three day adventure through the Bolivian back country was over, we overnighted in Uyuni to get ourselves a shower and were up at 5am the next morning to catch a bus to take us to Salta, Argentina, where we would overnight just to break up the extraordinarily long trek to get to Iguazu Falls in Argentina. From Uyuni, Seb and I took an 8 hour bus to the border which turned out to be the worst bus ride of my entire trip thus far. Considering I spent 24 hours on a chicken bus -read about that adventure here- (an old converted school bus, with the original school bus seats still in tact, albeit without any of the padding left), that’s really saying something. Continue reading

Buenos Aires, Europe (I Mean Argentina)

IMG_8837

After a few peaceful days in Puerto Iguazu, taking in the glory of the falls, I hopped on a long 20 hour bus ride to head straight down to Buenos Aires to meet Anthony. At long last we were meeting back up, but it was under unfortunate circumstances- the day he arrived in Buenos Aires, only minutes after debarking his bus he was robbed of his backpack which had his wallet and passport inside of it. Look for a guest post coming soon on this unfortunate event and how to watch yourself and your things while in Buenos Aires, which is notorious for this type of theft. Continue reading

A Journey Through The Salkantay Pass To Machu Picchu

IMG_8111

It was a long 18 hour bus ride through some hard terrain to reach the renowned city of Cusco.  The bus ride left Sally feeling awful; it was the high altitude and the tight corners that we zipped around at dizzying heights as the cliffs fell away below us. Sally had to close the blinds and force herself to not think about it as it was giving her some major anxiety. Eventually she dozed with the help of some sedatives, and I spent the whole evening trying my best to sleep and failing miserably as I always do on night bus rides. I listened to my music and only snagged about an hour of sleep around sunrise. We rolled into Cusco at 8am and stepped off the bus into a frigid morning, our breath misting heavily in front of our faces. Sally quite literally screamed as she desperately tried to layer on more clothing as quickly as possible.  Continue reading

Montañita, My Paradise

IMG_7498

Oh my darling Montañita. What sweet, secret, untold treasures you had in store for me! After having my laptop stolen, I began writing everything in my journal, and I had nearly finished writing my account of my time in Montañita on the bus ride from Huacachina to Cusco, Peru, when I stupidly left my journal on the bus. I went back hours later to hopefully reclaim it, but had no such luck. All that writing.  Gone. So here I am – a month later – once again, trying to recall the incredible three weeks I spent on the beach on the coast of Ecuador in Montañita. Continue reading

That One Time I Went To The Galapagos Islands

DSCN2847

Bright and early, Anthony and I headed to the airport to make our way through the customs-like checkpoints for heading to the famous Galapagos Islands.  While we weren’t leaving the country, the islands are treated a bit like their own country, with their own set of very strict regulations to ensure the environmental integrity of the islands. Look for my upcoming blog post on how to do the Galapagos islands for under $1000.

We paid the $100 entrance fee, had our passports checked, our luggage raided (lost a bag of chia seeds in the process, darn!) and then boarded our plane with a load of other tourists all excited for the trip of a lifetime. It was an hour and 45 minute flight out over the Pacific ocean and as the first island came into view we all excitedly peered out the little oval windows for our first look at the Galapagos.  Continue reading

Hospitalized and Robbed in Quito & Baños, Ecuador – Still Had A Blast!

IMG_6813

I wish I could say I spent a few amazing days exploring the great city that is Quito, but Quito turned out to be a repeat of Medellin and Bogota- sick, sick, sick. You can read about my adventures dealing with illness for over a month on the road here.  We spent 5 days in Quito, most of them being in the hostel bed, bathroom and couch, and then in the hospital.  All we wanted was to get on the road. Other than exploring the streets near the hostel and on the way to the hospital, we didn’t really get to see any of Quito, unfortunately. We walked to the super market a couple of times to load up on soup, bread and rice which was all we could stomach. After a few days we were nearly delirious with desire for anything other than ichiban soup. The only excursion we set out on was to head to the equator which ended up in me getting painfully ill, almost as a lesson to not leave the hostel! Other than being terribly sick near the end of our day it was a a great way to get out and see a bit of Quito on the long drive to the Equator park. It’s cheap and there are lots of little shops – but it’s a pretty tourist heavy excursion; though still neat to learn the history! Continue reading

How To Not Get Robbed On A Bus, Like I Did…!

IMG_8941

Well this also finally happened… I was robbed. Before you freak out, family and friends, no, I was not held up at gun or knife point and stripped of all my belongings, thank god. It was a more of a ghost robbery, where I was left totally unaware. I  hopped on my bus in Banos heading for Guayaquil to meet up with Anthony, a nice cheap $7 ride for 7 hours. I walked towards the back of the bus where my assigned seat was. There was a man at the back of the bus who looked as if he worked on the bus as he was directing patrons to seats. He motioned for me to take my assigned seat, which I did and then said I could store my backpack up top or below my seat. There were bags under the seat in front of me so I slide my back pack back under my own seat and settled in. Mistake number one. Unnoticed, the man took a seat directly behind me. Continue reading