Friday, August 5, 2016

Goodbye Mums and hello Colombia!

After one of the tastiest meals I had eating in South America, my mum was on a plane back to the USA to continue her retirement on American soil. I jumped on a plane the next morning to get the stamps for my fifth country, Colombia. I chose to fly up to Medellin instead of busing so that I could have a travel buddy reunion. Also, at this point I was pretty tired of super long bus rides. Sitting still is hard.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Oh buoy! Time to head back to the mainland.

Six days sounds like a decent amount of time, but when you spend all of that time staring at cool animals or snorkeling, the time goes way too fast. Hard to believe that we only had two more days left. On Friday morning we woke up on Fernandina Island. Here on Punta Espinosa we got to see a ton of marine iguanas. We had hoped to see some sharks in a deep little cove they like to frequent, but instead we saw a sea turtle and more iguanas. This is the youngest island and has some of the coolest black lava rock ever. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I'm on a boat!

The next morning, we were on our boat in the Baltra harbor by 1130. After a tasty lunch, we headed over to the North side of Santa Cruz island to Dragon Hill for our first bit of exploration and snorkeling. I was super excited when our guide pointed out our first marine iguana. Over the next hourish walk, we say a ridiculous number of birds, land iguanas, and marine iguanas. The land iguanas are the largest, and they eat low hanging succulents and plants as well as fruit that has fallen from trees. They do not swim like their smaller marine counterpart who eats algae and seaweed from the rocks. They both lay eggs in nests dug into the ground, and they both share a common ancestor, the green land iguana. It is thought that this iguana drifted to the Galapagos on vegetation several million years ago.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Boobies everywhere.

Lovely, now that I have your attention I'd like to talk to you about the Galapagos. More like show you. Because I took 1000000 pictures. So feel free to close this (and my subsequent posts about the Galapagos) if you're not interested in a million AWESOME animal photos. I understand not everyone thinks they're as cool as I do.
Sunset from our boat, the Encantada

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

La madre viene!!!!!

I made it up to Quito a day before my mom arrived so that I could scope it out for her. The plan was for her to arrive on Thursday evening so that we could get up and see the Good Friday parade. Because of a lovely snow storm, her flights got cancelled, and she arrived bright and early Friday am. After breakfast and some coffee, my trooper of a mother headed out with me to check out this procession. And lets just say it was not like the fun-filled cheerful parades I've seen. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Ecuador first impressions

I've felt for a while like I've been having a harder time connecting with people and their cultures here in various countries than I did when I was in SE Asia. Maybe its because people here are a little bit more reserved? Maybe its because there are more similarities between N America and S America. There are more things here that feel 'normal' than in SE Asia, so I don't notice them? Who knows. Either way, I decided that one of the things I wanted to do on my way up to Quito was to do a homestay in Saraguro, Ecuador. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The most perfect mountains I've ever seen

I'd had multiple people tell me that if I only had one hike to do in Peru, I had to do it out of Huaraz. And I only had time to do a couple of days of hiking. So I booked it up to Huaraz. I arrived on a night bus, so I figured I'd spend a day sorting out my plans and leave the next morning. Laguna 69 (yes, thats what it's called pervs) is the classic day hike that everyone does, so I figured I would do that and find another day hike to do.
The view from the van on the way up