Thursday, 24 July 2008

More Photos - Galapagos Islands

Here are some more of our South American photos.

A giant tortoise.

On the bow of the boat.

A beach where the turtles land to bury their eggs.

A colourful crab.

A sea lion in the surf.

More boobies.

The blow hole.

Getting close to the sea lions.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

More Photos From South America - Peru

We have a few more photos up loaded from our travels around the continent of South America.

The smog over Lima.

The Peruvian coast near Pisco.

A poor attempt at Sandboarding.

Sunset over the sand dunes.

Our breakfast guest.

A maintenance port on an ancient aqueduct.

Columns in the monastery in Arequipa.

More of the monastery and the mountains behind.

Overlooking the Colca Canyon.

Getting close to a cactus.

Another shot of the canyon.

Boat making at the floating islands on Lake Titicaca.

Weaving on the floating islands.


Elaborate bow of a reed boat.

Climbing the hill on Isle Amatani.

Why we climbed the hill.


Market Stall.

Mountain near the Inca trail.

Us at Macchu Pichu.

A couple of Llamas.


A river in the Amazon rain forest.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Final Thoughts on South America

Well, it has been a while since our last blog post. We have been a week and a half in the US now (where finding an Internet cafe has been surprisingly difficult), but I thought I would finish blogging about South America first. Our last few destinations included Tena (great white water rafting), Banos (canyoning, an acquired taste), and Cuenca (very pretty). Gemma and I would like to finish up with some final thoughts and general randomness encountered on the Continent that kicked off our trip.

  • Once a road has been paved, it never needs to be done again, even if the holes are 3 foot wide and a foot deep. You just drive round them.
  • You don't drive on the left or the right, you drive on the side of the road with the least potholes.
  • In one of the world's largest producers of coffee it's nearly impossible to get a decent cup of the stuff.
  • In one of the world's largest producers of cacao beans it's tough finding chocolate not produced by the Mars corporation in the USA.
  • It's normal to have both rice and potatoes in the meal (and lots of them).
  • In a flyer for a restaurant in Puno, Peru, some of the benefits advertised: Free drink, heating, anger conditioning. Maybe lots of patrons are unable to control their anger once inside????
  • Despite an abundance of cows in the fields there doesn't seem to be a drop of milk that hasn't been powdered or condensed and canned.
  • In order to drive correctly, it is necessary to honk your horn incessantly.
  • The people suffer from overflowing helpfulness and will continue to talk at you, giving you the benefit of their knowledge, whether you understood anything after the first word or not.
  • It is not necessary to bring your bus to a complete stop in order to allow your passengers to get on or off.
  • When catching a bus, it is not necessary for passengers to wait in the same place. In fact 10m between each one so the bus constantly breaks and accelerates seems to be the way to do it.
  • Overtaking 3 abreast with oncoming traffic on a blind corner is perfectly acceptable.
  • When becoming a tour guide in Peru it is necessary to learn how to deliver your knowledge as quickly as humanly possible, in one tone and to tut at your group if they dare to interrupt or ask a question.
  • The Amazon rain forest is not always hot and humid.
  • The Amazon rain forest is not a David Attenborough documentary.
  • Deadly jumping spiders do live in the jungle. It's best not to think about them.
  • Don't believe everything you read in the Lonely Planet - Gemma.
  • Don't believe anything you read in the Lonely Planet - Mike.
  • Standing on a corner with a severed cow's head on cup final night is perfectly normal.
  • Wear shoes if you visit a jungle nature reserve - ants bite and it hurts.
  • Canyoning is not a 'fun day out' but torture by cold water whilst dangling perilously over cliffs (it's great - Mike).
  • Riding on the roof of a train through the Ecuadorian countryside is wonderful.
  • Peru and Ecuador do the best pizza we've ever had.
  • Ecuadorian people have cast iron bladders, or that's what bus drivers assume on journeys of 4 hours or more with no toilet stops.
  • Apparently any type of shoe can be shined, according to shoe shine boys, including strappy sandals and rubber flip flops.
  • The Inca theology consists of 3 worlds.
  • It was, in fact, Chuck Norris who discovered Macchu Pichu (the Inca trail was cleared by a series of round house kicks).
  • Eggs can be balanced on their end - you need 1 egg, 1 nail and 1 equator.
  • Guinea Pigs look much cuter prior to being Barbecued.
  • Hot water is considered a selling point for most hotels, whether they have it or not.
  • To be repeated mantra style every 10 feet or so when walking around: "No we do not need a massage, we're not hungry and yes we have booked all of our tours already".
  • After walking 25 hours across 4 days to reach Macchu Pichu it's rather humbling to be told someone did it in 3 hours 45 minutes.
It's been great!! Onto the US and Canada now, we'll update you soon.