A Travellerspoint blog

November 2007

Fun in the Jungle

Banos, Ecuador

overcast

Eating a pastry
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Waterfall
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Joce with Blowgun
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Me infront of the Amazon
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Blue Morpho
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Blue tounges
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Us with our guide Carlos
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Another day in parardise.

After all the stress of having our backpack stolen we decided we needed to have some chill out time. We left Cuenca and took a nine hour bus ride to Banos, a beautiful little village nestled in the mountains surrounded by waterfalls and hot springs. We did some hiking, ate some delicious food and slept like rocks. After soaking ourselves silly in various temperatures of water we decided to go on a two day jungle trek in the Amazon Basin. Because it is low season in South America (very few tourists) we got to have a guide all to ourselves. We stayed in a hut on stilts, ate ants, cooked fish in leaves, drank water out of bamboo, and took a dugout canoe down some white water rapids I got to hold an incredibly small monkey that lives in and around the village. I also got to hold a couple of parrots that I found just sitting in the trees near our cabin. These parrots could fly away if they wanted, but instead they choose to stick around and steal food off tourists plates ( much to my delight). Our guide showed us some truly funky plants in the jungle... plants that dyed our tonges blue for hours, plants that soothed itchy mosquito bites, seeds that we used to paint eachothers faces and leaves that made tattoos on our bodies.
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It was so cool to be close to the Amazon river and see all kind sof crazy colored birds and insects flying around. We searched for snakes, tarantuals and caimen but didn´t find any (much to the dismay of my husband). I am sure that he will have many more oportunites to get bitten or chased......

Jocelyn Lord

Down a little further...

Down a tinny bit more.....

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Posted by Seaurchins 17:48 Archived in Ecuador Comments (1)

Some bad news

sunny

Hola,

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A picture of me with some strange, unknown fruit........ hmmm

So far our trip has been virtually hassel free, and has been throughly enjoyable. Somtimes the long bus rides can induce serious boughts of nauseousness, and once and awhile our stomaches feel a little off, but overall we are enjoying our adventure. Our trouble free adevture ended three days ago when our backpack containing all our identification (passports, care cards, drivers lisences, SIN numbers.... you name it), credit cards, bank cards, all of our cash.. which was like 500.00$, our trevllers checks, all our flight tickets, my ipod, a beautiful turquoise necklace I had bought in Guatemala, our Bible and so many other important things.. were stolen on our buse ride from Loha to Cuenca in Ecuador. The most painful part was discovering that the backpack was missing about an hour into a 6 hour bus ride and not being able to do anyting about it. We only had 10$ on us and didn´t know how we would be able to get a place to sleep and food to eat. We took a few moments to pray and ask Jesus to give us wisdom and to help us. Then we started asking everyone in our broken spanish if anyone had seen somone leave the bus with our bag. Fortunatly there was an american couple on the bus that spoke better Spanish than us and helped us try and talk to people. They were also kind enough to invite us to their home for the night as we had no place to go. They shared a taxi with us, took us out for dinner and then took us to a place where we could make some international phone calls. The next day they gave us some money to make some more calls and to get some lunch. Thankfully we were able to contact my parents and they wired us some money from our account. Wow, I had no idea how much security money can provide. We tried to go to the police station to file a report but after waiting over an hour in a lineup we were told that the police could do nothing for us. In the meantime we had met a great christain Ecuadorian man who offered to drive us to a place that could help us. He brought us to some department of justice and helped translate our story into spanish so the officials could write a letter. If that wasn´t enough he invited us to come visit his family. We ended up taking him up on his offer a day later after we had gotten a few things sorted out with the Canadian embassy and our insurance company. We have been so blessed by complete strangers generosity and hospitality. We wanted to thank the american couple that had helped us so much so we offered to take them out for a fancy meal or buy ingrediants and cook togther. They took us up on the second option and we cooked an incredibly delicous meal togther. After dinner some friends of theirs came over.. some canadians they worked with at the English school in Ecuador. It turns out one of them grew up in Victoria and the other grew up on Sointula and knows Nathaniel´s best friend Allan Dodds. Wow, what a small world. Apparently they even met once before through friends. So to make a long storey longer... we are okay and we have really enjoyed meeting some cool people that we would not have met if this whole disaster hadn´t happened. If you could pray that by some miracle someone turns in our backpack that would be awesome... replacing everything is going to be very costly and time consuming.

P.S. We are at a fairly high altitude, this city is 2500 meters above sea level. We constantly feel out of breath... you should hear us when we climb some stairs... it is pathetic.

Sincerely, Jocelyn

Posted by Seaurchins 17:18 Archived in Ecuador Comments (2)

Costa Rica and Ecuador

We have a lot of catching up to do....

sunny

Hola,

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It feels as though it has been forever since we have written. Perhaps because we have been lazy, or having too much to remember to write. After hearing from a few of you that we haven´t been dong enough blogs we have decided to make a more concentrated effort. In Costa Rica we visited the active Volcano Arenal. It was cool to hear huge rocks, the size of houses, crashing down the mountainside along with fast flowing lava. On the trail back to the village Nathaniel and the guide found a HUGE viper just off the path. Me and another girl kept our distance as Nathaniel charged into the bushes after it. Honestly though, what can I expect..... Nathaniel has already handled so many huge insects and spiders in the short time that we have been here. We have countless photgraphs of butterflies, moths, spiders, iguanas, lizards...... While in Costa Rica we also tried out some cool zip lines in the Monterverde rainforest. . We rented bikes at one point and biked around the countryside. They were the sweetest mountain bikes, with suspension and gears and breaks and everyting. In the past we have ridden some very sketchy bikes and I have avoided hills for fear that I may not be able to stop. In Granada, Nicaragua we had rented bikes to explore the colonial churches and ruins and Nathaniel had manged to bend his tire within 5 minutes of goofing around.

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We flew out of Coast Rica yesterday and we are now happily settled in our own cabin with in the Vilcabamba valley. We landed in Quito only to discover that the farm we wanted to work at was on the other side of the country. (A little glitch in the planning side of things). In anycase we decided to purchase a domestic flight and save ourselves 15 hours on a bus. Now that we are finally here Nathaniel is hoping to do some bee keeping and I am looking forward to doing some painting and gardening. I am also looking forward to going running in the mornings while it is still cool. Last time I went for a run I saw wild green parrots. How cool is that! We have our own kitchen and we are excited about cooking for ourselves. I never thought I could possibly get tired of eating out. Well I am going to sign out now. I don´t know when we will get to write again because we don´t have internet out there in the boonies but I´m sure we will havew to come to town for grocceries at some point. We also apoligize for the lack of pictures. We are exploring other options as this site is not very good for downloading.

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A hercules beettle on Nathaniel´s hand..... seriously huge!

Love Joce

Posted by Seaurchins 13:10 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged backpacking Comments (2)

Surfing in San Juan Del Sur

Hey all......

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SO we made it into Nicaragua with no hick-ups. We travelled straight from San Salvador to Managau in 10 hours. It was a long bus ride. Then got out of Managua straight away and down to Grenada. It is the best restored colonial town so far. The buildings have been fixed up and turned into resturants or hotels/hostels. We took a day trip around the north tip of Lake Nicaragua and visited a spanish fortress, and an island inhabited by monkeys, we got to throw them bananas from the boat. So after haging out in Grenada and taking in the sights (speaking of sights, Jocelyn had a massage from a blind person and said it was the best she has ever had) we headed to the beach town of San Juan Del Sur (SJDS). The surfing is great, the people are real friendly and kind, and the waves are sopposed to get real big in the next couple of days. So We are heading out to a hostel right on the surf beach for a couple of days and hopefully there will be some great photos to follow... Nate

Posted by Seaurchins 07:11 Comments (1)

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