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Ecuador

Killing time in Quito

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Finally,

Well we officially have new passports.. temporary ones, but passports nevertheless. We get our normal passports in Madrid, Spain. How exotic. We have been in Quito for just over five days and we are both itching to get out of the city. Dispite the belching public trasport and the hordes of people, our time here has been quite productive. Lets see, we went to a bullfight...a real one where at least six bulls died and two madadors got gored. It was not my cup of tea, considering I can´t even kill a bug, but it was a cultural experiemce. I´ll let Nathaniel write more on the subject as he probaly enjoyed it more than I did. We hiked to an elavation of 4,700 meters..... seriously high and definatly the toughest hike we have ever done. We could barely put one foot ahead of the other by the time we reached the summit. The air was thinner up there and it messed with our heads and our ability to breath properly.

We explored some gothic churches and one that was inlaid with over seven tons of gold..... it was overwelming. Unfortunatly we were not allowed to take pictures in there... we proably would have blinded ourselves anyway! Let´s see what else... we got to expereince "Quito Days" - a week long party that started three days ago and will continue for another week. There are concerts in every main square, bizarre buses with bands on the roof that drive around town and music and partying from the afternoon into the wee hours of the night. It´s very festive! Well we are off the catch a flight to Lima, Peru now. We hope that we will not run into any trouble at the airport with regards to our stolen e-tickets.

- Jocelyn and Nathaniel

Posted by Seaurchins 11:08 Archived in Ecuador Comments (0)

Fun in the Jungle

Banos, Ecuador

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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)

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