Galápagos Islands: Day 4

Chronicles of King of the Seas, day 3:

I woke up in the middle of the night to a lot of rocking and a bit of clunking. We were supposed to be on the move to another location but the engine wasn’t on so I assumed we were having technical difficulties (a nicer way of saying the engine was out of commission). I checked the fan in our room to see if we had electricity and it was out too. So there we were, floating and rocking and banging around in the middle of the night near some island in the Galapagos. In all honestly, I was definitely concerned. If our engine was out, who is to say we wouldn’t float into a rock? I lay in bed pondering the pros and cons of getting up to see what was happening and eventually decided against it. Two hours of heavy rocking and quite a few bangs later, our engine started again. It was such a sweet, sweet sound and it lulled me back to sleep. Oh King of the Seas, you’re really not much of a king, are you?

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Galápagos Islands: Day 3

Chronicles of King of the Seas, day 2: We woke up right by Isla Isabela and went to shore after breakfast. We were out onto one of those open air bus things and drove through the island towards a volcano. Don’t worry, it’s dormant. The landscape changed quite a bit between the dock and the volcano. There were some very barren patches and by the time we got to the volcano, we were in a jungle. The volcano was called Volcán Sierra Negra and it was cloudy on top. I might have special cloudy-volcano luck because the exact same thing happened at Cotopaxi. According to the guide, Sierra Negra has the second largest caldera in the world, spanning 12×10 kilometres. I took a picture of what we could see in an attempt to make up for what we couldn’t see.

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Galápagos Islands: Day 2

I woke up early, stretched out a bit, and headed out in search of breakfast. On the hunt for food I found bathing suit bottoms! It was more exciting than it should have been. I went to a little place called Lo&Lo’s for breakfast and the meal was gigantic. They had really good aji (hot sauce) there which tasted great with the smashed and fried plantain. They also had free wifi so I was able to contact my brother and let him know that the Galápagos Islands are much better than thesis writing. I’m lucky he’s so nice. I didn’t want to go too far that morning because I had a boat to catch and it simply wouldn’t do to miss it. 

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Galápagos Islands: Day 1

I got up early, paid for the hostel and got in a taxi to the airport. During the taxi ride, the hostel called and said they had undercharged me by $20.50. I had thought the rate rather low. The taxi driver was heading back to that area so I sent him with the rest of my hostel money. It was really quite funny and I’m glad it all worked out. I hopped onto the airplane after an extended screening process (due to destination) and worked on my very out-of-date blog for all you wonderful people who are reading this.

Everything went on halt with the spotting of land and for good reason.

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Fast Times in Quito

I left Otavalo for Quito after classes on Tuesday afternoon. Leonora fed me lunch even though she didn’t have to. That just goes to show what a lovely person she is. I took a taxi from the bus station in Quito to the hostel I found in the Mariscal district (also known as GringoTown). The taxi driver was quite nice and we taught each other bad words in our respective first languages. The highlight of the drive was him using some of his new vocabulary when some people walked right in front of his cab.

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Three Weeks Well Spent in Otavalo 

Otavalo is a small city north of Quito. It is famous for its Saturday markets and has many handicrafts in the Plaza de Ponchos every day of the week. This is the place I chose as a temporary home while studying Spanish. I have a problem, you see, and it is that yo no hablo Español. This problem can prove quite difficult when traveling alone in countries where Spanish is the language of communication.

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We moseyed on to Paracas after checking out the Nazca lines. We were exhausted from being on the move all the time and thought it would be nice to spend a few days in the same place…and in all honesty, we needed to do laundry which is quite difficult if you’re always moving. We arrived in Paracas and it’s pretty much one street with another almost-street along the water. There are a lot of restaurants but we figured they were all more or less the same. Tripadvisor didn’t say anything about most of them so we weren’t very excited about the food but we were very excited about having a place to call home for more than one night. 

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The town of Nazca is quite small and the people are really nice. The main attraction of Nazca is the Nazca lines. Those are essentially images that were created by mystery people for a mystery reason in the middle of the desert. Peru seriously does have the coolest ruins. The lines are only visible by air so we booked seats in a small aircraft. Ready to go!

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We did not have much time in Arequipa but I like to think we at least made good use of the time we did have. The afternoon we arrived we got our bus tickets for most of the rest of our journey all sorted out and spent some time wandering around. In the morning we went to the market. It was an amazing market. The fresh juice area was fantastic. We stopped at this one stall and the lady was really nice to us. She suggested different types of juice to us and Mum had a fantastic fresh juice with some sort of sweet squash in it. While we were drinking Mom’s juice (we shared both), these drunk guys came and got a special hangover tonic from our juice lady. It had an egg, a beer, and various other things in it. It was her speciality juice. They left and we split my juice which was also very good.

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Cañón del Colca 

The Colca Canyon is the second deepest canyon in the world, hitting 3191m of depth. We did not have a lot of time to allot to the exploration of the canyon but we did manage to explore the area a little bit.

We stayed in a town called Chivay, which, though small, had a wonderful market. We had gotten so tired of restaurant food that we decided to explore the market and buy some fruit, vegetables, and bread. The avocados here are cheap and delicious. They’re a different variation than the ones usually found in the grocery stores back home and they’re very tasty. There’s nothing like pretending you’re having a sandwich but actually just squeezing half an avocado onto a piece of bread with a little bit of cheese. 

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