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Literal highs and lows

The Andes are a pain in the arsies


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So it must have been longer than I thought since my last blog post as I was talking about day 48 then and I've now passed 50.


The journey so far

Banos continued to be a great time as I travelled into the Amazon jungle, another tick off the old bucket list, although I hope to go even deeper into there when I visit Peru in a few weeks. The trip was great, although it started off a bit ropey as we went down a river in a boat cut out of a log that had no real business being on the water. As always, like an idiot, I had my wallet on me, so was more worried than I needed to be about falling in as we hit rocks, got stuck in the middle of the river and generally bobbed and swayed like the uncontrolled log we were.

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We were lucky not to drown! Luck and the fact the water was about 2 foot deep

Miraculously, we managed to stay afloat and dryish and proceeded an hour further into the jungle to visit the Huaorani tribe in their village. It was pretty touristy, with native dances and demonstrations. We drank some drink, I have no idea what it was, but was told by my guide that before the coronavirus it was made with spit rather than water. Chalk on up to the virus!

We then hiked up through the jungle to a waterfall. After some much tougher hikes, this was a breeze! I'm pretty pleased with my generally improving fitness! At the top everybody jumped into the pool at the bottom of the waterfall. I say everyone, it was everyone apart from the guides and me! It was raining and the water was bloody cold! I did the swimming in the waterfall pool thing in Costa Rica, where it was 35 degrees. I'll give this a miss cheers!

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All good things must come to an end though and the next day was my day to travel to Guayaquil. It was a 5.5 hour journey, but I've had worse. Or so I thought! Pretty much the entire journey apart from the last hour was just slaloming down through the Andes mountains. It was terrible. I couldn't read a book, watch a movie or anything because as soon as I looked away from the road I felt sick. I'm usually fine, but this was really hard. I tried to sleep a bit and I could listen to music or a podcast, but I had to keep my eyes on the road the whole time. Fortunately the Ecuadorian landscape is stunning! But it was small consolation to me as the journey went on for 7 hours straight.

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Guayaquil Cemetery is pretty bloody incredible!

Guayaquil is going to be a bit of a rest for me, I don't have anything much planned. Today was spent walking around, getting to know the place, with a stop at a square filled with meter long iguanas! It was crazy seeing them all just walking around the park. They didn't care about the people there at all, and the park was filled with them. I hadn't realised how many there actually were until I narrowly avoided being hit by a stream of lizard piss and looked up to see the trees filled with them too! There must have been a hundred there!

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Iguanas and turtles and Koi oh my!

Tomorrow is for the football (It's coming home!) and then Monday will likely just be getting ready for the Galapagos, so I may be away a few days, but I thought as I've passed day 50, in fact now day 52, I'd update with some stats:

I have travelled a total of 8,277 miles, through 4 countries if you include the 2 hours I was in Spain on day 1.

I have stayed at 15 hostels, hotels and apartments in 14 different towns and cities so far. The shortest time I stayed in a room was one night (The hostel in La Fortuna filled with kids). The longest I stayed in a place was a week, in Boquete, where I could have stayed even longer.

I have travelled a conservative 64 hours so far by plane, boat, car and oh so many buses. That doesn't include any time waiting for buses or sat in airports etc. I have walked 240 miles so far. Up and down mountains, through rivers, jungle, rainforests, beaches and mangrove swamps. I don't know how much weight I've lost as I can't find any scales, but I'm using a hole in my belt that's never been used before.

I've seen countless new animals, but highlights are Howler Monkeys, Sloths, Hummingbirds and Tapirs!

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And this lazy bastard

I have lost or broken very little thankfully. I had a towel stolen on day 3 or so, lost a sock a few weeks in, so tossed the other one, cracked the back of my phone, but that can be fixed and the strap broke on my small bag, so I replaced it with a small rucksack.

I broke a fingernail in half, got dirt stuck up my thumbnail after a slip that hurt a lot more than you'd imagine and of course did something to my back 20 mins before leaving that seriously affected my first few weeks of travel. I've also been bitten by mosquitoes about a million times.

I'm having a fine time, and it's getting better. I missing everyone very much though.

Right, I'm gonna go, some hippy looking guy is doing something weird with a flower covered stick in the hostel and I want to see what's going on!

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I can't get enough of hiking through jungles

Posted by cblanc102 05:40 Archived in Ecuador Tagged waterfalls skylines people animals birds planes rainforest wildlife hiking beach travel bus hostels jungle costa_rica aeroplane bugs beauty flights ferry coffee south_america central_america ecuador solo solo_travel coronavirus Comments (0)

Jungle Diary - The ups and downs of going up and down

I'm like a cross between Tarzan and Indiana Jones


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So a few days ago I travelled to Dos Brazos in Corcovado National Park. My first time in what they call Primary Rainforest instead of the apparently tame stuff I've been in so far.

The wifi there was spotty at best, but you know, I was in the jungle. I did however, keep a little diary. Here it is:

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Day 1 - arrival
I don't feel very comfortable here. I'm the only guest here and the only person wearing clothes half the time. The hike up was harsh! Five mins by road, then another five up a pathway then you have to wade through a river before a final 20 min hike uphill.

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The bed seems nice, but it's all very open and I don't have any warm clothes. In theory, I could go back to the office and get stuff from my bag. Harsh hike again though if i do that!

At this point it feels like 3 nights may have been a night too long… Alternatively Blanc, just roll with it, chill out and relax a bit. Read a book!

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Two guys turned up late afternoon, Chris and Frank from Poland. Turns out they're father and son, which i never would have guessed. I think they've booked a room, so I'm still on my own where I'm sleeping

Chris is a good guy, we have a drink together, pretty fun evening, but still raining, it has been now for 6 hours.

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Day 2
The rain stopped about 7am, apparently the worst rain for two years! They’re saying it destroyed a bridge between here and Puerto Jimenez where I’m returning to, maybe I can't get out of here?

I went out for a hike, it was extraordinary, really beautiful, but very hard going in places and bloody hot! I saw a few animals including a family of jumping monkeys and the biggest butterfly I have ever seen in my life.

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Finished a whole book in under a day, I haven't done that in ages. Amazing how productive I can be when there’s no wi-fi

Made my dinner, only for a swarm of flying termites to show up and get in absolutely everything. I had to boil the water 3 times because they managed to get in there.

I would be happy to leave tomorrow, all the things that make this place great get old very quick, being in the middle of nowhere, shit power, shit wi-fi, nature everywhere, good for a day, maybe two, but three??

Went out at night with everyone looking in the jungle for snakes and spiders. Actually quite creepy, saw loads of spiders, no snakes. We found a hand sized wolf spider in the French couple’s room. The Polish lad moved it to the pond. He likes bugs apparently

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Day 3
Walked down to my bag to get the drone. Water was higher than before, but not too bad. Walk was a pain again though.

Flew the drone a bit before it started to rain hard. Ron got my hopes up by saying I may have to leave early if the rain continued because of crossing the river. Rain stopped though, I've never been so saddened by rain stopping.

Chris and Frank left, two Swiss girls arrived, tonight I'm mostly bored and looking forward to getting off tomorrow. I spent a little lime looking for stars. Anyone who knows me knows how badly I want to see the Milky Way, but it has eluded me again this trip so far, with the night skies being clouded over all the time. It's a long trip though, fingers crossed

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Day 4
It’s been a funny few days and in some ways I’m sad to be leaving, but in more ways I’m not lol. It really has been an experience, but I guess I’m too used to the trappings of modern life, even the cut down ones that I have while travelling. Would I do it again? Surprisingly, yes, in a heartbeat, it was amazing, seeing all the animals, living in the middle of it. It's the experience of a lifetime. Although I would likely just do two nights, that’s more than enough!

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Posted by cblanc102 20:31 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged animals monkeys rainforest jungle costa_rica bugs south_america central_america latin_america spiders solo_travel Comments (2)

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