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Day 1 – When in Roma

After a late arrival we were shuttled to the fabulous Alpi Hotel (which I cannot recommend enough) to begin the first of 5 nights and 4 days of amazingness in my new favourite city – Rome.

Bernini’s Tritan fountain:

 

Where to begin… let’s start with the warm up walk Karen and I did to make our way across to the Vatican for our ‘jump the queue’ session. The walk from Termito Vatican City takes you via so many amazing sights – from my first glimpse at the Colloseum, past the Alter of the Fathers through to the Vatican. SO MUCH HISTORY – just leaves you speechless. Oh, we also had perfect weather, which is awesome seeing as we are both keen to tan (and succeeded!)😁

With my trusted historical guide Kransky (Karen), I was shown a very impressive side of Rome filled with history and amazing art and architecture – perhaps a tad spoilt some might say…but I’m totally worth it – for reals! πŸ˜‰

Nazionale a Vittorio: 

Sneaky Sistine Chapel selfie. #nophotosallowed 😜 

  Vatican City:  

St Peters:  

When in Roma – eat G E L A T O :  

And here endeth my day one – totally amazing, right? Thought so πŸ˜‰

Well well well…

…so it would appear that I have failed to update this site for some time but times they are a changin’ – bring on the bombardment of European amazingness. You’re welcome. 

L to tha AZY!

I’m so behind in this blog BUT am determined to catch up ASAP! Things have been so busy it hardly seems I have time to rest – in the best possible way πŸ˜‰

Hope y’all are well and I’ll have proper posts and photos up very soon!!

Rob, out!

In the jungle, the mighty jungle…

Well, I just don’t know where to begin!?

We hit the Amazon after a very scenic drive down to Sacha Runa lodge, which was our accommodation for 3 nights, and it was fabulous! Truck pulls up and we are zip-lined over the river to then walk 5 mins to our lodge – just amazing!!

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After a night of card games and cervasa we headed off in the truck to a river where we were put into oversized canoes and boated down stream to an animal sanctuary where we were shown around by volunteers! Very exciting to see my first ever Tucan but missed out on the baby anaconda who was in hiding 😦 Spider monkeys galore as well as a tapir and a cayman, all animals rescued or donated as the previous owners couldn’t look after them – very interesting experience!

We then scoot back upstream to have lunch then are driven to another river location where we are thrown onto tube rafts (5 truck tyres tied together) and make our way down to a local village to meet some locals and learn about their culture – was great, then back on tubes to float/swim for til dusk and our collection point! So tranquil and peaceful, it really takes some getting used to relaxing I must say!!

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This was followed by an amazing thunder storm which kicked on all night with a great lightning show and poured right through til morning but it was unable to dampen our spirits for our hike with the fabulous Alex as our guide – a local Indian who was so knowledgable yet very cheeky and naughty, he was brilliant!

Driven 45mins in the back of a ute to the hiking reserve, only to be put in gumboots and directed up a stream – within 5mins my dream of dry socks was over and it was game on! Roping it up waterfalls through the actual water was the definite highlight, seconded by the ‘natural shower/massage’ under the huge waterfall, powerful enough to knock you off the rocks!! Bloody brilliant though πŸ™‚

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From waterfalls and bush hiking to a lagoon to jump off a rock to swim in, and it may have included cervasa πŸ˜‰

Then back to camp for lunch and on the truck to head to Banos…

Happy days!!

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

A whole new world…

Well, what a couple of days it has been – and they have been fabulous indeed!

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Firstly, the TeleferiQo gondola that takes you up to 4100m above sea level gave me an amazing view, only to be topped by my accidental 4 hour hike to the top of Pinchicha – absolutely amazing once you get past the fact that you can’t breathe and you’ve hiked/climbed an extra 4000 or so feet! CRIKEY!!

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It was absolutely breathtaking up there, words cannot describe being that high and seeimg so many different parts of South America meet together… I made friends with a German lady named Angie and we hiked down together and had a spot of coffee before catching the TeleferiQo back to Quito. She was lovely and so good to meet up with like minded people!

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Our first bus leg took us down from Quito in preparation for entry into the Amazon maΓ±ana! First stop was a quicke at the Equator which was great, a little run down by a local guide about everything equator – was worth the stop just for photos really πŸ˜‰

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Am currently in Otovalo which is famous for it’s markets (they are amazing, so much colour and so many llama designs – heaven!!) I purchased myself a llama wool poncho which I’m loving myself sick in πŸ˜‰ It’s quite a random little town, kind of half finished but cute all the same! Spent today hanging with some of the crew which was fun, a walk to a waterfall which was like being in Australia, surrounded by eucalyptus and wattle trees!? Who would have thunk it?

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Well that’s enough out of this little black duck for now, but I’ll be back with more of my adventures in South America – I LOVE IT!!!

Rob, out!

Uno Grateful Gringo…

Tonight I am just a little overwhelmed with just how amazing the Zuniga family is that I’m staying with! Such generosity and kindness, regardless of the language barrier (yo un poco espanol and they don’t speak englais) It saddens me freely to think that I will not be able to express my gratitude towards them – my own family could not have looked after me better, and that is a big call! This is them: (Denalo, son Lucas, student/personal translator Emma and the beautiful Beatrize – it’s actually going to be sad to leave them…

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My life has been lived from my un poco loft casa here in their villa, I get 3 home cooked meals a day with my own bathroom for $15 a night, totally crazy!

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I managed (just) to make it to Cafe Mosaico, and as you can see it was well worth doing the stairs sir oxygen! The view is unparalleled!

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I did finally receive my equipage (luggage) after going back to the aeropuerto, but I slept like a bebe last night, although between the altitude/ lack of oxygen and Spanish lessons I am quite beat!!

MaΓ±ana is my last day in old Quito town, as tomorrow I head to the hotel to meet with the tour group the head off into the unknown… well, to the Amazon actually πŸ™‚

Old town Quito, you’ve been so good to me and I will miss you dearly, but adventure beckons this weary traveller and I must vamos!

So for now this amigo says adios, hasta maΓ±ana – well, not tomorrow but soon enough πŸ™‚

Rob, out!

Quitoliciouso

Buenos Dias!!!

Quito, oh how I love thee! To be in a city perched high up the Andes is certainly a dream come true!

So it’s day 3 and I’m much more settles now than before – still awaiting the arrival of my luggage which decided to stay in Auckland… but with any luck I’ll have it this afternoon or tomorrow at the latest! Good one LAN airlines *sigh*

I’ve also been hard at Spanish lessons with my tutor Nardi at Quito Antiguo Spanish School run by a fabulous man named Freddie! They have both been so helpful re getting sorted seeing as I have no bag and general Quito information – and with the awesome family I’m staying with I really have little to complain about, I mean come on – I’m in Quito, right?

It is their winter here which is in poco frio (a little cold) but I have my trusty AIME hoodie so am coping! πŸ™‚

So not a great deal to report at this stage but you’ll be hearing from me soon enough! My only camera at present is the iPhone but it’s doing OK so far!!

Alrighty then, adios amigos

Robx

ps there will be no photos of me until I’m rid of my Malcolm Naden style beard… (clippers are in my bag)

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