Since the last time i wrote, i have been through Ecuador and all the may to the top of Colombia which is where i am now. Firstly the home cooked Peruvian meal was amazing, in what normally i would of thought of as a dodgy place to be in Cusco the setting made it better and being with a Peruvian just made it seem more friendly and safe. We had a whole guinnea pig each stuffed with chilli's and the most amazing stuffed peppers it was really nice, then we went for a few drinks in a really local bar we were the only white people there but it was nice to get away from the tourist centre, and after the meal we had this locally made, alcoholic drink i dont know what it was but it was so strong and we had to make a toast to the paccy mamma which is the mother earth, its was a bit wierd.
The next day was the beggining of a massive journey, 60 hours in total on buses, but it was good to finally get to Banos in Ecuador, although i did have food poisioning on the bus for the last 6 hours which isn't a good place to be when you feel like that, we got there realy late or early depending on how you look at it, and just went to the closest hostel, it wasnt great but it was just nice to finally have a shower and a bed, the next day i just spent recovering and we moved to a nicer place with a few more people and a nice common area and then when i felt better the next morning i had a full day, it begun early in the thermal baths next to a waterfall just after sunrise and then, we went to rent these go kart type things in the afternoon, the photos are on here from that, this was really fun especially at first racing through the streets and exploring the wider city for ourselves but on the way back they all broke down at some point or run out of petrol and in the end it just out a negative view on the whole experience especially when they tried to try us more for it, i wasnt very happy with that, the next day we intended to explore the Volcanoe that is there but the clouds where really low and we tried a few times but you just couldnt get a good view which was a shame, but this was also the day where i jumped off a 100 metre bridge, on a budgee cord, the feeling was amazing as you free falled through the air and the relief when the cord finally gripped was unbelievable, but when i have never been so ervous as when i had to climb over the barrier on the bridge and edge my way towards the edge of the platform because the only place you can look is down to see where your putting your feet and then the countdown begins, i did manage to do an amazing dive off though, and the video looks amazing i cant wait to show you when i get back.
The next thing was to go to Quito, here we were going to do a trip into the Amazon but it just didnt work out so spent a couple of days exploring the old city and quickly moved on to Colombia, Quito actually wasnt that nice and really scary at night, so i was glad to leave, and Colombia is becoming bettter and better so far and one of my favourite countries.
We arrived in Colombia safely and got to a place called Popyan which was pleasent but nothing special we just where there as a stopover for the journey to San Augustin, this is the worst journey i've had so far actually spending more time mid air than on the seat, the road was unbelievably bumpy and i was so glad to finally get off having arrived quicker than expected. Once in San Augustin we found the coolest hostel on the edge of the forest and stayed there for the evening getting home coooked pasta for dinner and chatting to the owners, my Spanish is getting better and better by the day. We set off early in the morning to explore the archelogical park where there are statues with carvings of faces of important people from the 16th century, it was good but i expected a little more if i am honest and after a few hours we made our way back, for yet another bus into Bogota, this is a realy cool city in a beautiful setting surrounded by mountains on all sides.
The first day in Bogota we went to lots of different museums which were all really interesting, a massive one all about gold and then one with a lot of paintings by Boletro a really famous Colombian artist then a really wierd one that im still unsure if i liked or not but it was all art deicting people being killed and cut open, as we walked back and it was getting dark there were so many police and guns it is astonishing but it made you feel so much safer, so it was good.
The next day we went on a day trip from Bogota to a little town called Zipaquira, this was a nice little town but had an stunning underground cathedral in a salt mine, this was so much better than i imagined it to be and the tour around took about 2 hours it was massive, so worth going there. There is a whole journey as you walk though and you get glimpses of the naves, then finally you work your way to the centre and the vew up the 100 metre long 16 metre wide nave underground is beautiful.
The next couple of days we just spent wondering round the city, looking at little buildings and we had a free BBQ at the hostel which was nice to meet everyone, then we travelled to Cartegena on the Carribbean coast, this place is so hot and humid you are constantly sticky so it was just nice to get a ltittle sea breeze on the first afternoon and be able to go in and out of the sea although this wasnt even cold enough really, the following day we took a day trip to a nearby mud volcanoe it is 16 metres tall and the biggest in Colombia, it was a strange experience you get in and are pushed into a place by the men who work there, the mud is so thick you can barely move then they come round and rub mub all over the rest of your body kind of like a massage, and then when there finished you can spend as long as you want there but its really difficult to move, even just putting your legs down, then when you get out its so hot that the mud goes hard instantly and you get washed by some local women in the lagoon and you stand there naked as they wash your shorts for you, its a realy strange experience and we all laughed about it.
Anyway im now in Santa Marta, and i've got another trek organised through the jungle for 5 days starting tomorrow, but in this heat and humidity its gonna be very difficult, im loking forward to it though.