As some of you may have realised we are now in Ecuador and have started our interning stint with GVI again.
A lot has happened between Granada and here so we will try and remember everything!
We left Granada for Isla de Ometepe on Lake Nicaragua which is made up of 2 volcanoes. We climbed the bigger one, Volcan Conception from Sea level up to 1200m!! That was a tough day, but gorgeous. We also had a day or 2 after just to relax and wander the rest of the island in a lest dramatic way, though still on foot. From there we left Nicaragua and went into Costa Rica, a gorgeous country, but so expensive compared to the rest of Central America. The places we went to were also very touristy and we wern`t able to do very much without being in a big tour group, so we unfortunately didnt spend too much time there. Some where we will have to return to with more time and money!
We moved onto Panama within a few days and the border crossings had never been so easy! We dont know why, but there just weren`t any problems for us.
Our first stop in Panama was a town called Boquete, set in the coffee growing, mountainous regions. It was gorgeous there, fresh, cool, and a beautiful place to have our last week of travelling for a while. There were lots of walks we went on, our favourite being the 5 hour long quetzal trail along the edge of the Volcan Baru national park. The whole route went through the cloud forest which ran alongside a river for half of the way and opened out onto fields at the end where some local farmers lived and worked.
We spent a week in Boquete before moving on to Panama City for our last stop, Just a couple of days to do the main bits. Of course the first stop was the Panama Canal! which is amazing and huge!! We based ourselves on one of the observation decks and watched the massive ships go through the locks for about a hour before steeling our way into the museum which we didnt pay for, then left as it wasn`t very good!
We then moved on to a botanical gardens/zoo place, which was actually a big park area with a collection of animals. It was pretty fun, and some of the animals were amazing, there were tapirs which came right up to us, their fur is really tough like a pigs! and some Ocelots and an enormus harpy eagle, ant eater, monkeys etc. The highlight for me was a very lazy, very pregnant Jaguar having a snooze in the afternoon sun. We got within a couple of feet of her and she couldnt care less, that was absolutley amazing!
Our second day in Panama was spent exploring the old town, lots of Ruins and old buildings overlooking the sea. we spent most of the day wandering around before going back to the hostel to pack up for the lst time for ages!!
Next morning we got our flight which went oddly smoothly and we touched down in Quito on Wednesday night. Our Managers picked us up and took us straight to Otavalo and we are settling in well. We have our own house, shared with one other intern, and its pretty big. We didnt think the first time we lived together would be in Ecuador!
so you are all up to date. Once we have done some things with our schools etc we will right another blog, keep the messages coming, we will be on the internet more often now!
Take care every one
Kat and Patrick