Hey all! So this is the penultimate entry! I can`t believe the last 3.5 months have gone so quickly and I`ve done so much ( most of which feels like a distant dream already!) in such a short space of time!
So the last week hads been very chilled. It took a couple of days to get back into the rhthym of being alone again and felt a little sad about not having the guys from the group around - we were a proper little family! One of the dads - George - went home and told his wife he wanted to adopt me ( didn`t seem to matter I don`t need adopting!)
Monday I moved to the hostel in the old town which was a bit of a shock to the system after having had such luxuary on the trip. The dorm I was staying in was full and you couldn`t see the floor because everyone had had uncontrollable bag explosions! Anyone that knows me will understand just how sick this situation made me feel and I desperately wanted to tidy!! There was a nice girl in the bed opposite though and spent a lot of time chatting with her through out the following days. The balcony where breakfast was had an amazing veiw out over the city though. In the afternoon I took a stroll down to the indoor market to have a look around - so much to buy!! But with a massive market in Otavalo coming up on the Saturday I decided to leave things be - although I did buy a bag coz I can`t get everything in mine anymore!
Tuesday I had a wonder around the old town - it didn`t take long but there were some beautiful buildings dotted about so I ambled around the streets for a while. Running out of interesting things to do here so I decided to leave here a day earlier than planned and booked myself into a hostel ( with a private room!!) in Banos for the following night.
Wednesday I headed to the bus station - $8 for a 45minute journey! Bargin! Getting the bus ticket was no problem but getting the right bus was trickier and I nearly ended up somewhere I can`t even pronounce! The kindness of strangers put me on the right bus and 3.5 hours later I was in Banos. The drive was beautiful once we`d left the city and we passed alot of small farms and gorgeous veiws of mountains and Valleys. The whole journey people were getting on and off trying to sell stuff but I had my 1st equadorian icecream thanks to a pushy hawker and it was weird but yummy! Didn`t expect sandwich jam in the middle but you learn very quickly with food you never get what you think you are!
Banos is a small town at the foot of an active volcano ( invalidating my insurance I believe! Opps!!) I couldn`t see it at any point because it was too cloudy but they assure me its there! I wondered around the town which is very seasidy without the sea which is odd! Its very quite here and not many tourists around although the ones in the hostel I was staying at were so young I wanted to slit my wrists!! I went for dinner and was serinaded by a couple - one on the guitar and the other playing the flute (very badly) and occasionally ferociously shaking her maracas ( no inuendo intended!) She got so carried away at one point they flew out her hand and across the restaurant! I left and was happy to uninjured!
Thursday it poored down with rain so I went to the Cathedral than to a museum next door. I use the word museum loosely as I didn`t learn anything - infact I think I knew more than the person who put it together especially in the nature section. There were dears who`d had their necks stuffed to the length of llamas, crocodiles with tails thicker then their bodies and most of them were displayed at impossible angles a contortionist would be jealous! It was eye opening for all the wrong reasons but it wasted an hour and the weather cleared up! I headed to the volcanic pools and on the way got chatting to a man out walking his dogs. It was so refreashing to talk to someone that didn`t want anything from you that he ended up having to say goodbye first! The pools were lovely. Not imaculate but at the base of a waterfall in a beautiful setting. They were full of locals - the big cooler pool was full of kids playing and the hotter pool adults so after being hit in the head by a ball and bombed by various boys who thought it was hilarious to get the white girl wet I braved to boiling pot! It was soooooooooooooo hot!! There were a couple from england/oz ( the only other tourists!) so I got chatting to them for a while. After they left I sat chatting with an old guy but I didn`t understand a word he said and he didn`t get me either but it made the time fly and before we knew it we were being thrown out!
Friday I checked out - I`d paided when I arrived but they said i hadn`t and they ended up following me down the street trying to make me pay again - I didn`t. Back on the bus to Quito to the hostel which took all day.
Saturday I booked on a trip to the big market in Otavalo. There were 6 f us all together ( all girls - I wonder why!). There were someother highlights on the trip - the first being the equator. Well that was the biggest anticlimax EVER! I don`t know what I expected but after hearing a lecture about the equator, the sun and how the map should be on its side ( and after not having used my brain for a few months that gave me a bit of brain ache!) - it just wasn`t very exciting! We then stopped at a veiw point into a crater lake for breakfast - this turned out to be rubber cheese wrapped in a leaf - ummmm - you must all try that one day!! NOT! Swallowed down with a nice hot chocolate it wasn`t so bad! We then headed to the market for a few hours shopping. It was so busy and massive it was a little scarey! I stuck with a mother and daughter ( linsdey and Pauline) and before we knew it we were bargining our way from stall to stall - although they did sometimes get the better of us and I`m now the proud owner of a hammock with no where to hang it . . . .daaaaaadddddd !! We went for dinner then to a leather market - obviously I had to buy a handbag coz my one at home was dead by the time i left so that was not out of choice!! It was a long day and by the time we got back we were shattered! I went to the hostel and checked out and moved to a hotel!! Thought I`d treat myself for the last two nights ( coz the last 3.5 months haven`t been a treat at all! LOL!)
Yesterday I met up with Lindsey and Pauline and we spent the day at another market and then I showed them the old town as they hadn`t explored it yet. another long day and lots of walking. Went for dinner in the evening which was lovely until I chomped on a massive peice of glass in my spag bol!! It was actually my last mouthful which was unlucky - or lucky depending on which way you see it! I didn`t hurt myself which was good and I got my dinner for free which was also good! If I`d thought of it earlier I would have travelled with shards of glass in my bag to put in my meals - thats how to travel on a budget!!
Today I`m wasting time before I head to the airpost shortly for my 15hour journey back to the uk - now i hear the weathers bad so sort it out! I am used to nice temperatures, sometimes warm showers but sun sun sun!!
Much love as always.
I managed to put some inca pics up and I`ll do galapagus at home when I sign out for good!
x x x x x