onsdag 8. oktober 2008

Lima 6-8.10

Top left-right and down:
Barranco-building (area of Lima), Barranco gas-station, Ceviche (raw fish drawned in lemonjuice)
Guards doing som silly walks, Pancho having a cosceña while talking on the phone, Baby-lama in Hyana Puccllana.
Naked Tomahawk-Peru-dog.

Galapagos 29.9-4.10 - Learning spanish II

Top left-right and down:
Marine Iguana and his friend, Lobo Marine, Male Fregattbird.
Blue-footed Boobie, Giant Turtoise eating grass, mmm!
I went to Galapagos as a part of my spanish program. The second week of spanish was alot different from the first week in Quito. Here it was 4 hours of loose classes, trying to make conversations and more gramatics and the rest of the day was for excursions. And finally the weather was more like summer after a cold 1,5 week in Quito. I got to se heaps of turtles, both in the wild and in breeding stations. They are just incredably large. Because of their isolations from mammal predators, the animals on the islands don´t fear us humans. Their behavior is remarkably different to other places. The fregattbirds are another facinating animal here. They survive by pirating other birds catches. Basically stealing others food, since they can not dive into the water themselves. The Marine Iguanas were funny, the have to sneeze out their saltwater all the time when they are on land. You almost step on them because of their camouflaged bodies.

Sadly I had to keep to my room for a whole day, since I had my first encounter with stomachsickness on my trip. I guess it´s part of the whole experience to get sick a few times like this. After all, I have to risk something if I want to try different kinds of local food. But I´ll be more careful with the tapwater now...

The sickness was a setback for my spanish, so I didn´t learn as much as the first week. But still I can enough to make some easy conversations, although mostly using only present.

Baños 26-28.9

Top left-right:
Cuy (Guinea-pig) before roasting, Transport of rafts, Rafting near Baños.
Baños has something to do with bathrooms. That part is obvious. But it was also nice to come to a small town were you could go out after dark without worrying about getting robbed. Baños is a small city (4 hours south of Quito) but has lots to offer. Biking, hiking, rafting and hot pools is what I did there. My first time rafting was great fun, maybe safer to do it back in Norway, but we had no problems. On sunday me and a friend from rafting decided to go to the hot pools at 5 in the morning. I was a great way to see the sunrise. We had breakfast at this danish cafe, and it was sooo nice to get some real bread. Later we went biking down along the rivers to see waterfalls and a beautiful landscape. At one place we could stand behind the waterfall, wet and good fun.

Quito 22-26.9 - Learning spanish I

Top left-right:
Mitad del mundo, Cathedral in Quito, My hostfamily in Quito.

This week I was starting my spanish course at Amazonas Education. I got my own privateteacher, Karina, and she was pushing me really hard from the first day. But I never imagined that I would learn so rapidely as I did with her. She was an excellent teacher. I was staying with an ecuadorian family this week, so I had to speak spanish with them as well. That contributed well in the intencity of the learningprocess. Still it was nice to be able to speak norwegian with another student at our school.

The days went really fast, and we had a lot of homework. So not too much time for sightseeing. But I made it to Mitad del Mundo, witch is a visitor center at the equatorline. Really turisty but good fun to watch the water spinning in different directions on each side of the equatorline. I also needed to taste the famous cuy or guinea-pig. This is a very traditional dish in Ecuador and also in Peru. It tastes like chicken, but sure doesn´t look like one.

One day I wanted to try jogging in the forest, just to see how exhausting it would be. It was not too bad, but for me impossible to do more than fast walking uphill.

mandag 6. oktober 2008

Quito 17-21.9

Top left-right:

Rucu Pichinca (4800 meters), Cartrouble on the way to Vulcan Cotopaxi, Mmm, cuy (Guinea-Pig).

The first day in Quito I walked from the new town to the old town. The old town is a UNESCO world heritage site with lots of building from the colonial times. I stayed at a hostel called L`Auberge Inn witch is situated between the new and the old town. Quito is about 3000 meters above sea level, so I tried to take it easy the first days, not too much activities. But the third day, I couldn`t wait any longer to get into the mounteins. I signed up for this mountainbike-tour at Cotopaxi. Cotopaxi is the second highest mountain (and an sleeping vulcano) in Ecuador, at ca. 5800 m. The guide took us to the up to the rifugio/hut at 4800 meters. We had to stop for catching up our breath all of the time. From the hut we were going further to check out a glacier. But some lightening/thunder and hagel made us turn around. Anyway, the bikeride down the mountain was great fun and the views were spectacular, even with almost abscence of breaks. The next day I went hiking on another mountain near Quito. There is a cabel transport (Teleferiqo) up to 4100 meters and from there you can walk up to Rucu Pichincha, witch is at 4700 meters. This second day of hiking I felt that my body could manage the altitude better. It was alot of clouds on the top, so I couldn´t enjoy the great view that this mountain might have.

It´s really important to get up early in Quito, because early in the afternoon the clouds start rolling in. This often result in thunder up in the mountains. 3 guys were killed by lightening on this top (Rucu P.) earlier this year.

Down in Quito I felt the headache coming, witch is natural when you´re not used to the altitude. It also started pouring down and lightening was striking all over Quito, so I guess I made it beck from the mountain just in time. I only felt sorry for all the guys I met going up when I was going down.

On sunday I decided to take it more easy since I was sick of this headache. I had a late breakfast in the old town and later had a coffee and a great view of the city from cafe mosaico. I was going to check out Quitofest (a large festival with local music) in a parc nearby, but the ques were milelong and I was a littlebit afraid of getting robbed.