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Up and Over

Posted August 11, 2013

PART 15 (DAYS 33-35): “How’s everything here?” I asked Chris, the manager at Southern Laughter Lodge, when I arrived back in Queenstown for a day in order to catch a homeward bound flight early the following morning.

“Oh, it’s quiet. It’s finally slowing down,” he answered.

“Oh, is the ski season over?”

“No, the season can go all the way until October,” he told me. “But all the Aussie kids have gone back to university.”

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A New Shipmate

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 08, 2003

DAY 48: The sun broke through the river fog to reveal what I didn’t want to see: through my “first class” “window,” I saw that we still hadn’t left the port in Yurimaguas.

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A Fresh Young Boy

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 08, 2003

DAY 47: The sun came up over Tarapoto and broke through the morning mist, revealing a pretty town surrounded by mountains.  I got dressed and sorted out and went looking for a place for breakfast — there was one on the fourth floor with a view of the city, and it was included in my fee.

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Eastward Ho!

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 08, 2003

DAY 46:  Since no roads go to the Amazonian jungle city of Iquitos, there are only two ways to get there:  by plane or — if you have time to kill like me — via a cargo boat up the Rio Marañon, one of the main tributaries that make up the mighty Amazon River.  The closest river port for these cargo ships is in the city of Yurimaguas which involves — as Lonely Planet describes — “a tiring road trip from the coast.”

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Tomb Raider

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 08, 2003

DAY 45: In 1987, when most people were discovering the idea of boiling rabbits in Fatal Attraction, a group of archaeologists discovered new ruins just 30 km southeast of Chiclayo, Peru.  This find contained the tombs of Sipan, an ancient city of the Moche civilization, a people who pre-date the more widely-known Incas.  The reason for their decreased popularity is due to the fact that they didn’t leave any written records — which is sad because we will never know if boiling rabbits ever appealed to them.

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On the Road Again

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 02, 2003

DAY 44: I bid a fond farewell to Navid when we left the hostel before eight in the morning.  He hopped on a mototaxi which brought him to the airport for his flights to Cuzco.  For the first time since I touched down in South America, I was alone again.

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Adventures in Border Crossing

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted December 02, 2003

DAY 43: Navid and I were out of the hostel in the Guayaquil suburbs before eight and caught a city bus to the main bus terminal.  A fake Christmas tree stood in the center of the main hall and for the first time, it was beginning to look a little like Christmas.

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Escape from Paradise

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted November 30, 2003

DAY 42: I had a 9:30 airport shuttle to catch back in Puerto Ayora in the morning, which would have been an easy thing if I was there.  I woke up with the sun as always around 6:30 wondering how the hell I was going to get out of the Middle of Nowhere.  I laid in bed next to the girl I had only known for a couple of hours, figuring I’d wait til at least 7:00 to make any moves.

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I Love Boobies

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted November 30, 2003

DAY 41:  Birgit and I were so used to the early morning wake-ups on the ship that we were both lying in bed awake at 6:30.  Birgit had developed a fever, so I lent her some of my medicine.  La Gripe was back.

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Postcards From A Weirdo

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted November 29, 2003

DAY 40: For my fourth and final scuba dive, I went underwater around Enderby Rock, a popular dive site off the coast of Isla Floreana.  It was a very good ending to my series of dives; I saw two Galapagos sharks, a huge school of baracudas, puffers, and sea turtles — all swimming around a beautiful coral reef grown over lava rocks.

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The Bird Slut

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted November 29, 2003

DAY 39: Each island of the Galapagos archipelago has its share of endemic species — species that are not found anywhere else.  Sometimes we’d be treated to a new animal, sometimes it was the same old marine iguana, sally lightfoot crab or the ever-popular sea lion (which never got tired.)  This was the case when we landed on the shores of Gardner Bay on Isla Española, the southern most island of all the Galapagos and walked along its white sand beach.  However, as Darwin discovered, Life finds a way to make things interesting.

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The Land of Land Iguanas

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted November 29, 2003

DAY 38: Manuel was tidying up the lounge area in the morning while I was waiting for the first diving group to return.  He poured himself a drink and told me it was his wife’s birthday back at home.  “Salud,” he said as he raised his glass.

“Salud!” I reciprocated.  Funny, I had no idea he was married all that time.

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The Dating Game

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted November 29, 2003

DAY 37: There was a knock on the door at 5:45 in the morning.  It was Mauricio waking everyone up for an early sunrise pre-breakfast land excursion on North Seymour Island, land of frigate birds and blue-footed boobies, birds whose mere name makes little kids — and this author — snicker immaturely.

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The War With Portugal

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted November 29, 2003

DAY 36: I was up on deck at sunrise before the others.  Manuel was there doing morning chores and I rapped with him for a bit.  We exchanged English and Spanish words until he saw something off the starboard side.

“Mira, hay tortugas que haciendo sexo.”  (“Look, there are turtles having sex.”)

And thus began my second day on a boat trip of the Galapagos.  (Others started by jumping off the side of the boat for a morning swim.)

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See Crabs and Sea Lions

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted November 29, 2003

DAY 35: The Galapagos Islands attracts many kinds of visitors, from retired American couples and their funny-looking beach hats and Bermuda shorts, to scuba divers and their funny-looking everything if they ever walked out on the streets with all their gear on.  I put all this gear on for my first dive at 5:45 in the morning off the coast of Isla Rabida.

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Ships Ahoy, But Not The Beer

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted November 29, 2003

DAY 34: To kill time before my 8:00 pm boat tour departure, I went back to Turtle Bay to chill out and read.  On my way down the winding path, I ran into Chris who was on his way back to town.  I chatted with the 63-year-old South African from Toronto until that uncomfortable silent lull you inevitably get when you bump into an acquaintance on the street and there is no good gossip to talk about.  Your options usually are to A) Talk about the nice or shitty weather; B) Scratch your ass; C) A followed by B; or what I did, D) Say, “Well, I’ll be seeing you.” 

He left for his flight back to the mainland later that day and I never saw him again.

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Idiot on Wheels

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted November 21, 2003

DAY 33:  Rosa, the old woman that ran the Los Amigos hostel, let me use the big sink in the yard to do my laundry.  We chatted for a bit while I scrubbed my underwear, about this and that in Puerto Ayora.  She seemed happy to talk to one of the travelers; most of them just kept to themselves and lived in a bubble, never interacting with their hosts unless they needed something.

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A Day at the Beach

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted November 20, 2003

DAY 32: Three kilometers west of Puerto Ayora lies Bahia Tortuga (Turtle Bay), with a white sand beach open to the public.  During the high season, I can imagine it being crowded with beachgoers and surfers, but it being the lowest of the low season, I had it all to myself.

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Who Are The People In Your Neighborhood?

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted November 19, 2003

DAY 31: When Andre moved out of our hotel room with a view of Pelican Bay, I was switched to a single which cost me $15/night.  However, this newer, more expensive room wasn’t worth its view of a brick wall, so I switched to the hostel Chris had lived in for only $6/night with windows that looked out to some palm trees.

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Alone in the Dark without Jesus

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted November 18, 2003

DAY 30: Andre was up by six to get the 7:15 shuttle bus & ferry back to Isla Baltra (where the airport is), to hop on his boat from there.  I assumed he got on the same bus as Chris as I stayed in bed for another hour.

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God Vs. Darwin

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted November 18, 2003

DAY 29:  Andre and I were lounging out on the hotel terrace, watching the sun rise over the bay as the sounds of ocean waves crashing into rocks filled the salty sea air.  Nearby, three seals were lazily sitting in someone’s boat.

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Line of Hope

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted November 16, 2003

DAY 28:  In Spanish, the verb esperar translates into two things in English: “to hope” and “to wait.”  This is especially noteworthy when you are waiting on the “Linéa de Espera” for a standby seat to open up for the Galapagos Islands at Guayaquil airport.  You wait on line and hope to get a flight.

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Defending Guayaquil

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted November 15, 2003

DAY 27: “You know what I heard?” Anita said at breakfast.

“What’s that?” I answered.

“That the train derails, for the tourists, so they can take pictures.”

I had met Anita in Spanish school in Quito, and we had both finished and headed south at about the same time.  She and her friend — I forget her name — were having breakfast at the cafe in my hostel in Cuenca and were planning to head to the Peruvian border afterwards.

“I’ll probably see you somewhere south,” I said.

“Most likely.”

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A Day “On” in Cuenca

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted November 14, 2003

DAY 26:  In modern life, the “norm” is to work most of the time, with a day or two off to “smell the roses.”  Well, as I’ve been “smelling the Ecuadorean roses” all this time (as well as the bus fumes), I needed a day to just do some work.  So I took a day “on” in Cuenca.

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For The Better of Humanity

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted November 13, 2003

DAY 25:  Being in Cuenca, Ecuador’s third largest city, is like being in Old Spain.  With its well-preserved Spanish colonial houses and cobblestone streets, it’s no wonder it was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999.  The red-roofed houses, the plazas and cathedrals make it one beautiful city with — I later discovered — beautiful women.

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