Sunday, July 27, 2008


Alright the past week has been crazy!!!! woohoo
I don{t remember what i wrote about last, but i guess i{ll try and continue from there.
Our friend Ruben from Esmeraldas who we stayed with had invited us to his birthday party back up in Mompiche (the aesome little fishing village we stayed at) and this party just coincidentally happens to be the Fiesta de la luna llena (festival of the full moon) as well. So after some consideration, Julie and I decided why not take the 10 hour bus ride from Guayaquil to Mompiche to enjoy a weekend vacation from our vacation. So luckily we didn{t have to travel with our big bags, we left most of our stuff in Guay. and headed out with enough for a couple of days. After the 10 hr bus ride we arrived to Atacames (the beach north of mompiche) on a friday night a 10 pm- the streets we full of people and music and sand!!! it was crazy. We went dancing a little, drank a batido (fruit shakes mmhhmm) and walked around in search of a cheap hostal. Stayed in Atacames a night and left that morning to Mompiche...
Luckily a truck stopped beacuse we were hitchhiking to save money (don{t worry it{s mostly safe) and this truck just happened to be going to Mompiche to drop off sand for construction...what luck!!
So we reached Mompiche and said Hi to all of our friends!!! We also looked for Cloro to stay in his awesome house again, but unfortunately he already had other visitors. So we we lucky enough to stay with our friend Morongo who owns a bar at the end of the beach. We spent the day in usual Mompiche lifestyle, walking the beach, eating, sitting in hammocks, talking to our friends,{s beautiful!!
We went to Cloro{s for dinner and had a bonfire and roasted up some fish- it was delicioso!!!! woowee. After munching down the fish, we headed over to the full moon festival. There was a bunch of people there, dancing, bonfire, just having a good time. We met up with some of our friends and made some new ones. It was a BLAST!!!! Luckily there is another one every month, awesome!

(writing a couple days later... )
The next day we went to a little pueblo with our Esmeraldas friends and went to Portete beach. You have to swim across the river to get there, but it is worth it. It was definitely a blast, but not a good idea ot go without sunscreen!! eekkk We had a lot of fun. We spent the next couple of days continuing the Mompiche lifestyle and helped out in our friend Morongo´s bar. We are planning to return to Mompiche in a month and a half or so to open up our friend Cloro´s bar!!!! Julie and I will be running it and it will also include a place for us to stay. So after we head inland in a couple of days to Riobamba to do our volunteer work for a month, we´ll head back to Mompiche for a 1-2 mos. to run our bar.
We finally, after much confusion and frustration with the bus terminal, made it back to Guayaquil at 6 am. We spent that day preparing for our weekend bike trip with the same group we met through the repelling trip, ciclistas sin fronteras...bicyclistas without borders. We headed out friday morning to Cuenca, which is elevation 12,000 ft. and it gorgeous!!!! Friday day, we got our first taste of mountain biking. Nothing kicks your butt harder that biking uphill for 10 km at that elevation...extreme!!! But the view was gorgeous, and however difficult- it was worth it!. We then rode downt the mountain into Cuenca, about 17 km away- acceleration!! adrenaline! woohoo freezing!!! (by the way 1.6 km=1mile) We made our way to the hotel that night and ate and rested because we were going to need our energy for our 25km trip manana.
We got up the next day and headed out to the trail head for Incapirca, Incan ruins. This trip was amazing!!! We rode through hills, valleys, rural villages, beautiful ecuadorian countryside, and tons and tons of mud!!! It was amazing. It was intense, probably one of the most extreme things I´ve done (since I haven´t been skydiving- MOM! :D ) but it was definitely worth it once we reached the top of the mountain right before sunset and got to check out the amazingness!!! It was absolutely gorgeous (facebook pics are coming!) We enjoyed to beauty, but eventually had to head back (it was freezing!)
The next day we went to the International MTB mountain biking competition for all of south america. I thought what we did was intense, these people take it to the next level!!! Columbia won for the girls and guys competition...figures- Columbia!! Eventually we headed back to Guayaquil, and hear we are...
until next time! Ciao

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

4 men 4 women 4 beds

Hola Hola!!!
Well still here in Guayaquil enjoying ourselves very much.
We have visited the park of iguanas which is filled with iguanas
walked on Malecon 2000, teh huge board walk project
walked on Malecon del salado, the older smaller version
went to the zoo here and saw some really cool stuff, you could get really close to the animals. I was actually holding a wolly monkeys hand! and later was standing 5 feet away from a sleeping lion! it was crazy. we went with some freinds we met here through a couchsurfing friend. We just meet tons of people, they are really nice.
We also did a trekking and repelling trip with a friend, Geovanny, we met on couchsurfers. He is a part of bicycling club here in Guayaquil, so a couple of people from his club and volunteers from teh red cross who had the equipment and knowledge went. The place was called 7 waterfalls, it was about a 45 mins hike into a amazon looking jungle. We passed a couple of waterfalls before we reached the one we were going to do repelling on. It was about a 30 ft waterfall that dropped right into a clear pool of water surrounded by a rock wall, it was amazing. They set up the repellinga nd Julie and I both repelled down the waterfall, attached to the rope! It was awesome, adrenaline rush too, especially when i almost slipped! phew. It was quite a day. We plant to spend a couple more days here in guayaquil, and have a couple of things planned, so it should be fun.
We are still staying at our friends house. One of the boy´s mom and sister arrived from the Galapagos yestereday and so now it´s definitely a full house, people sharing beds all over the place!! Don´t worry....i´m sleeping with julie if you have any questions, in our own room! Geez!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


We have now arrived to the biggest city in Ecuador, Guayaquil...named after the indigenous King Guaya and his wife Quill, who he drowned beofre letting the conquistadors get their hands on her...and then drowned himself. so i guess they made a citty off of that! just kidding. The city is based around the River Guayas that meets up with the pacific. It´s pretty freakin hot and muggy, nothing like the sierra, quito, where it´s quite cool and dry. Ecuador definitely has a plethera of environments, all in this tiny country.
We are staying here with friends of oen of Julie´s friends from the Galapagos. It´s a little bachelor pad filled with 4 guys all from teh Galapagos, studying here, civil engineering. THere are really nice and are showing us around Guayaquil.
There was a project here called Malecon 2000, a gigantic boardwark that runs up and down the rio guayas- it´s really nice. The city is also light up at night and it is really bueatiful. You can climb up a big hill and reach a light house, but on the way the 444 steps are filled with bars, discotecas (dancing), and´s really a cool set up.
TOday we went to market, a costco sized building with an open air market filled with individual vendors- fruits, vegetables, whole pigs, chickens, fish...everything, quite a sight to see. We plan to explore a good chuck on Guayaquil tonight with our friends and check out the famous night life.
p.s. we might have a somewhat permanent address coming up at our volunteer place

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Flashback to the 70´s

We left Manta and headed to Montanita,a small beach town. This place was like a hippie town from the 70´s it was insane. Hippies, surfers, tourists, and Ecuadorians all thrown together. People barefoot and with dreads. The beach was nice, plenty of chances to play volleyball, enjoy the huge waves, and walk the artisan streets and eat some good grubbbb :) We enjoyed our stay but found it a little too touristy for our taste. Although we met some cool people and enjoyed the relaxation....we´ve decided to continue on down to Salinas. A big town with a beautiful beach but lots of building. We adopted a kitten in Montanita and brought it with us, we named her Zero. We´ll either keep it with us, or find a home for it here. Julie and I are doing good and traveling cheap- so all is well!!!! We´ve also passed the month mark.... with plenty more to see. After Salinas and Guayaquil, we are heading inland to the mountains to do our volunteer work. Should be fun, i think the beach for everyday for a month has been plenty, so the change of scenery will be nice. until then!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July

if you haven`t checked it out so far, we highly recommend you do...

This is the way we have been traveling for the most part through Ecuador. We met Ruben in Esmeraldes through this program, and have either stayed with people he knows or couch surfers all the way along the coast. It`s a blast.
This is how we are still in Manta. We found a 64 year old American lady who happened to live 2 streets down from where we were staying previously with Leo and friends of Ruben. She doesn`t speak much Spanish at all and is from Miami. She is currently in Quito and getting ready for a trip to the galapagos. But, even though she wasn`t here, she threw a party at her house, most of which was run by her house helper and many american and ecudorian friends she has here.
For 4th of July we partied at her house, ate hamburgers, hot dogs, potatoe salad, baked beans, pahela (an ecudorian dish), jello, and was a feast. We tried to keep the American theme going with Johnny Cash music and the whole bbq. It went pretty good and Julie and I stuffed ourself until we couldn`t move any more. So we met plenty of very nice people and had a great time.
Today we took a day trip to Puerto Lopez. This is a cute little beach town much like Canoa that has some tourists but still has maintained that Ecudorian feel to it. It was a much longer bus ride than expected, but worth it. It is in a bay and is known for it`s whales and great fishing, so the ocean was filled with little boats. We walked around there, checked out the artesian booths, and ate some empenadas. Got a little confused on the ride back home because there were no direct buses, but luckily we met a really nice old man who helped us get back to Manta cheaper than getting to Puerto Lopez. We`ll try and see if we can find some couchsurfers in Puerto Lopez to maybe stay a night, if not, we`ll head to Montanita on monday and meet up with some friends. Hablemos pronto

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Well we left Canoa....and never did get a chance to go paragliding, but we will keep our search going for another chance perhaps.
...We finished exploring Canoa and went to a cave with our friends. This cave has bats in it and was pretty cool. The tide was too high to go into the main cave which apparently has tons of bats and cool rocks and those hangy things that look like candy. But we still had fun. Festivals ended so the town was on a very slow pace the couple of days, since there was so much fiesta the whole weekend...
We made some great friends in Canoa and declare it a pretty cool place, altough it is bigger than Mompiche, it still has a nice fun atmosphere to it.
We have now made our way to the next city, Manta, a big port town. We are staying with friends of Ruben (esmeraldes) who hooked us up. We in an apartment of an uncle that is huge, it is like being back in the states. We are staying with Rubens friend Leo and today we will hopefully go explore the beach and this city, if weather perks up...until then.
p.s We also plan on celebrating Fourth of July here...get a hot dog, coke. french fries and some small fireworks, so feliz dia de independencia!!!