Trip Start Sep 02, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Montanita Cabanas

Flag of Ecuador  ,
Saturday, September 12, 2009

Well after a mammoth journey of around 38hrs we have arrived in Montanita. We actually managed to stop down in most of the countries we plan to visit with our bizarre but cheap flight plan. Didnīt really see much of Brazil (I slept and we didnīt get off the plan.) Argentina we managed to actually step outside the airport but it was quite cold (not the peanut smuggling 3degrees they said on the plane, but near it). We had a night in Lima where we actually left the airport! We stayed in a luxury (not quite) hotel the boys had booked, and hooked up with our travel companions Chief and Lucy. With everyone shattered, we retired to bed at a rock and roll 10pm. We had an interesting moment at the airport the next day when our flight didnīt come up on the departure list for quite awhile (Chief and Lucy were on a different one). Lucy then calmly drops in "maybe Lima has another airport". SHIT!!! At this point I decided to abandon breakfast and go and find someone in the know. It turned out alright and even though we hadnīt seen our bags for a couple of days they managed to make it to Ecuador as well (I had no fear this would actually happen, honest.) So after 3 flights and then a 2 and a half hour bus journey we touched down in Montanita. The bus journey was pretty eye opening. I never expected the degree of poverty to be so prevalent. It seems to have two things very much in common with India: rubbish absolutely everywhere and a complete lack of any sort of Highway Code. So far as the rubbish, it makes our recycling effort at home look completely futile. With roads you need to take the same approach as India- try to trust the bus driver and at points, close your eyes and pray! The countryside is very barren but with a lot going on. Anyway Iīll now pass you over to Phil to take you through the last two days. Anything he says about me and Lucy and a bottle of vodka last is lies and decent and Iīm innocent your honour xxx

I think the spelling and the fact that the last sentence makes no sense probably indicates that Alex is not innocent and that her mind is still suffering.

After arriving in Montanita as the sun was going down, we wandered around rather gormlessly trying to find our accommodation. A local kid was not much help but a friendly American led us to our little "Oasis". The place is lovely and if I work out how to upload pictures, Iīll put them on to illustrate rather than writing a thousand words. After an excellent sea food dinner it was off to bed at 10 p.m. again (living the dream).

The next day was spent wandering around town and beach and finding our Spanish school. Chief was none too impressed to hear we have a 0745 start on Monday. This will involve Quadruple Spanish followed by games and then further quadruple Spanish. Before you start feeling too sorry for us, "games" will be surfing on a glorious Equatorial beach.

Anyway, back to Alex and Lucyīs "innocence" your honour. After a decent Steak and red wine, a few more bars led us to the nightclub. If I can try and paint a picture here it will help as sadly there are no photos- the floor was sand, a bonfire was going on inside, a dealer welcomed me on the door and street dogs ran around the dance floor. Anyway, myself and Chief considerately left the girls to have a dance whilst we went outside to discuss politics, philosophy, art and the like, in our refined manner. After a little while the girls came running out pretending to be annoyed with us, but once they had got money from us they happily disappeared back inside. When we later went back in, Lucy was playing imaginary tennis, ping-pong and football on the dance floor and Alex was telling off an Ecuadorian man for not dancing properly and trying to correct his errant moves. In between they were swigging from a 2L bottle of clear liquid on the dance floor. I presumed this to be water, however it didnīt seem to work as, suffice to say, nothing has been done today due to the hangovers from the clear liquid.

All fairly amusing and it has been good to sleep and chill out in hammocks today. Tomorrow comes a trip to the "poor manīs" Galapagos and whale watching before starting in our new school on Monday morning.

Weīll keep you posted and let you know who comes top of the class
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