Friday, March 13, 2009

Bussin' It

So, I just arrived in Bogota, Columbia after a rather interesting 30 hour bus ride from Quito. After some long goodbyes to my friends in Ecuador who I will surely miss, I headed to the depot to await my bus. But, after arriving there, I found out that the bus was going to be almost two hours late because of a small accident. Wonderful, this was the bus that I would be trapped on for more than a day. Finally, the bus arrived. But, because I was stuck arguing with the clerk about the weight of my backpack, I was the last one on board, and the only seat left was the one five feet from the bathroom with the broken door that kept flying open the entire trip, revealing the overpowering mix of that nasty blue stuff and urine. This, by the way, wouldn't have been an issue if the clerk would have just gotten off the scale while my backpack was being weighed. I kept telling him I was quite certain my backpack didn't weigh 210 pounds, and I wasn't going to pay a $34 surcharge! Eventually, the bus left the depot and we were on our way to Bogota. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that every person on the bus made it a point to pee at least once an hour just to be spiteful to the poor Gringo. At least you weren't allowed to crap in the toilet. They pulled over the bus for that. Well, moving on, our first stop along the way was a small little village where we had a chance to eat lunch, and relieve our bowels. The funny thing was my friend Julian mistook a small family hut for the bathroom. He just walked into their house and into the family bathroom and took a nasty dump! then proceeded to ask the father where the wash area was. The entire family just looked at him as if an alien had just invaded thier home. After that, it was back on the bus, where I had the wonderful privelage of listening to Columbian folk music for the next 28 hours, and discovering that our bus driver was smoking pot the whole trip, where the smell competed with the bathroom for the rest of the way. I think it was the closest I've ever been to becoming legally insane. Then, halfway to our destination, we were boarded by the Columbian control police who wanted to check everyone's bags for drugs and weapons. (They never checked the driver's..hmmmm, possible bribe maybe)This is when my very bright friend Julian(remember him?) kept on asking the officer closest to us if he could check out his very large machine gun. After the third request, the officer findly just looked at us and asked if we were together. I hated to be rude, but I happily said that I had never met him before. After all the excitement, we finally arrived in Bogota in one piece. What a country!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lake Titicaca

Well, as I am writing this, I am actially back in Quito, Ecuador but I wanted to blog some of the interesting things we saw at Lake Titicaca in Puno, Peru. After arriving in Puno, we stayed the night at a nice hostel called La Manzana. From there, we booked a two day trek to the Lake and visited 3 islands, plus 2 handmade floating islands. These are made by the local people by using floating reeds and adding more and more until the island is several feet thick and able to support dozens of people. We had a good time talking with the local folks and exploring the islands. That night we stayed with a local family who fed us food that was basically unidentifiable. I think my bowl had a pair of eyes in it, but I tried not to focus to much on that. The next day we took a boat ride to two more islands, and hiked to the top of the island of Uros, and got to see a nice sunset over the lake. There were even more Inca ruins here as well. After our two days in Puno, I headed back to Cusco for a little rest, then it was off to Lima again for two days, then finally a 40 hour bus back to Guayaquil and eventually Quito. Time for a siesta!

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