Monday, 19 July 2010

Ecuador, Yachana & Baños

Hey there! So I´m in Ecuador. Its pretty darn nice here, and all the bugs think Im delicious! I arrived on Wednesday night at around 11pm Ecuador time, so in England, having left at 8ish in the morning, I would have arrived the next day around 5 in the morning. Some crazy amount of travel! Still, La Casona de Mario is as lovely as ever, but I didn´t see Mario, and I didn´t see the other, less fluffy dog :( my favorite. I hope she is ok!
Off to Tena it was! A 6 hour journey made easier by having a lovely lady from the peace core called Lorel to talk to. In Quito there are now 2 bus stations, and typically the one I needed was literally the other side of the town. Took about half an hour to get there in a taxi, so you can imagine. Tena is hot! Steamy infact. Met up with Max, that went well, and went and had a drink with him and his friend Mauricio in the Spider Bar. Some crazy guy came and tried to pick a fight with Mauricio, saying... oh yeah, you speak kichwa, you speak spanish, you speak english? Well I do all the same, and I have an English girlfriend, so I´m not looking for women. Haha. Yeah whatever crazy man! He was quickly dispatched by some smooth talking from Mauricio. Some crazy drinking ensued, and soon I´d had more than my share. Back to the hotel room! The next day, my head was pounding, and I hadnt eaten much the previous day either. At midday, went to the ceviche bar, and filled up our fuel tanks. Then off to Los Rios to get a canoe to Yachana. At the bus station, met Don Magnus (YAY) for anyone that knows who I´m speaking of. For anyone that doesn´t, he´s a crazy canoe driver that ALWAYS wears shorts... except this time, no shorts! WHAT_!_!__¨?=! So we get to Los Rios, after 4 hours, and hop on a canoe to Yachana, its a lovely clear evening and we put my stuff in a room, and then go to meet Max´s brother. Talked for a while, had dinner, and went to sleep. The next day I´m just pottering about all day, painting, helping in the kitchen when Hugo the other manager gets back. He asks lots of questions, basically I was meant to ring him BEFORE I got to Yachana, not speak to him when I got there. Nevermind. He calls Karina anyway, and the game is up before it even started. Although it was a lovely one day in Yachana with Yolanda the parrot trying to eat my feet, I´m due to leave ASAP in the morning. Goodbye Yachana and that stretch of the river forever. Back to Tena for me, didn´t get to say goodbye to Max. Stayed at Brisa del Rio again. Had a boring afternoon to scared to do much, and still recovering from shock of causing a scene at Yachana. It was a Sunday so pretty much everywhere was closed. I went and had ceviche again, and then went back to the hotel room to fall asleep to Shrek in Spanish.
Today! Monday, decided to head to Baños where there is actually something happening and where I can meet lots of lonesome tourists like myself. Or at least where I can go and walk somewhere pretty. I had a nice bus journey with some lady heading to Puyo... she was going to buy some moulded glass panels for above her door because they didnt sell them anywhere else nearby. I gave her some grapes and we talked a while. Its nice to try and speak to people, and its nice that they don´t mind my bad spanish... seriously, I thought I knew more than I did! Its all gone!

Ok, thats a lot for me to write! I´ll let you guys go now... so for a while I´m in Baños til the end of the month unless I can tag along with someone else to somewhere new!

Ciao guys! Take care!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

60th Blog, Travel Jitters & Wine in a Teacup

So I'm off on Tuesday... only 2 more sleeps to go and I'll be off to Laandan to stay the night before I fly. I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm so so so so scared. Not about flying, not about getting to the meeting point, not about my crap Spanish knowledge... nothing like that. It is very strange to finally be going... as I'm sure I've said before. It feels unreal... like I'm just dreaming. Lets hope its a dream and not a nightmare. Still, no matter what, I hope I make more friends out there, and I hope I have an amazing experience. I'm sure I will, there's pretty much no way to escape good experiences in Ecuador. :)

I'm taking a car to a station, a coach to an airport, a bus to a hotel, a bus to an airport, a plane to Texas, another plane to Ecuador, a taxi to a hotel, a taxi to a bus station, a bus through the mountains to a jungle town, a bus to Los Rios, a canoe to the lodge. 

Thats a lotta travel, and totals a solid 36 hours of travel time, spread over 4 days.

So... I'm sat here, pondering about everything, whilst drinking wine from a china teacup.
It has come to this to try and get me to sleep at a normal time!
There's nothing like being overtly British.

So lets think positively! It it my 60th blog after all! I'm afraid I still have no pictures to show you just yet... but expect many if i can upload while away! 

My skype name is stephanieayres7
so if im on skype in the next 2 1/2 months, give me a call! 

especially on my birthday (16th Sept)
will hopefully throw a birthday do when I get back :)
p.s- I'm excited to see my house for this year!

chao, seeya in 2 1/2 months!

Friday, 2 July 2010

Hayfever, Travels & The Holy Grail of Water Pots

Hey there! With it being just over a week until I leave for Ecuador, I thought I'd give you an update. I wish I could give you a better update with lots of sketchbook spreads and things, but my scanner is still in its packing case. Still, I have a day full of nothing tomorrow, and the same on Tuesday, so maybe I'll get my butt into gear and do that for you.

The British summer is once again trying to kill me...hayfever is rife, and i have turned into a snot bucket. There have been many cures suggested to me... including the old faithfuls like honey and some good old hayfever tablets. Yet none as strange as a new found cure, said to work 'rather well' by some of my work colleagues. It is in fact a 2 pronged LED light that you shove up your shnoz, and whack the on switch. It apparently emits 2 wavelengths of light, thus stimulating some cells while repressing the histamine producing cells that make me sneeze because of pollen. As yet, it is hard to tell if it works. All I know is that I look like Rudolph when I use it for the 3min suggested period. Photos to come, most definitely. 

Travels... yes, the countdown is on! 11 days to go until I head to london, 12 until I fly and 13 until I see Max again! Crazy times! And I'm crazy nervous... wouldn't you be if you hadn't seen the guy you love in over a year? Paranoia such as... do I look alright? Have I gained weight? Can I speak enough Spanish? Have I changed? Has he changed? All those kinda things. Still, all I can do it go out and meet destiny head on, and if it is meant to be, it is meant to be. If not, then I get a good friend, a good holiday, some heartbreak, but a good experience.

Now onto the main secret I have been meaning to tell people for ages. All you artists... have you yearned for the perfect water pot? Has it constantly evaded you? Well now I bring to you the very versatile...multi purpose water pot of your dreams. Have you ever thought... boy, i sure hate having to carry around an extra container, and something to hold my paints in? 
Well search no more! The day has come! Get down to your local supermarket right now!
And purchase yourself a pot of feta cheese. 
Apetina is the brand... and this is not a water pot for a one night stand. Oh no baby! This is the water pot of a lifetime.
It comes complete with inner basket... which also hooks onto the rim of the pot. Now you can store your paints inside the basket, and inside the pot when there is no water in it, handy, compact, portable.
And when it comes to whipping up an artwork in seconds, you can remove the inner basket, and fill with water. Hands too full? Place the basket on the rim of the pot... your paints remain dry, but there is still space for you to fit your brushes down the side to clean them! Perfect!

Could you ever wish for more?

Feta cheese included.

Over and Out!