Posts Tagged ‘travel’


Hola Amigas ! After more than a month in Ecuador we finally broke loose of Ecuador and are now in Peru. While we truly enjoyed, explored, toured, celebrated Christmas and New Years in Ecuador, it was time to get on down the road. We’ll certainly miss the cheap gas prices (making exploring the country on the cheap), the great food, the diversity of the landscapes and the wonderful people. So much to see and do in such a small country, the Galapagos, the Andeas, the Pacific coast and the Amazonian.

Driving through southern Ecuador towards Peru was very scenic. Coming down out of the high Andes and into the coast provided some spectacular scenery but was also very dangerous as we encountered many areas with rock slides, animals on the road, blind curves and very steep climbs and dips. Just taking it slow and paying full attention to the road and it’s conditions was the mantra.

Seemingly after hours of this type of driving we hit the coastal plain of Ecuador and knew the border of Peru was not far ahead. Not wanting to drive later into the dark we found a campground less than 30 minutes to the border and stayed the night. Awaking early the next morning we made it to the border before 8 am. We had heard from other overlanders that the borders of Peru were now overwhelmed with Venezuelans, leaving their home country for a better life because of the turmoil in their homeland.

Surprisingly we got there early enough to beat several bus loads of people processing and were in and out in a little over an hour. Now on our way to our first camping spot in Peru, things were looking good. We arrived at Swiss Wassi and were graciously welcomed by the host and other overlanders. A great way to end the day in Peru, right on the ocean and a fantastic place to stay for a while. Stay tuned, we’ll be moving on down the coast and more adventures to follow. Peru, we’re looking forward to discovering you.

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These last few weeks have been a whirlwind of travel and exploring Ecuador. From the Pacific coast, the Andes and down into the jungles of the Amazon, we’ve been smitten with this country. Cotopaxi and Chimborazo volcanoes, Banos volunteering, the Galapagos Islands, we’ve covered a lot of ground.

It’s hard to say what’s been the most exciting or unique thing we’ve done. It seems everyday I go to bed thinking what an amazing day, and the next day is just as spectacular as the one before. Viva Ecuador!

 


I don’t want to bore you with a long story for now. I’ll let the pictures do the talking. Of course I’ll follow up with a story you’ll not want to miss about our trek from the Amazon,  climbing Chimboroza and taking the “Nariz de Diablo” all in a few days. This Ecuadorian Life!

Guatape, a nice little surprise

Posted: November 3, 2017 by bernardbarbour in Expedition/Travel
Tags: , ,

Having only wanting to find a place to the park the trucks for the night, catch up on some sleep, and get up early the next morning to hike the stairs to the top of  The Rock, we stumbled upon Guatape.

Wow, what a surprise! This small village amazed us with its beautiful and ornate homes. Such a small village of only 6,000 inhabitants, a square  (zocola) with a church, plenty of authentic restaurants, bars, stores and merchants, we wandered aimlessly for hours just admiring. Take a look at this pictures, can’t you see why ? Stay tuned, we’ll post our stair climbing story next.

Oh, it was halloween. So if you see any people here in costume, you know why.


Our first night in Panama, quaint and quiet. The ocean waves ever so gently, just enough to lull you to sleep. Fireflies bring magic to the darkness. Thunder rolls and lighting flashes off in the distance. Silhouettes of Islands. No wifi, no cell phone, just stillness. No turtles laying eggs, no raccoons to over turn the trash and wake you in the middle of the night. Stars peak through the clouds and soft rain all night. Three dogs appear in the morning and come to rest on our cabin porch, have they been guarding us all night? It’s early, time to watch for whales. We see them, playing in the sea off in the distance. They wave, we wave back. Humpbacks I suppose. Hunting for sea shells, gathering coconuts, we walk. Flocks of parrots fly overhead. Not another human in site. Suddenly, a truck, a moped, a guy on a bike, all make their way past us, they came from out of nowhere and are heading nowhere. Looking odd, where can they be going, I see nothing but deserted beach. Making plans for the next stop. Our friends come over, we look at maps. I’m not ready to go, but we must. What would my family and friend think? Dropping off the grid to live in a cabin by the sea. Whales, playing with dogs, looking for seashells all day. No wi-fi, TV, no bad news or good news for that matter. Time to go. We drive out onto the beach. The sand is hard, you can drive for miles. Ocean on the left, jungle on the right. This is life.


A euphoric feeling overwhelmed us as we crossed the border into Panama, our last Central American country. After going through the usual and customary process of getting stamped out of Costa Rica and into Panama we felt a calm and relaxing feeling come over us.

Costa Rica was amazing and we began to think how much more could Panama bring. Scott wrote this story I’d like to share with you about our experience in Panama so far, meanwhile I’ve posted a few pics. Enjoy and thanks for following, More photos and updates coming soon.

by Scott Woodhams @ Life all Out

 

We are so completely enamored and humbled by the people and experiences we get to enjoy along this amazing trip!

Last night was no exception. We found a beautiful property in Panama, that is situated along side a river that spills into the Pacific Ocean. We met the owners of the property, who also run a quaint restaurant that serves gourmet food. The chef has had countless write ups about his culinary skills, and the open air restaurant is visited by many exclusive clients, including the President of Panama.
We had the privilege of enjoying an absolutely amazing meal, with so many fresh, and new ingredients. The flavors culminated exquisitely, on out pallets, to make our taste buds leap with joy!

My favorite was the Ackie, a Jamaican bean/nut style garnishment, on the fresh salad. A-mazing!

After dinner, one of the owners, and souix chef, offered to serenade us. We were absolutely stunned to learn that he is native Panamanian, and is self taught. He has performed for the President and many other dignitaries. He has invitations to take the lead in a production featuring a famous symphony, who invited him in person. His style and range is amazing. Although the songs are in Spanish, we could feel the emotion of each word.

By the end of the evening, he had sang a personal performance exclusively for the four of us, as we ate like Kings (and queens), while the rain poured down outside, adding to the quaintness of our evening.

We learned so much about the Panamanian culture, and had local jokes translated by Roberto.

This remarkable evening came to an end, with us feeling so much closer to and understanding the local culture. People everywhere are so amazing! I’m so thankful, we get to meet, talk, and form our own opinion of other countries, rather than having some slanted, ulterior motive driven media provide it to us. Viva Panama!

 


So much to do, see and experience here in Costa Rica. We thought the best way to explain this, is to show you in pictures. Enjoy.


 

Our trek from Rancho Los Alpes near Leon to Laguna Apoyo was  scenic, easy and uneventful. After saying goodbyes to our new friends, Michele from New Zealand, Axel and his family, Alma and her parents Jim and Gina, we hit the road. Getting a much later start than we anticipated we still made it to Lake Apoyo well before dark. We found a route around the city of Managua, bypassing the traffic which added a little extra time to our travels. Stopping for lunch, getting gas and keeping things moving it didn’t take long before we found ourselves driving higher in elevation. With the temperature dropping and the forest getting thicker, our excitement grew. Suddenly there it was, a huge blue lake surrounded by forest. It was obvious we were in the crater now. Tiny villages dotted our path as we made our way, as children and adults waved eagerly. “Hola” we hollered. Check in at Paradiso Hostel was easy, setting up camp not so much, but as usual we made it work. Meeting many folks from all over the world here is just half the fun. Today we’ll hike up to  Volcano Masaya and peer down into an active volcano. Stay tuned for pictures and thanks for following.

 


We tried, walking every street, going in churches, courtyards, stores, restaurants, coffee shops and more. But we found that Leon Nicaragua is just so big, beautiful, vibrant and sprawling that we’ll need more than a few days to discover it all. 20170831_123136.jpg

Leon’s markets are full of colors, smells and merchants that are eager to have you have step inside for a look. The churches are all wonderful in their own unique way, and each zocalo has it’s own flair of people watching and kids playing. We certainly enjoyed Leon and hope to return someday.


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It’s been a super busy week for us, more than we can keep up with. While I’d normally try to post most of our adventures, we’ve had more than a few days without internet. So for now, I’ll just surmise  how our week has been.

 

We left Copan Ruins and headed to D&D Brewery and farm.  From there we crossed the border into Nicaragua and spent two days at Somoto Canyon. We are now at Rancho Los Alpes outside of Leon. We’ll be here for several days. Thanks for following and I’ll be sure to get all of our adventures updated soon. Meanwhile enjoy the pictures.