02 Dec
Location
Home
Days adrift.  Click here to see our best and worst experiences so far.
4147
Number of flights.  Click here to go to the itinerary page.
35
Bus, train and taxi rides.  Click here to see all posts relating to transport. (56 posts)
185
Miles walked.  Click here to see all posts relating to walking and trekking. (43 posts)
581
Countries visited.  Click here to see what we think of them. (14 posts)
15
Number of species spotted.  Click here to go to our wildlife page.
1157
Photos taken.  Click here to go to the photo gallery. (94 posts)
13288
Rainy days.  Click here to find posts relating to the weather. (50 posts)
63
Number of times scammed.  Click here to read all about it!  (2 posts)
1
Otters spotted.  Click here to go to our website about otters: amblonyx.com
45
 
...two travellers in search of the world's wildlife

Archive for July, 2011


28 July 2011

Clothes for everywhere

So how about a few thoughts on our packing choices for clothes and footwear, and how they turned out? Jeans are simply essential. I know they are bulky and take ages to dry, but my answers are as follows: (a) wear them on plane and bus journeys, then you don’t need to pack them, (b) » » »



28 July 2011

The final pack

So this is what we shoved back into our rucksacks on the final morning as we prepared for our flight back to England. Well, in fact it’s a copy of the original list with amendments. Items we picked up are in italics, while things we got rid of or would not take again are struck » » »



25 July 2011

Homeward bound

24th July 2011 Here we are at Quito airport, waiting for the plane to take us home. We’ve got two heads full of memories and two backpacks full of all the stuff that we’ve needed for a whole year. A few new bits added, a few discarded on the way, but mostly what we set » » »



24 July 2011

Final day

24th July 2011 It’s the final whole day of our year-long trip around the world. We must see one last mammal! Or have one last amazing experience! One final superb celebratory meal! But no. It’s raining, it’s raining. So our final day will be flopping around Papallacta and splopping like lazy sealions into the hot » » »



24 July 2011

Birds, etc

Our final wildlife watching fling for the year was around Mindo, really not very far from Quito. The cloud forest is a beautiful and mountainous area, widely thought of by many people as the most diverse area for birds in the whole world.



24 July 2011

Variable conditions

23rd July 2011 Today was a strange mixture. Up hideously early in the morning birdwatching; a long, weary and immensely frustrating drive all over the middle of Ecuador; and this evening finds us relaxing in our own hot spring pool in the rain and mist. The birdwatching happened by accident, we were asking Julia some » » »



24 July 2011

Motmot in Mindo

22nd July 2011 I feel a bit sick. More on that later. Well, we are definitely not birdwatchers. This morning we went out with Julia, a local bird guide, into the cloud forest reserve above our lodging and spotted 56 species of birds in just over five hours. By ourselves I think we might have » » »



24 July 2011

One more for the road

21st July 2011 We’re off on one more small adventure before heading home. One more cheap car rental and four days exploring some bits of Ecuador near to Quito. Renting a car and just heading off is definitely my favourite way of exploring. It’s about as independent as you can get. Even those travellers who » » »



24 July 2011

Sunny day Quito

20th July 2011 Argh! How frustrating. This morning the skies are beautifully clear and blue, and the old city of Quito shines with crisp light and shadow. Yesterday the sky was mainly overcast with the odd glimpse of blue, and the city was muted and leaden. But it was yesterday that we climbed the perilous » » »



20 July 2011

Old town

19th July 2011 This was a nicely fulfilling day of exploring old Quito. There is indeed a grand amount of colonial architecture here, with virtually no modern buildings and everything stitching together into a cohesive whole. There are some beautiful churches amongst the secular architecture too. One of the finest is the church of the » » »



20 July 2011

Deluxe in Quito

18th July 2011 Wow. Stuffed again. Our last three course meal was back in Santiago, our first night in South America. Today for lunch we went to Theatrum, a fine restaurant attached to the main theatre in old colonial Quito. I had some lovely grilled octopus tentacles and then some nicely grilled grouper to follow. » » »



20 July 2011

Chile nutshell

Chile wasn’t the most satisfying country to visit. It has some wonderful landscapes, truly breath-taking, but it sometimes feels like you get developing world quality for developed world prices. The Chilean people make up for this by being wonderfully friendly and helpful. For the prices below, exchange rate was 750 pesos to £1 when we » » »



20 July 2011

Subaquatic Galapagos

A visit to the islands of the Galapagos would be memorable enough, but some of the snorkelling we did off their shores was just wonderful.



20 July 2011

Islander portraits

Close-ups of some of the wildlife from the Galapagos Islands, captioned fancifully by facial expression. My apologies to the Marine Iguana.



20 July 2011

Love in the tropics

Silliness like this is just down to having too many photos to put in one gallery.



20 July 2011

Galapagos cruise

We visited five islands in four days and saw an absolute wealth of wildlife, many of the species endemic and found nowhere else in the world. These photos cover each day of the cruise in turn.



20 July 2011

Every good thing…

17th July 2011 …must come to an end. And our Galapagos cruise was definitely a good thing, perhaps the highlight of our time in South America. Perhaps not perhaps, perhaps definitely. Yes, definitely definitely the highlight. The last morning was bound to be anticlimactic, but the Interpretation Centre on San Cristobal really made sure of » » »



20 July 2011

Wonderful ridiculous II

16th July 2011 I’m talking about boobies. Boobies are birds, of course. Related to gannets if I’m any judge, but larger and – as with everything else here – quite happy for you to sit and watch them from just a couple of feet away. Indeed, some of the daft boobies make their nests right » » »



20 July 2011

Sealions and turtles

15th July 2011 Wow. I’m completely pooped, but very happy. Just been snorkelling with sealions and turtles. Earlier we went ashore to post our postcards in a barrel. The barrel has been there for over a hundred years and by tradition any passing ship would check the letters in the barrel and take any that » » »



20 July 2011

Wonderful ridiculous

14th July 2011 These wonderful, ridiculous islands are absolutely alive with creatures whose one shared characteristic is a complete lack of any fear of man. We went for a walk this morning and found dozens of big prehistoric land iguanas just basking to either side of the path and oblivious to us getting close enough » » »



18 July 2011

Mutiny in the Galapagos

13th July 2011 There was a mutiny almost as soon as we boarded the ship. Our guide, Wilo, explained that those who were on a seven day tour (us and most others) would visit the Darwin Centre to see the giant tortoise breeding program, while those on a ten day tour would visit the highlands » » »



17 July 2011

Life in the Amazon

Tropical rainforests are absolutely the best for sheer variety of life. Photography is challenging, though; down in the jungle there’s very little light even in the middle of the day, and everything from the bugs through the birds to the monkeys has a tendancy to jump, scamper or fly away after the briefest glimpse. Lots » » »



17 July 2011

Change your coffee

12th July 2011 On the boat back up the Napo River from Sacha we caught glimpses of some of the oil infrastructure here in what would otherwise be the wilderness of Ecuador. The Amazon basin is very rich in oil reserves and occasionally the jungle would open up to show a boat dock or a » » »



12 July 2011

Crossing the river

11th July 2011 This is our last day in the jungle. Per, Anita and Andreas (I hope I got our Danish friends’ names right) went home this morning so today we were just a group of two. We took a boat across the wide Napo River to the Yasuni National Park as our guide Dan » » »



12 July 2011

Happy kid

10th July 2011 As a child I had loads of enthusiasms, especially for weird and cool wildlife (and dinosaurs and astronauts but that’s not so relevant here). The kind of things I never expected to see, except while fantasising about becoming a wildlife film-maker. Today has been a really good day for fulfilling childhood ambitions. » » »



12 July 2011

Green gloom

9th July 2011 So what does one do at a lodge in the Amazonian rainforest? Well, there’s a few activities that seem pretty standard, at least based on this one (Sacha Lodge) plus the one we visited in Brazil a few years back. First off, you go for jungle walks on winding trails in the » » »



12 July 2011

In the jungle

8th July 2011 We’re in the Ecuadorian jungle, part of the huge Amazon basin that covers most of tropical South America. Outside our cabin I can hear the innumerable sounds of the tropical rainforest: cicadas chirping, frogs creaking, crickets playing, night birds calling and Americans talking. People whose conversational volume is loud enough that I » » »



8 July 2011

The final leg

7th July 2011 I can’t believe that of the five hotels in Quito we emailed, only one has replied. They’ve had almost 48 hours and it isn’t even a weekend. I do hope this isn’t a taste of things to come on the last leg of our trip.



8 July 2011

Kicking around

6th July 2011 So we’ve spent three days kicking around Valparaiso, not really doing very much, mainly recovering our depleted energies and enjoying the relaxation that staying in the same place for four nights brings. We made a mistake in choosing our B&B. It’s a friendly place and the room is warm (hurrah) but we’re » » »



8 July 2011

Habla español?

5th July 2011 The oddest thing happened today. A waitress in a cafe took a look at us, decided we were probably English speakers, and asked “what would you like to drink?” Everywhere else in the world I’ve been on holiday this has been fairly normal: from Paris to Pokhara it is apparently easy for » » »



5 July 2011

San Pedro touring

We spent two solid days in San Pedro de Atacama and explored the area by horse and minibus. It’s an interesting area, but I’d have to say the Culpeo Fox was our unexpected highlight.



5 July 2011

Valparaiso impressions

4th July 2011 Dodging dog shits. What can I say? We took a walk into the city today and my clearest recollection is the sheer number of dog shits that we needed to avoid on the pavements. Been in a lot of different cities this year, never seen anything close to this amount. There are » » »



5 July 2011

Across a dry land

3rd July 2011 Nice to know that travel plans can still go… mostly… to plan. Yesterday afternoon we picked up a bus in San Pedro which took us (via loathly Calama) to Antofagasta down on the coast. It arrived at 10:30pm so we had booked a hotel in advance over the phone. The guidebook map » » »



3 July 2011

Geysers

2nd July 2011 Honestly I’ve never been so cold in my life. You see, the attraction of the El Tatio geysers is in the mystical towers of steam they put out. But within an hour or so of dawn the bright altiplano sun has burned the steam away and rendered the spectacle nothing more than » » »



3 July 2011

Caballeros

1st July 2011 Still can’t walk straight. It was good to go on a horse ride and see the desert from a different perspective, we’ve spent so many hours driving around the Atacama in tour buses, public buses or our hire car. And we haven’t really done any serious hiking, which is a shame and » » »



3 July 2011

San Pedro here we are

30th June 2011 The next day dawned and suddenly Calama was a busy town of shops and banks and cafes, everyone getting on with business as though yesterday’s zombietown had never been. We managed to get on a bus which left at midday and in less than two hours we were in San Pedro de » » »