Okay, well, considering it is now fall and I’ve been back in the US for almost two months — and holy shit, how have I not updated (except Machu Picchu) since Colombia?! — perhaps it’s time to try to catch up.
You know, before I lose all the photos on my phone after inevitably losing my phone again, having left it in a taxi cab in Puno, Peru and again in a parking lot of the mall here in Florida, and astonishingly getting it back within hours both times because people honestly are so good. Often. But I’m pressing my luck.
So yeah, I ended up wandering through Ecuador (Quito, Banos, Cuenca), Peru (Trujillo/Chan Chan ruins, Cusco/Machu Picchu, Puno/Lake Titicaca, Arequipa), Chile (Iquique, Santiago, Punta Arenas), Argentina (Ushuaia/Tierra del Fuego, Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Mendoza), and Uruguay (Colonia/Montevideo).
I miss the Andes so much.
And, of course, I was sick literally from the day I got there until I left — at first just altitude sickness, since I’m apparently one of those super lucky souls to be very, very sensitive to it (thanks, sea level childhood), and then also my route was constantly like 9,000 feet, then 3,000, then 13,000, then 200, then 10,000 etc etc, so I never really got acclimated.
And then the combination of just being generally sick, and exhausted, and around millions of different hostel/bus/train/plane germs, landed me with a delightful case of acute bronchitis, so I guess I can check “get chest xrays in a hospital in Santiago” off my bucket list.
And then of course as soon as I was semi-recovered from that, I got my first and only stomach flu of all my travels. Which, honestly, as far as stomach flus go, could have been worse; it was over and done within twelve hours, and was only throwing up, but also I did throw up I think thirteen times in those twelve hours and have probably never been that dehydrated in my life.
Anyway, point being, I spent way more time Not Doing Stuff than I’d’ve liked, because, you know, that whole breathing thing. And Quito was particularly bad, because it was rough enough in Bogota, then went to Medellin and got better, and then went 1,000+ feet higher than Bogota. Whee.
I stayed at the Masaya Hostel, since I really liked the one in Bogota, and the one in Quito is way nicer. Very new, huge, big comfortable beds (with curtains/screens!), lots of green space, decent restaurant, for like… $12 a night or so.
Also, of course, a cat. I don’t remember her name, but I love her.
Also met up briefly in Quito with the French guy I met in Bogota, because obviously, and who recommended the Chan Chan ruins in Peru, which was one of my favorite places.
Quito was a really cool city, though. I found a pizza place near the hostel (Bohemia Pizza, actually quite delicious), and it didn’t have WiFi and I didn’t have my kindle or anything, so I drew a bit of it. And I am very much not a skilled artist, but I kinda liked it.
And the owner (who was the only one there at the time) noticed and asked me what I was doing, so we chatted for a good twenty minutes, in my broken Spanish, and I gave her the drawing and she seemed delighted and said she’d hang it up, so who knows, maybe I have a drawing hanging up in a random pizza joint in Ecuador.
So yeah, Quito is very cool, and I really want to go back one day when I’m not dying and explore a whole lot more.
Next up: Banos, Ecuador, and the swing at the end of the world.