Hey lovelies. It's day 3 of the tour and I'm sitting in the van waiting for the rest of the group to come back. It's 3pm and we're in Cotacachi, we just recently finished lunch and wondered around a little. This place is full of leather shops and I still couldn't find a leather jacket I liked, I've always wanted one, still searching for the perfect one lol. Anywho, I havent written properly for a bit because I spent my last weeks in Chile living it up as much as possible before I had to leave. Deffo didn't get more than 3 hours sleep every night for the last week...and my liver was definetly down on it's knees begging for a break. Ha I half-heartedly attempted to not drink for awhile and that very day I got offered 2 free cocktails =.=
We're on the road again! 3 hours to our next stop which is going to be some kind of resort at hot springs. The accommodation the last two nights has been breathtaking and totally not what I was expecting, the hacienda at least. When I think of an hacienda I think of a big ranch farm type property and Ecuador, well I didn't have much of an idea of what I would find but the place we stayed blew me out of the water. It was this old Colonial home attached to a monostary built in the 1600's D= It was filled with religious paraphanelia and old royal looking tapestrys and ornately carved wooden finishings and fireplaces and creepy statues and heaps and heapssss of garden. I felt like I had stepped into the set of The Secret Garden.
This tour is pretty chill, I knew it would be a lot slower than the other ones I've done purely because its with Intrepid. Intrepid is an aussie company that seems to attract older people and the description sounded very market/cultural experiences. There are 7 of us all together and I'm the youngest by about 15 years. We have a couple, two old dudes in their 60's+ and 2 solo girls in their late 30's. Two people are late D= They missed their connecting flight and so they've been delayed which is a mad bummer because this tour is only 6 days long. I was late too actually, it was messy. My domestic flight from La Serena to Santiago was delayed and so I missed my international flights D= which sort of worked out anyway, sure I had to spend 12 hours overnight in Lima airport =.= but I got the airline to pay for my new flights. I'm so glad I speak spanish though otherwise I would have been screwed. The domestic flight was a different airline to my international one so they organised my new flights for me but they were all wrong, they had put me up in a hotel for that night and had me on a flight for the next day but I wanted to make sure it was correct so I went to the international airline to check this new flight was all good and it totally wasn't. They had me on a flight to a different city and leaving me there and that flight wasn't even garantueed, it was incase someone doesn't show up. So i payed for the new flights and got the airline to refund me. I was 17 hours late BUT i only missed a walking tour of Quito with my tour group. So all worked out in a way because I also had enough time to leave my 2 massivo suitcases in Santiago airport.
I got bored of writting lol It's now the next day, Wednesday 3pm and we just finished lunch and are on the road for another 2ish hours to get to our next hotel which is another hacienda but we get to stay 2 nghts this time and it's also the highest hotel above sea level thus far, we've gone higher though, yesterday arvo we got to a lookout that was 4100m and suprisingly didn't feel a thing. I felt reallllly out of breath when I was in Cuzco which is actually at a lower altitude. I guess my bodies aclimatised now after having been in the north of Chile and Peru ^^
So I'll try recap quickly the tour so far and then go into detail later maybe.
But general recap, I'm currently doing a 6 day tour in central Ecuador with an Australian tour company called Intrepid. There are 7 of us all together + the guide, his assistant? and the driver. I chose this tour really last minute, about two weeks b4 it was due to start and really only because I wanted to see one last country before I had to go home. I was bummed at the time because my dad sort of screwed me over. He flew into Coquimbo for a week to see family and it just happened to be my 23rd birthday ( we hadn't spent my birthday together since I was a baby I guess, I can't remember having spent any together) so he said he wanted to take me and his parents to the beach for a few days. I assumed he was staying with me because he never told me he wasn't when I offered him the apartment and I just figured we would spend the whole time together. So i told my friends I wouldn't go with them up north to this music festival and Bolivia, I told my friend in Iquique I wouldn't go up, all for family. FAMILY. Ive never had a very big sense of family spirit and blood ties but I just kind of...thought this was the only time we would all be in the same country and for my birthday too. But nope. We didn't go to the beach, my dad didn't stay with me and I saw him 3 seperate times. My grandparents didn't even remember it was my birthday and I missed out on going somewhere awesome. SO that's when I decided to go somewhere else. The only place that had tours left within my dates was Colombia and Ecuador and this one was half the price.
So the tour!
Sunday: I arrived 3 hours late due to my domestic flight delay so I missed the group walking tour but no biggie, I have a whole day in Quito once the tour is over. That night we went to dinner together nearby as it rained. Nice bunch, everyone chatted really easily and our tour guide was friendly. I got my own room that night at one of the nicest hotels I've stayed in these entire 6 months. It was an old Colonial Spanish house that was a little artsy and fancypants and I had a bath for the first time in years purely because the bathroom was so awesome.
Monday: On the road! We went to the ecuator! Both the real one and the mistakenly placed one from 40 years ago. Saw a few lookouts and kept driving on to our next hotel which was our first hacienda stay. AMAZING. I figured it would be some kind of ranch/farm thing. (psssst: currently at 4100m) I was wrong, it was this amazing colonial Monostary built in the 1600's and that felt reallll creepy overnight. I got my own room again XD Pretty much just spent the arvo taking photos of the gardens and then dinner with the group.
Tuesday: We left for the markets in Otovalo and tried a bunch of random Ecuadorian fruits and got my first rose <3 We also went to some artisan markets with some hectic bongs, peace pipes and smaller pipes. We also went to a town full of leather shops and then went to our next resort/hotel which was near an active volcanoe which equals HOT SPRINGS. So once we got there we all jumped in and then got diner and to bed!
Wedesday: TODAY! I've enjoyed today the most so far. I got up earlier than planned and got breaky and then went on a hike with half the group for an hour and a bit and then we headed with everyone to a hummingbird sanctuary and then hiked 30mins to a cute waterfall. Then lunch and here we are!
I'm pumped for friday, dancingggg finally haha. Salsa and bachata aparently, lol the whole weekend, friday/sat/sun the country is under 'dry law' which means no alcohol sold anywhere because of elections on Sunday. Ha, ive never heard of having to be sober for so long before an election. I guess this country is really catholic though, every Sunday there's no more alcohol sold after 4pm for the last couple of years.
I'm also sort of excited for Santiago, I'm there for a day and a bit before having to fly back to Australia. I've been trying to figure out what I;m going to do. I land at 6am on Sunday and I have the whole day. I need to look into buying my aunty this musical intrument she's after BUT I want to do the free walking tour I missed with matty and the aussie bloke last time I was there. It starts at 10am and goes until lunch I think and I want to hit up the human rights museum, it might be called something else, but it's all centered around Pinochets dictatorhsip. I'm thinking I'm going to stay at a hostel instead of the airport hotel. Last hostel experience for awhile I'm guessing although I'm planning on heading down to Katoomba for a night or two soon and I got offered to go to Melbourne but I think it's the same weekend as Kurt's sisters wedding =.=
There's so many places I want to go and do D= talking to other travelers is the worst! The plant new ideas in my head constantly. I totally forgot that you can go teach english in certain places and live there for awhile. Good option if you don't have much money but omg, teaching...eep. I dislike kids. But it would be an interesting experience living in the one place for 6 months. It would be pretty lonely though, I mean some days in Coquimbo were pretty lonely, I'm lucky I had family around my age, I really only had one friend who wasn't family. Especially if I go somewhere that I don't know the language which is usually the point for these language classes.
I kind of really want to head back to Chile next summer, for all of january and february and just stay in Coquimbo in the apartment again. There is just soooo much movement and festivals and free beach stuff in summer, it's mental, and not even shitty concerts, like big names (for chile). Although, stef would kill me, I think her wedding is in March. Plus work is going to be difficult. I still don't really know what I want to do. My original plan was to come back and find a permanent full time position, work for at least a year and then start my masters. I don't know anymore. I kind of just want to take long haul vactions constantly haha, not 6 months anymore, but 2 months ish at a time. If I go and stay just in the apartment in Chile, I will need minimum $6000 all up, I can make that money easy in 2 months. I just need to be better at saving than I was last year. I don't know how I was spending that much, I never tried to be frugal though lol. But then...I want to get my license and buy a car. *sigh* Although I suppose just getting my license would be good enough.
But if I go back to Chile, I'll want to keep backpacking D= There is soooo much to see in Chile, so many national parks and shiz and it's so damn easy to just get a bus and go. I suppose if I go january, I could go straight from Santiago to the south for a month and then head up to Coquimbo for my birthday xD
Except I also want to do the Australian Contiki tour, but thats $5500ish. Not including the optional tours that i'll want to do and dinners so that's another $1000 easily. Ergh. I'll speak to stef.....she won't be happy if I go to Chile again...and to be honest I don't know how it would work with a job. I was playing around with the idea of working casual. That way I could work heaps, make my money and go and then it wouldn't be a problem in terms of having to ask for time off which will be hard. Except....*sigh* working casual is a big step. I really only feel confident I gastroenterology and ...semi confident in ICU. So scary. And since I don't drive I couldn't work for an agency, I would have to apply to work for Liverpools casual pool, I might be able to work in ICU's casual pool and that way it's a tiny bit less stressful because at least it's the same place all the time, but then I would need to quickly brush up and get certified to do intubated patients and I'm just not ready. *sigh* Who knows. I'll figure it out when I get home. I guess if I stay permanent somewhere it will be better in terms of learning and then I suppose I can just save up and go tour around Australia if they give me the time off. That way stef is happy because I'll be around for all the bridal fittings and pre-stuff. Boo.
I JUST DON'T KNOW.
It's conflicting because my goals are a little unaligned with this whole travel thing. But it's doable...it has to be. Because obviously I wan't to lose weight and get fitter. I promised Diego there would be a noticable difference by next summer. I've thrown around numbers in my head but I haven't committed to anything but I think. I'm going to go "drastic" and aim for 85kg haha...yeah I know that's still fucking obese but I haven't been less than 92kgs at my height ever. I've been toying around with the idea of giving up meat but definetly want to start "eating clean" so only foods that are prepared myself with no preservatives. I was going to try start doing meal prepping so that way I have a whole weeks worth of food so no real chance to cheat. I also want to start jogging, I only went twice while I was living in the apartment but it was a big step for me, I had never EVER gone jogging before...like willingly lol. Highschool made me maybe like twice and that was painfully humiliating.
SO goals: lose weight, be able to run, get my P's, either travel to Chile in the summer OR go on the australian contiki tour. As for my love life, to be honest, I think Kurt's right and I should detox this year. Commit to no commitment for an entire year. No relationships. Be single...like actually single and not what I was doing 2012 ha. I get far too codependent on my partners.
All I really know is that I do not want kids any time soon or marrige. My travel bug is going to make it hard to be with anyone seriously really, so unless they travel with me too it's a no go.
You know, some days, I would still freak out and feel really shit, I wanted to hide and didn't want to leave the apartment at first. To be honest I can't even remember why I felt that way, I just get sucked into a vortex of negativity and I'm afraid of just failing at everything I guess. I feel shitty about myself because sometimes I'm really fucking wierd, I don't socialise well and I'm a bit of a freak. Then there are days were I feel really great, especially recently. I really need to remind myself that I have accomplished a lot so far. There's always a voice in my head telling me to fuck off and that everything I've ever done is no big thing and in a way, that voice isn't wrong, I haven't had to struggle and fight for anything I've done really, I've been really lucky that I just seem to float through things. I've had a lot of people tell me I'm brave for leaving bymyself for 6 months to go traveling but I never felt brave...I never felt scared, if I had, I wouldn't of done this. Sure I had one intense night of weakness which was the day before I left but that was one momentary lapse of sanity. It turns out, being on your own in a foregn country really isn't all that hard. Even less if you're with tour groups which I've done a lot, there's only been a few weeks worth where I was on my own.
But this trip has made me feel way more confident, I just need to keep reminding myself. I've come pretty far when I look back at how shy and scared I was a few years ago. I think its all just been a part of growing up. Lots of people I re-met in Chile were happy because they thought I finally learnt how to speak Spanish...I've known since I was 5 years old, that's just how shy I was I guess. Plus getting to live alone in an apartment! I finally got to do that, it;s been something I always dreamed of doing but never really found an easy, cost-effective way of doing that. Now it's out of my system ^.^ Sure it would be nice to do that permanently until I move in with my supposed long-term partner into the house we've bought together...but you know, that shits expensive yo. I'm not moving out of home until I can't handle my mum anymore.
I'm pretty lucky =) Even though I probably don't deserve it but...watevs. At least I've lived a pretty damn full life so far. It's hard to believe that though, because I'm still the semi-shy wierdo freak, but I feel good in a way, despite my mental weakness, I know I've done and seen a shit tonne of things for someone my age and that was even before traveling the last 6 months. I've been lucky that I had already traveled a fair bit before this just because of my mum and I guess.
So one day I was hanging out with Kurt and we realised that there are some pretty wacky sayings in the spanish language.
Each Spanish speaking country has their own sayings, metaphors and similies but these are a few that I have collected over the last year or so.
Every time I hear my mum or grandma say a new one I text Kurt XD It has become somewhat of a little tradition for me now =]
Saying: La negrita astuta vende fruta.
Direct Translation: The (Astute, cunning, sly, crafty, fraudulent) cute/little black girl sells fruit.
Meaning: This saying is said as a sort of warning that you are/someone else is a cocktease
Saying: No calientes el agua (si no vas a tomar té)
Direct Translation: Don't heat the water if you're not going to drink tea
Meaning: This is also a sort of warning to someone who is being a cocktease. Kind of like, don't flirt and lead someone on if you have no intention of hooking up with them. It is also a play on words because in Spanish (Chilean at least) the word calentar (to heat) is also used informally as a way to say 'make horny'. So 'estoy caliente' = I'm hot BUT it means I'm horny. If you wanted to say I'm hot (because of the weather) you would say 'tengo calor'
Tongue Twister: Tres tristes tigres trigo trillaron tranquilos tragaron
Translation: Three sad tigers, wheat they threshed (To separate the grain from the straw or husks by mechanical beating), calmly they swallowed.
Tongue Twister:Pedro Pablo Pérez Pereira pobre pintor portugués pinta paisajes por poca plata para pasar por París
Translation: Pedro Pablo Pérez Pereira poor Portugese painter paints landscapes for little money to pass through Paris.
Saying:Buscarle la quinta pata al gato
Direct Translation:To look for the 5th leg of the cat
Meaning: Looking for problems when there clearly aren't any in that situation, so you're over thinking it and overcomplicating yourself.
Saying: Para ser bella hay que ver estrellas
Direct Translation: To be beautiful you have to see stars
Meaning: I'm guessing this is a fairly old saying because my grandad said it to me once, I kind of fell in love with this little rhyme/mantra. It means that no pain is too great to endure in order to look your best, this particularly refers to women having to wear painful shoes (stilettos) because it makes their legs look hot, wearing tight clothing to show off curves, waxing, plucking, dying hair, and I suppose nowadays you could extend that into getting cosmetic surgery. Just to clarify, my grandad wasn't a dick, I remember the saying coming up because we were watching a show with really attractive women and I was in awe of them and he explained that constructed superficial beauty comes at a price =) Oh and if you don't get the imagery, it's based on seeing "stars" when you hit your head/get dizzy, like if you've ever seen the cartoon representation of stars around the head when they get hit.
*To be continued