I Ate An Ant

And it tasted lemony.  It was a small bugger and I had to swallow it quickly so that I wouldn´t feel it moving around the inside of my mouth.  Hard to believe that I did this when every other bug freaked me out.  The tarantulas, scorpians, cockroaches, locusts and beetles the size of President´s Choice Decadent chocolate chip cookies.  I liked the amazon..that is during the day.  At night, I took comfort in my mosquito net around my bed keeping me safe.  I did get so some animals as well- caiman (alligator), monkeys, sloths, dolphins and anacondas.  We went on some interesting walks through the jungle- a night walk which was very stressful as we worried what dangerous being awaited us in the dark; and we went walking through quicksand.  We were wearing rain boots and you had to move quickly as the mud didn´t want to release your foot.  My friend, Maude (pronounced Mode and in spanish pronounced Mowday), had a hole in her boot and the quicksand started to gush into her boot.  She developed trench foot as a result.  We also got a chance to fish for pirhanas.  I was horrible at this-i caught zilch while Maude caught 3!

We are now in Peru making our way over to Cusco for the Inca Trail.   So far we went up in small tiny planes that sit 6 people to see the Nazca lines in the air.  The pilot flies in tight circles so that you can see the lines and then turns in the other direction.  By the end of the fight, i wasn´t feeling too well and all too happy to have my feet back on the ground.  Maude was in another plane and when we met up, she told me that even though we hadn´t eaten that morning, she still managed to throw up…twice!  Poor Maude, trench foot and now this.

Also, got to see some Condors up close and personal and got to sleep in a worse place than the Andean village in my last message.  If that was even possible.

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Andean Villages in Quito

Hola Amigos

Well i’ve been in south america for a week now.  I actually almost didn’t make it here.  Last week Sat when I was at Pearson, American Airlines couldn’t read my eticket on their computers.  They said that there was a problem with the way the agent wrote up the eticket.  When i went to call the agency, they were closed!  I ended up missing my flight.  Without going into details…I was able to get the home number of the owner of the agency and the mess got sorted out in time for me to get a later flight.

I’ve been in Quito now for a week.  Since I’ve been here I’ve visited the old and new towns, pretended i was the hunchback of notre dame as I climbed up rickety ladders in bell towers of gothic churches, went to the equator for the second time in my life (how many people can say that!) and balanced an egg on a nail. Apparently that can only be done at the equator.  Actually the monument is 240 km off the mark- but it worked anyways.

This past weekend I went to visit an Andean village.  I think I may have had a bout of altitude sickness (it 3800m above sea level).  I had this massive headache and loss of appetite.  Well the headache could have been due to the fact I had breathed in stall air on buses for hours, then there were the odors of the village- stinky animals, pungent food odors and smoke fumes from burning of garbage.  As far as the loss of appetite…well i was forwarned in the guide book that food and accomodations were basic…that could easily have been a result of the overwhelming enticing food being cooked in the village.  As for the accomodation…well the owner told me that the hot water would be available later that day.  Later that day…with the sink…what was what i presumed the cold water tap didn’t work.  the hot water tap did work, but the water wasn’t hot.  the next day… there was no water at all.  So I had to use my drinking water to freshen up.

 Why was I in this Andean village?  I was there to see this volcanic crater lake, Quilotoa.  It was worth the village stay.  You could climb down from the rim to the water’s edge.  In order to get back to the ridge you could be lazy and rent a mule or you could climb out.  I opted to climb out.  OMG.  I was not prepared for this.  It was step step step step step step step pant pant pant heart beat beat beat rest drink water.  repeat.  I blame the altitude.  Hey I"m used to exercising at sea level.  i kept thinking, i have to do 4 days of this on the inca trail.  i don’t know if i can do it!  I wonder if the trail can be done in reverse… ride the train up and walk down.