Anthony on the Gringo Trail 2005 travel blog

Noisy fellow guest

Marmoset car thief

Marmoset on palm tree in hostel

I have yet to have a decent coffee here, apparently it all gets sent to the west. Here it is all nasty instant nescafe, or no es cafe (its not coffee) as I prefer to call it.

I was wandering around Miraflores in Lima before catching my international bus when I came acros a number of tattoo parlours. So after a fun hour with a bunch of Peruvian stoners I now have a fine new Inca-style tattoo on my right calf, as well as getting my left fore-arm tattoo touched up.

I do feel very quickly back in my stride on the travelling thing, much faster than last time. 26 hours on the bus wasn't fun, though at least the seat next to me was empty. The food was not nice, and we had no food or water for the last nine hours of the journey through hot jungley stuff. We went from giant scarey coastal sand dunes through hundreds of miles of desert, and then almost as soon as we crossed the border into Ecuador it changed into steamy jungle with rubbish everywhere. The music speeded up and became more latin, the peope looked less Andean and more Indian, and they all looked very poor. Generally more of an edge here, though people still appear friendly enough when you talk to them. On the journey I kept getting flashes of similar parts of the world, a bit of Khatmandu in the shanty towns of Lima, a bit of the Nile in the Peruvian coastal plains.

There were two girls from Manchester on the bus nearing the end of their big post-college trip who also are after watching whales, so I am with them for a couple of days as our paths match. Gemma and Steph and I are all in this fabby hostel called the Dreamcatchers Hostel in the large city of Guayaquil (3,000,000 people). The hostel is very cool, and has huge colourful parrots everywhere and lots of the tiniest monkeys I have ever seen running around. And tomorrow a four hour bus journey to Puerto Lopez on the Pacific Coast. Fingers crossed for the whales!

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