As many of you know I went to South America (Ecuador) for my vacation, and to meet some of my wife's family and friends, so I will write a bit about what happend.
First, this was not a typical relaxing vacation with laying out on the beach and drinking cocktails, our first day we took a 3 hour car ride outside the capitol to a area that we hike to see huge waterfall, along the way we toured some volcanos, now Quito, Ecuador is in some parts as high up as 9,600 ft high, and in that high elevation, a sea level guy like me had some problems, stomach aches, headaches, body aches, and shortness of breath, but I did fine.
After a few days of visiting volcanos, and other historical points of interest, my wife's best friend's husband has a cousin who is a Captain in the Ecuadorian Air Force, I was told that we were going to visit him because he is stationed in a town at the gateway to the Amazon, so we took a nearly 5 hour car ride into the Amazon, along the way stopping at some more Volcanos, and little shops to buy shrunken heads. Upon meeting up with the Captain he informs us that we will be his guests and stay the night at the base, I was also told DO NOT speak english and try to look Ecuadorian, I was pretty nervous as everyone on the base walks around with a sub machine gun.
Next morning we got up early, went to the military airport and boarded a cargo supply plane that was taking food and supplies deep in to the Amazon to another military base near the border with Peru, the flight was amazing, as we are sitting between huge bags of onions, potatoes and frozen chickens, looking out into the vast green of the amazon that is only broken by the dirty muddy amazon river, we landing in a very remote base that I am told is only accessible by plane, walking out of the plane you are hit by the humid hot air of the amazon, in a hurry I searched my backpack for my bug repellant I covered my entire body, wife and I walked around a bit we saw the "Jungle fighters" as they were in a formation going into a hut for a meeting, we walked down to rivers edge to takes some pictures, then her friend yelled at us to stay on the main part of the base and do not go far. After getting back on the plane then back to the other base then back to our car I had one thought in my head, What the hell am I doing!!
The next day at 8 am we were back in Quito and at the airport off to Galapagos Islands, we had a wonderful tour package that is not really offered to Americans, $1200 for wife and I for 4 days in Galapagos, that includes, air, hotel, 3 meals per day, drinks, tours, and a yacht. In our tour we had 2 Italians who live in Quito, 1 Spanish guy who was married to an Ecuadorian and the rest were from Ecuador, which made the tour cool in a way and difficult in another. It was cool because I was not stuck in a tour group with a bunch of Americans like I saw in other tours, so I got a real down home experiance, and not cool in the way that everything was in Spanish but my wife was my translator.
There are so many amazing animals in Galapagos, and the turtles are nothing short of breathtaking, the water is warm and so blue that it looks fake, you can see the fish swimming around you, and the food is well if you love seafood like I do then you are in heaven.
When we got back to Quito I did get sick however and was in bed for a day, could have been something I ate or the water, when I got better we went up some cable tram all the way up some mountain that was over 12,000 ft high, up there is a tiny city, the city above the clouds, they have signs posted that they have oxygen stations if you need it, however the local Indians have a medicine to help cope with the altitude, cocaine leafs, they make a tea and a candy with it, I had both ... it actually worked!
After a few more days of tours and visiting family I find myself back to the airport saying good bye and looking forward to coming home to rest.
I will post a few pictures
sorry for my long story
P.S. A few days before we leave we are having breakfast at wife's friends home, and I see on her table near the entry way some familar book and magazine, I was like oh shit these people are following me, wife's friend is looking at me weird and asks wife whats wrong she explains about the JW's and friends wife says (translated) "Oh yeah the maid answered the door and took those from the cult people" I was laughing so much, the title of the awake was Amageddon! ... I asked wife is she wanted some reading material for the plane ride home, she said not but I think we are out of toilet paper.