Sunday, December 26, 2010

Canoa Christmas

I met up with some friends from home and decided to settle into Canoa, Ecuador for Christmas. Canoa is a popular backpacker spot with good surf and seafood. We've been staying at the Coco Loco Hostel they made us feel like family. The weather in Canoa has been spotty, days of downpours followed by beautiful sunsets and clear skies. Regardless of the weather, the ocean is warm, making for great boogie boarding and swimming.

Sunset on the Canoa beach.

This is Chuleta (Porkchop) a 3 month old puppy living at the hostel. Coco Loco helps rescue animals and spay and neuter local pets. They have 5 cats and 5 dogs living at the hostel.

The hostel and its guests bought gifts for kids and handed them out in the poorer areas in Canoa. Santa was swamped. We also attempted to sing carols.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Southern Colombia

After another tedious border crossing I entered Colombia. My first stop in Colombia was Laguna de la Concha. The lake is bordered by a small town decorated like a village in the Swiss Alps. After taking a boat ride out to an island on the lake we hiked across a bromiliad covered forest trail to view the lake.

The next major stop was San Augustin, home to some of Colombias best ruins. San Augustin is surrounded by rolling green verdant hills. The ancient San Augustin culture used these beautiful surroundings to create intricate anthropomorphic statues.

San Cipriano is a village near Buenaventura, about 2 hours from Cali. San Cipriano is tucked deep in the jungle and is only accessible by rail. The residents of San Cipriano have created homemade rail cars made from modified motorcycles to ferry passengers and goods to the town. The ride is about 15 minutes from the main road to reach San Cipriano. Once in San Cipriano you won´t find much besides basic restaurants and homestays. However running next to the town is a beautiful and warm crystal clear river that you can tube down.