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Bo 'n' Louise

A blog about one of our trips

The unprepared round-the-world tour starting 29th of June 2009.
First phase was from USA to South America on motorcycles. We made it, and the bikes are sold.
Second phase was the South Pacific... from island to island in old fashion backpacker style.
Third phase was around and around in Southeast Asia.
In fourth phase Louise went back to Denmark (August 2010) for work, while Bo continued in East Asia.
In fifth phase we were both on work, Louise in South America and Bo in Southeast Asia.
In the sixth phase Louise was in Denmark while Bo was making his way home through Russia.
By November 2010 both Louise and Bo were back in Denmark and an amazing journey has ended - but then there is always the next trip :-)

Off to work

Ecuador incl. Galapagos Posted on Tue, August 17, 2010 09:15:45

I headed back to South America to do a bit of work…

Back in Quito, Ecuador…

After I had spent a few days in the capital, the group arrived.
The virgin..

After just one day we headed straight for the Galapagos Islands. Jibiii…

It still is an amazing place – wonderland for animal-lovers..
Underwater Galapagos; cleaning station for sea turtles

Stingray

White tipped reef shark – there was a whole gang of them hanging out under a rock shelf

The sealions were as playful as ever – giving us quite a show.
Some of my guests were kind enough to send me these pictures:
The joke is aparently all Danish – the Ecuadorian captain doesn’t seem to be laughing.
The tourleader is always focused on the group.. even if she seems to be leading a group of tortoises on this occasion 🙂

Back on the mainland we headed for the jungle – the Amazonas!

The medicine man

Cocoa plant – ripe and ready – tastes good too – even like this

Beautiful flowers
more..
A very small, however very poisonous, snake was cuddled up under a dry leaf

I was sent this picture too – of the tourleader dressed up in local flowers to look like a kiss-ready parrot.. 😎
A Wolly monkey checks us out as we pass on the river

An Ozelot – beautiful creature – unfortunately endangered and here in a cage
The middle of the world..

And the monument marking the middle of the world – from 600 ft away..

We went to the giant market in Otavalo with all it’s incredible people
There’s shopping
talking
evaluations
and tacky sourvenirs..

We even made it to Mindo, the cloud forest north west of Quito. Here we got to see flowers and hummingbirds and even a mermaid..

Humming away
at an incredible pace
They’re just so cute
She was just sitting there – by accident

Another beautiful – now ex nymph..



Volcanoes

Ecuador incl. Galapagos Posted on Sat, January 23, 2010 16:53:56

One day we wanted to ride up to the highest volcano in Ecuador, Chimborazo. After a minor detour we saw it. The clouds parted and revealed all of this beautiful volcano.
It doesn’t get any better – the scenery..
A couple of Vicunas made the scenery perfect.

We took the bikes up to the refuge at 4800 meters. Here a moon-like landscape unveiled in the clouds and Bo took the bike for a spin in the red dust.
Bo is laying down tracks in the red “moon”-dust
The air is thin..
But the veiw is great…

This is not the only volcanoe here..
Cotopaxi is another famous perfectly snowcapped cone-shaped example which is situated right outside the capital, Quito – visible from fra away..
Fantastic!!

Then there is the volcanoe just above Banos where we stayed for a while, Tungurahua. It was smoking already when we rode into town in the afternoon sun.
It’s not all clouds…

This was just the beginning of it’s period of activity. We even tried to take a night bus ride – Eruption Tour – to a viewpoint above town to see some glowing lava but the clouds where to low. At least we heard it rumble…
Night in Baños

On our way out of town we had to take one more look at the grey smoke that now belched out of the top of the vulcanoe while rumbling thunderlike noise was coming at us.
A real active volcanoe!

The locals took it easy – so we felt that we should too..
Bo and Karl-Johan, whom we met in Baños, taking a final look at the smoking volcanoe.

Oh yeah – and we also had the first flat tire on the trip – luckily very close to a repair shop and a guy who fixed it for 2 USD. He didn’t know too much about motorcycles though – so we spend a fair amount of time adjusting the wheel after this..
Grrrr….
The reason…



Some fine journeys

Ecuador incl. Galapagos Posted on Fri, January 22, 2010 21:37:21

Me after at couple of days on the bike

We have been around here in Ecuador. Through jungle, over mountains and ascending volcanoes… yes, on the bikes. Long days that have not left much time to writing blog or hygiene. But it has been amazing.

In the jungle we got a bit lost, again. A sign along the road pointed down a side trail to some shelters, but the trail ended at a small house, where a reserved lady informed us that the huts was a couple of hours trekking further into the jungle. So we had to made another u-turn.

Looking for a place to sleep

The last hut before the jungle took over

The u-turn expert in action

Bumping back the way we came

And then there was the journey over the mountain range coming from the Amazon and climbing back into the Andes mountains.

A nice bridge

And a not so nice bridge


And the ma’am has become quite a dare devil…. here showing off in the water:

So it will only be suitable with a victory dance after such an acheivement

Else we haven’t experienced the slightest.

Quito

Looks a bit artificial

Amazing people everywhere… though they know their price as models

And crossing Equator for the fourth time… even though we didn’t noticed it, beside this single time



Three friends

Ecuador incl. Galapagos Posted on Fri, January 22, 2010 00:57:36

These three people was sitting and waiting for the bus. I stopped and asked if I could take their picture. Sure, and they really wanted a printed copy too, so they stood up and looked their best. When I ask for their address, so I could send a copy, they looked a bit perplexed. They didn’t have one. They lived in a small peasant community a half hour drive from the volcano. No post office, house number or even a village name. I asked what the nearest village was… they didn’t knew that either. I said, I couldn’t promise them anything, but will do my best to make sure they got a copy. Unfortunately our plan changed, and I didn’t get time to drive around on the altiplano looking for their little hut (it was my plan originally). So they will probably never get the photo… which really bugs me. So if you are planing to passing through that way, please let me know. There are three fine friends that are waiting for their photo.



Shopping..

Ecuador incl. Galapagos Posted on Wed, January 13, 2010 08:54:28

After New Years we rode north to take a look at the famous Saturday Otavalo market. We even managed to get there fairly early despite the 2½ hour drive from Quito, crossing the equator..
It was a huge market and people were all dressed up – in this part of the country the women wear black skirts and white shirts with colourful flower-knittings, tons of ”gold” necklaces and fold up a piece of cloth on top of their head – how they keep it there I just dont know…
One way to fold it
Another
Or you can go without

The men had long hair, white trousers and grey and blue ponchoes.
Hats for sale
Girls can wear hats too

It was a little touristy but fun to get lost in those areas where they sold the clothes – a whole shop full of white shirts with different patterns or a shop with the ribbons they use as belts – in every colour of the rainbow…

On the way back we passed the Equator again. Here they have built a brand new ”now actually on the equator” giant orange sundial and the guides at the site argue vividly why Ecuador is the middle of the earth and that the worldmap should be viewed completely different – more in agreement with the acutal position of the earth and how it is turning in the universe.. hmmm
Whether Ecuador is the center of the world or not, it still has a lot of vulcanoes

Just the view along the way.

In another marked further south the scene was completely different! Guinea-pigs were for sale along with rabbits and chickens.
Yummy Guinea-pigs – not for pets – for eating a smiling man told us
You can bring your chickens to the marked in many ways…
The most active barganings were taking place out of big white sacks. There were several markets all over town and many fantastic people had turned up for this weekly event.
Bargaining is fierce before the animals changes sacks..
Rabbits are held by the ears, Guinea-pigs by the neck and the first thing to check out is always the genitals



Lost on New Year’s Eve

Ecuador incl. Galapagos Posted on Wed, January 06, 2010 13:25:29

Our plan for New Year’s Eve was to head for Laguna Quilotoa in the highlands, where there supposedly should be some nice lodges.

We left Quito and managed to spend the usual hours figuring our way out. Finally we got to the highway which lead us to the countryside. After a turn into a winding country road we continued of what we though was the right way, well the only way. We had of course overlooked a turnoff in a little village.

Always fashion minded, even in the cold and foggy mountains

So we drove over mountains and got stopped a billion times by New Year’s roadblocks, where the locals dress up and dance (mostly just wiggle), before you pay some money and they let you through.

Louise closing in on a roadblock

Just when the sun was setting, we rolled into what we believed wast the right village. I asked a family standing in front of their house, what the name of the village was (just to be sure). It was not was it supposed to be. I asked then where the right village were. They looked a bit disorientated and hesitated pointed the direction we just came from. Hmmm…. 3 hours of the map. We then asked for a hotel, and again they looked a bit concerned. There was none in this town. So as friendly as South Americans are, they offered us to stay with them for the night. I wanted to ask them if they were sure about that, but since my Spanish was not as good as I had hoped, I asked instead if it was safe to sleep with them. They believed it was. So while they drove off to church, we settled in our New Years Eve getaway in their spare room.

Our love nest for New Year’s Eve included two supercute puppies

After church, the family brought us to the aunt’s house for chicharon (fried pork skin and fat) and other yummy bits. Since nothing much happened in the village, we just went straight to bed… and missed the traditional 12 o’clock dolls-burn-off in the streets.

The village we slept in… this should have been a picture of the nice Lopez Enrique family, but we somehow managed to loose some of our pictures from that day.

So New Years day we thanked the family and returned to our pursuit for Laguna Quilotoa, which we eventually found under a bright blue sky and view to the snow capped volcano of Cotopaxi.

Louise and the volcano

Bo and the laguna

And two girls with red cheeks

Rattle and shake on an ancient cobblestone road

Happy New Year….



Galapagos

Ecuador incl. Galapagos Posted on Sun, January 03, 2010 10:26:39

Imagine you come across an island – you see sea lions on the beach and they are not afraid – they hardly even look up when you stride over them, a bluelegged bird fly rigth past you and you realise you are almost stepping on a monster – a marine iguana of many colours.. – and that is just the begining of it all..
You could easily step on the animals..


Shortly before Christmas we took a plane to Galapagos, an archipelago 600 miles (1000 km) west of Ecuador mainland. This was the place where Darwin walked around back in 1835 and catched a lot of birds and started thinking revolutionary thoughts about ours and many other animals development.

Already within the first hour after our arrival to the island we had already seen giant tortoises, sea lions, marine iguanas, Sally-lightfoot crabs, pelicans, herons and a lot of other birds.. crazy!
One of the finches that made Darwin think twice..

Our mission was however entirely different at this point; we needed to find a cruise – and preferably a cheap one or at least a great bargain.. We ended up on the shabbiest looking boat in the harbour – blue and white ”Gaby” was leaning somewhat to one side.. – however the price was right we figured the animals would be the same..
Off we went and we were not disappointed! The other people on board were really nice and the days flew by. We visited a number of different islands – all had different animals adjusted to the environment on just that island.

Impressions from the islands..
In some places the lava is still soft..
In others it has created tunnels
No comments..
The giant tortoises are a magnificent sight

This particular species of tortoise have a special problem.. getting back on their feet.. perhaps it is fortunate that they do not have any predators.. otherwise the ”survival of the fittest” evolutionary arrangement might not have sided with them..

The tortoise who tried to figure out who shit on his shield..


Animals here are practically not afraid of humans – almost contrary. We met quite a few curious sea lions that wanted to play.. and I snorkelled with a group of penguins who curiously swam around me.. some sea lions even came right up to you to take a closer look and a sniff..
Curious sea lions taking a closer look..

A Bluefooted Boobie trying his best to look good
– and a Fregate bird already managed to wheel in a ”bird”

On Christmas day we were fortunate to come across some sea turtles resting on the beach at midday – it was the egg-laying season so they were probably tired from a long nights digging..
A tired mom..

While the sun was setting we spotted whales in the distance and a Manta ray swam right by the boat.. we could not have asked for more..
All in all a fantastic experience!!
And a lucky one too.. – the great ”Gaby” broke down the very day after we disembarked…
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Also check out Bo’s amazing pictures on http://www.globespots.com/photogallery.php?photogalleryID=37



Merry Christmas

Ecuador incl. Galapagos Posted on Tue, December 15, 2009 20:20:10


MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!

We will be back with a report on the Galapagos after the holidays..