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After getting my first passport in 2006 and traveling to climb Kilimanjaro in Tanzania my life changed. I began the process of getting rid of all my possessions and traveling the world. Traveling to over 110 countries and all 7 continents, hostels have been my home. This "new life" has taught me what is important and it was NOT accumulating money or possessions. Traveling is the best education. I hope my blog will encourage others to travel. My World Tattoo was a way for me to express my PASSION FOR TRAVEL.

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ECUADOR, Quito, View of Quito from El Panacillo

Tuesday   November 23, 2010

  (Putting the day of the week down helps me keep track) lol

Caught a taxi to go to El Panacillo (Little Bread Loaf) , a hill to the south of Quito, which is topped by a huge statue of La Virgen de Quito and offers incredible views of the whole city and surrounding volcanoes.

Funny. All the kids on a school outing were told to keep touching the wall while at the top of the Virgen de Quito.

ECUADOR, Quito, San Francisco Plaza

ECUADOR, Quito, teleferiQo (sky tram) to Cruz Loma

Monday   November 22, 2010

Met a nice Australian couple, Peter and Sadie, at breakfast who asked if I wanted to share a cab to the teleferiQo (sky tram) that leads to the best view of Quito at 4100 meters (13,200 feet). Since the weather was beautiful for a change I decided to chance the weather even though the weather in Quito can change in a second.
We split the $5 cab ride and paid the $7.50 fee up the 2.5 km ride up the mountain. The view was spectacular and the weather remained good for the 1.5 hrs we spent on top. Started raining hard 2 hrs later.

ECUADOR, Quito, Street Parades by the Grand Plaza

Sunday   November 21, 2010

Wonderful parades around the Grand Plaza especially the guys on stilts doing flips and splits WHILE ON STILTS. Unfortunately I forgot my camera had video on it. I am so electronically challenged. It started to rain so the parades were cut short so don't have any more pictures. Maybe next Sunday.

Also finally posted some pictures on my Cali to Pasto post.


Wednesday   November 17, 2010  (Day 3)

Woke up at 7:30 am well rested for the first time in 2 weeks. Spent most of the day blogging and posting pictures and watched a couple of movies at the hostel. Met a German, Tom, who was staying at the hostel and chatted for a while. No time, energy or desire to check out the famous Cali nightlife on Sexta Avenue. Another big day of traveling with 9 hrs on bus to Pasto. Highlight of my day was talking to Kade, Madison and Scott on Skype. Skype definitely helps but does not cure missing everyone.

COLORADO, Grand Canyon, rafting

November 14, 2010

We had camped only 2 miles above Indian Creek where our outfitter, Ceiba, was to pick our rafts, equipment and Scott and  I at 10 am I for the trip back to Flagstaff. Since there were no big rapids we did not have to secure all of our bags and camping equipment. When we got to the landing, JC's wife, Diane, was there to pick up JC, Lance and Mike for the return trip to Las Vegas. Shortly thereafter, the Ceiba truck with long bed trailer showed up and we quickly loaded all the rafts and equipment. The landing is on the Hualapi reservation and the road back to the main highway takes about an hour and is dirt and some gravel. About 30 minutes into the trip the trailer breaks around the axle and tire mounting. We removed the tire and relied on the remaining 5 tires for the remaining 2.5 hr trip. We were dropped off at our discount hotel and I quickly waited for the hot water in the shower to get hot so I could take my first shower in more than 9 DAYS. YOU HEARD ME. Irish Pub, food, beer and a bed for a change. ANOTHER trip of a lifetime.

COLORADO, Grand Canyon, Rafting the Colorado River

November 6-13

While I normally blog each day of a trip, I found it almost impossible to express the beauty and wonder of rafting down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. I have decided to give a synopsis of our daily routine and let the pictures do the rest. Our boats were full with ice chests and prepacked daily meals in ammo cans for us to cook each day from our set menu.


Each morning begins early with JC (main guide) getting the kitchen going and getting breakfast started. We began packing up our cots and packing our dry bags so that we can load the boat after breakfast. Packing the boat and making sure everything is secure usually takes over an hour. We usually start down the river around 9:30 am. Each morning usually involves a few really good rapids that is almost certain to get you wet to some extent. There is also a lot of rowing when there is little current at some portion of the river. I was on the raft with Lance who was rafting his 1st time down the river. Scott and Mike were in the raft with JC who has guided groups down the river 281 times. For some reason I could only row backwards. Just couldn't get the frontward rowing. If the rapids were large, we would pull over and scout the rapids to decide which was the best route.


Lunch was usually sandwiches and almost always on the river. We would tie the boats together and just drift on periods of the river which did not have major rapids. Quick bite to eat, unhook and back to rafting the larger rapids. An unexpected addition to the rafting was the canyon side trips which were anywhere from 1-3 times a day. JC would show us side canyon, waterfalls and swimming holes which I am sure would more enticing in the summer. The side trips were really enjoyable.


We would usually make camp around 4-5 pm. Of course then we would have to unload the boat with all our stuff on it. Takes about an hour to unload, set up the kitchen, get water and get our cots and beds ready. Dinner is always the best meal of the day. Started out sleeping in a tent with my sleeping bag and an air mattress while everyone else had a cot under the stars with their sleeping bag. One night in a tent on the hard ground convinced me to switch to a cot. It got down to 37 one night but that is why you invest in a good sleeping bag. We always went to bed at 9. Watching the stars, satellites, planes, and shooting stars at night was one of my favorite things I enjoyed on the trip.

Note: The rapids varied greatly. Some just looked scary while others looked easy but weren't. One rapid involved had a 20 foot wave which came over our boat and soaked everyone. JC and Lance made it look easy and JC's experience was invaluable. I wish the pictures could convey the beauty and wonder of rafting down the Grand Canyon but it won't, at least not to the level that it truly is. It is just one of those things you should experience yourself.