Kiteboarding in Paracas, Peru

image My reason for visiting Paracas was simple – to spend time on the water kiteboarding. A friend we met in Vietnam gave us some tips on the best kiting places in Peru but unfortunatly we were not close to any of those reccomendations. After doing a little research in Lima, I found that Paracas had good steady winds. The PeruHop bus ticket we booked also stopped in Paracas which made it very convientent.

We left Lima early for the relitivly short journey south. Driving straight would only take about 4 hours but we made several stops at interesting tourist destinations which were included in the ticket. The first stop was Cristo del Pacifico where we had an amazing view over the city of Lima before heading out into the desert. Next, we stopped on the road overlooking Pachacamac, Limas version of Machu Picchu. The bus was was high enough to see over the wall barrier so we could see the ruins without paying the $25 entrance fee. The next major stop was at an old spanish colonial house (Hacienda San Jose in Chincha), but the real excitement was underneath. Descending a narrow staircase led to a maze of Continue reading

Exploring Isabela Island in the Galapagos, Ecuador

Isabela Island in the GalapagosAt the main dock in Puerto Ayora, we took a water taxi to board our ferry to Isabela Island. We were surprised to find the boat, Gaby, was barely larger than the small boat that took us scuba diving the day prior. The boat was completely full with every inch of space occupied by bodies. They handed out life jackets to each passenger and we headed out to sea. About thirty minutes into the two hour journey, the captain slowed down the engines with a concerned look on his face. Galapagos inter island ferry engine repairAfter turning off the engines, he motioned for the passengers sitting along the back to move and he began to inspect one of the three engines. After a ten minute inspection, we noticed that the caption appeared to be changing filters. He put the engine back together and we again headed towards Isabela. About twenty minutes later, a different engine began smoking. Continue reading

Touring the Galapagos, Ecuador

Flying over volcano to the Galapagos IslandsWe arrived in Quito‘s airport bright and early for our 8:00 flight to the Galapagos. Thankful the tourist agent gave a complete description of the special process because signs were lacking, we got in line for the extra Galapagos check and processing before checking-in with the airline. The two flights on LAN were uneventful but it made us wonder if stopping in Quito was necessary. There are rarely direct flights from Quito to the Galapagos and upon arriving in the Galapagos we saw that any traveler could just show up, make their way to town, and grab a hostel (contrary to needing a guide for everything as we had heard from family members).

Exiting the airport, we found a tour guide holding a “Darwin Yacht” sign Continue reading

Robbed in Zanzibar

Day 20
We were finally at a beautiful beachfront campsite after the rough drive through Tanzania. Unfortunately we didn’t have any time to enjoy the location because of our packed itinerary. Jojo scheduled us on a ferry to Zanzibar at 9:00 and he promised that our hotel would be even more beautiful then our current location.

imageI think we were all worried that it would take a long time to get to the ferry because of traffic but our guides had a trick up their sleeve. Just after sunrise, we drove down the road to a local ferry that would take us to city center. We said goodbye to Jojo who would be staying with the truck and headed off with Tobi and Nash. We piled on the ferry with the locals for the short ride to the other side. Our group then got into several waiting tuk-tuks that took us a short distance to the Zanzibar ferry. It felt like we were part of The Amazing Race TV show racing through foreign streets not knowing where we were headed! Continue reading