Lynda’s Big Adventure – Ecuador 0

I have had a busy few weeks since I was last in touch. I did acouple more days of volunteer work in Cusco. I absolutely fell in lovewith the kids and it was heartbreaking to hear about how tough theirlives were. The little fella who greets me every morning with a hug isapparently physically abused at home.  At the weekends they get verylittle food. There arent many kind words at home so no wonder they areso well behaved at school. As they get older they seem to lose some oftheir spirit; life taking it out of them I suppose. I was so impressedwith the teacher. He was so patient and loving towards the children. Healso gave a lot of background information about the kids. View from Loki hostel bar, Cusco.I had areally funny experience in Cusco on a night out. I had my little walletin my jeans pocket but it was peaking out slightly. However I hadnothing in it except my cash for that night. We walked through an areathat lots of people were milling around at 2.30am. Next thing I feltthat I wallet was missing! (I felt it immediately). I went up to theguy who had taken it as he had made no attempt to flee the area andsaid ‘Give me back my wallet’!. So he takes it out of his pocket, alongwith a pack of  Skittles sweets  and offers both of them to me! Ireally don’t understand what that was all about but he did kindly giveme the wallet back!!! Who ever heard of someone getting theirpickpocketed wallet back!!! After that he stayed in the general area,standing only about 10m away from me for ages! Steph and I in Colca Canyon, Peru Afterthis Steph and I took a trip to Colca Canyon, which is the World’sDeepest Canyon, except that it isn’t! (The deepest one is a couple ofvalley’s over, but lets not get pedantic!) The whole trip was fantastic- both nights we stayed in places with no electricity, which was prettyenjoyable. 18th Century church in Colca Canyon.The canyon was breathtaking but my favourite part of thetrip was the night hike. We got up at 2.30am  to trek up the side ofthe canyon in order to be in time to go condor watching. (They onlyappear early in the morning). It was pretty magical to walk at night. Iwas a bit worried about it as there are significant drops from thenarrow path but in the end it was amazing – the moon was so bright wedidn`t need to use our torches! We had the most stunning view of thecanyon and surrounding mountains. We did have a a glass of wine on mybirthday to celebrate and Steph bought me a beautiful scarf. So Ididn`t feel alone on a day that I always spend with my family.I returned to Cusco to meet Linds andKeith, which was just fantastic. We hadn’t seen each other for almost 6months, when she left to go on her travels. We had a lovely few daysjust hanging out in the town, which is defintely the best place in SthAmerica for it! Great food, nightlife, places to stay. Because I didn’tbook the Inca Trail before I left home, there was 3 week lapse betweenbooking and starting the walk. It was a great place for it; I had a lotof fun there, made some great friends and did lots of different things.The Inca Trail GroupTheInca trail turned out to be justfantastic, definitely one of thehighlights of my trip so far. It would have been just such a bummer tohave waited around so long and not to have had a great time. The groupwas brilliant, so much fun. Jenn and II shared a tent with a really lovelyAmerican girl called Jen. She is so much fun and a little bit nuts. Sheis a teacher in a private school and is working in Peru for 5 weeks.She was there in advance preparing a 3 week trip for her students whowere to arrive shortly afterwards. Imagine that type of experience, asa 15 year old! The weather was mixed but fabulous when we were at MachuPicchu, which was just as amazing as I had hoped. Really magical. The Classic Machu Picchu photo I was also the fastest walker everyday! It was very strange, I don`tknow why. The most difficult part of the walk was over Dead Woman`sPass at 4300m. Everyone else did it in 3 hours and I did it in 1 hr 35 mins. Iwas the first person there in the morning other than the porters.(Hundreds do it every day). How bizarre! I was first everyday, otherthan when we were walking in areas that had drops. I think it was astrange convergence of different factors that might never be repeatedin my lifetime!!! The other thing I did that I wasreally pleased with was walking up Wanyapicchu, which is the highmountain behind Machu Picchu. There are a lot of drops and the stepsaren`t great. Anyway I had no intention of going up, just going to thebottom and taking a look. I ended going up 90% of the way. At thatpoint it got very difficult and we also ran out of time (we had to runto catch our bus). I would have loved to have finished it though.   AfterCusco I moved onto Huaraz, in the Cordillera Blanca. It is the 2ndhighest mountain range in the world (and it really is this time!) aftera section of the Himalayas. Have you seen / read ‘Touching the Void”” This is where it is set. I can’t remember what the name of this mountain was but it was spectacular!I did another 4 day trek which was sort ofhard-going doing it the week after the Inca Trail. I was quite happywhen it was finished! Whilst the scenery was really beautiful, I justdidn`t seem to gel with the group that well. It just seemed that theywould contradict EVERYTHING I said. One of the many beautiful wildflowers on the trek. However the best thing aboutthe trek was seeing some of the peaks by moonlight and also doing myhighest trekking yet -going through a mountain pass at 4750m.Me at Punta Union Pass Rightnow I am in Equador. It is so funny that I am running out of time! I amgoing to the Galapagos islands which will be extremelyexpensive. It is unlikely that I will get to go again so I should justbite the bullet. It will be the last thing I do before I start my journey home. I have arranged the mostinteresting volunteer work for myself! I am going to be developingchocolate bar recipes for a fair trade chocolate co-operative calledKallari! I met a girl, Lily, in the bar of my hostel in Cusco and got chatting.She was so excited that I was a food technologist! I have never workedwith chocolate; I only have an idea how to handle it from cooking!!!However that has not been a problem at all with the work we have doneso far. Lily is really nice and lots of fun. I am staying the apartmentshe lives in, along with about 8 other volunteers connected with theco-operative. Its quite an interesting environment. There is so muchideas floating around and lots of chat. However Lily has said that theyare great at sitting around chatting but often very little gets done! Iam good at getting things done. I am focused on the task as I only havetime to be there for a about 10 days. I am helping develop a recipe fora Chilli Cinnamon Chocolate bar. We spent most of yesterday working ona recipe for a Chilli Cinnamon Hot Chocolate. I think we cracked it, itwas just gorgeous! Lily and I hit the town in Quito last night. Itseems that Salsa is absolutely enormous in this country! We went to aSalsa bar and saw some fantastic dancing there. The unfortunate thingabout these places is that you get asked to dance. Now normally thiswould not be a problem but I can’t Salsa to save my life! God the firsttime I danced it was a truly awful experience!! I really felt sorry forthe guy I danced with. I also could not understand why I kept getting asked todance, especially when it was so obvious how bad I was. I eventuallyrealised that every club needs someone like me, cos without me, whoelse would the other really bad dancers dance with!!! I was barely offthe dancefloor for the night so obviously most local girls are too goodfor their own good!Yesterday we took a trip to the Equator, whichis only 30 mins from Quito. We had lots of fun, even though it isreally just a touristy thing to do!Me at the Real Equator Next on the cards is a trip toLimoncocha, with the other volunteers from Kallari. This isn’t work, itis purely to see wildlife. The main woman in the organisation, Judy, isa biologist so will be acting as our guide. It sounds really excitingas it will be cheap, we get to go to places that are off the touristtrail and will be spending time in proper jungle communities. Sleepingon the floor! Also the group going are great and we should have lots offun. After that we are going to the place where the cacao is harvested and the chocolate is manufactured. The nerd in me is really looking forward to this!!Anyway folks. It is unlikely that I will be sending a blogbefore I get home on Friday 1st June! I am sooo looking forward tomeeting up with everyone and just being at home! Maybe I have lost myrestlessness; I will have to wait and see. I am also home for thesummer; I have decided it is not a good time to go to Africa. It willstill be there if I want to go another time.

Posted from Ecuador:

Comments for lyndacorcoran:you have 24 comments

lynda corcoran
Hi Lynda,Have a nice day from Joliette (Quebec) Canada

02 Nov 2008
I just googled my friend Tulio Picinini who I have lost contact with, and your travelblog came up, so I hoped you will send me his e-mail adress.

31 Mar 2008
Lynda Corcoran
Hi Lynda,Your web is wonderful and amazing for me, I explain you why. My name is Lynda Corcoran and I’m leaving now in Joliette (in Quebec Province, Canada) and working in Musée d’art de Joliette as Registrar, what’s a surprise for me to see your website! Hope you enjoy it like me. My middle name is Nelly. Bye

20 Jan 2008
Lynda Corcoran
Hi Lynda Corcoran
WOW girlie what a trip,I was having a fiddle on the internet and googled my name which is the same as yours gee whiz I would of traded me for you for a while!I live in USA though I am a Brit.USA is where I ended up Was fun reading your blog and looking at your pics.lynda Corcoran (hey whats your middle name?)

01 Oct 2007
hei lynda
I start my trip to south america in january. probably I can ask you some things about my trip?
Please write me an email to marion_schlatter@yahoo.debest regards

08 Aug 2007
Eimear Hurley
Hi Lynda, it’s your S.A. buddy here. Can’t resist commenting that our friendship started by ‘hill walking and then drinking pints and talking sh..e’. I am really enjoying taking this trip with you. I would really love to have been with you to join in the air bourne pic it is really ‘free spirit’ stuff. All your pics and indeed your written thoughts are so good. Lynda the travel correspondent. Well it is 2 weeks to the Edinburgh Marathon and the hard stuff is done. I am really looking forward to my first trip to ‘Billy Connolly’ country and will look forward to your joining me in the Phoenix Park for race series, on your return. All the best till then. Hugs Eimear.

11 May 2007
Dee London
Hi there Lynda,what a magnificent trip you have had – the photos are spectacular and that one of you mid-air is particularly joyous! I am very jealous of you here in cloudy London, but you have made me very excited about our trip to Vietnam in August – I am remembering all the nice furniture you picked up there and I think you raved about the food!! Hope the rest of the trip stays as eye-opening and awesome as it seems to have been up to now…Dee

06 May 2007
hi there lynda, love all your news, info and photos. I start my trip next week, cant wait the pacific here I come. Will send details soon. Was in Dublin the other week and felt strange not to see you there. Will send contact details soon Much love phil XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

24 Apr 2007
Mr C. á Paree
Hi Linda, Wow, the photos are amazing! the salt plains look stunning, I can understand the disorientation just even from photos, but hey, you should get yourself a bowler hat, you know its such a good look!. Love and big hugs to you and stay happy and safe!

19 Apr 2007
Hi Lynda,
thanks and good to hear you laughed but like it’s not enough.
Have you been to Africa before?If not then you had better. Your message is fascinating but you might yet be more fascinated if you visited Africa for example Uganda you won’t believe especially when doing mountain hiking on the Rwenzoris and Elgon.
But anyway keep up the updates because some of us love that. Bye and hope to hear from you once again.
Kind Regards!!!!

11 Apr 2007
Fr. Frank
Hi Lynda: I have read all your facinating adventures, and seen all the fabulous photos as you move around South America. You shoulden’t be laughing at the hats the native women wear! Youm should see some of the hats they wear here at times!, many of them supplied, no doubt, by Dunnes Stores(better prices). So, the Salar salt plains made you disorentated! You coudl always claim that is what made you steal the blankets, if you are ever charged! I’m glad you diden’t try the Death Road on a bycycle.(Not that your were afraid, but you might have got disorientated on the way down!) And what’s that you say about work. Do come home soon: we miss you! – and Bertie needs your vote!

08 Apr 2007
Hello, fello wanderer. Those pics are very impressive I recognise the style from you previous travel pics. Hope all’s well. I take it you are getting my brief mails. You are putting my travelogs to shame. I prefer to talk in pics (well that’s the lazy way anyway). Love Lins

20 Feb 2007
Lynda we miss you please come to Paris for pain du chocolat and fine wine leave the hitching boots at home. love the photoies so happy for you to be so happy and seeing such wonderful sights. phil

16 Feb 2007
Hi Lynda, those photos are amazing!!! You must been having a great time down south!!! I miss you so much… sorry for not been regular with the e-mail thing, but I\’m quite busy since I got back from Argentina. And as you know Carnival is about to begin so I must have every thing done to enjoy it!!! You\’ll hear from me after Carnival… see you Túlio Picinini.

15 Feb 2007
Hi Lynda,Looks like you’re having a ball though that trekkin and harsh winds sound like hard work by my standards! The photos are cool (literally)..Hard to believe youre away a month already!!Take care!!Teri

05 Feb 2007
Hi Lynda, here is Valentina from your home…I am so glad to see your fotos that show you with such a big smile!The places that you are visiting are wonderful and I am sure that you will miss them when you’ll be back home..but..don’t forget that we miss you as well!!!!I am still working and doing a lot of overtime, but it’s a nice environment, so I have to say that I am having a great fun too. At home everything is alright, everything is the same as you left…Have a nice time..te abrazo muy fuerte!!Valentina

04 Feb 2007
Lynda, photos are brill, I’m very envious I’ve always wanted to go to Patagonia, after reading that Bruce Chatwin book. But uhh! it all sounds very physically taxing there. When do you blog on the bit about the cocktails and sunbathing? I think we should be told! we are all still reading so keep it going. Lots of love and hugs, stay safe and happy – Ciaran

03 Feb 2007
Fr. Frank
Hi Lynda, you sure seem to be having an exciting time, and are enjoying yourself very much. Thanks for all the news. Not much to report from me here in Wilton.Thinking of you, and keeping you in my prayers; with all those winds and heights, you need to be careful.

02 Feb 2007
Lynda, great, great pictures, Hope you are well and enjoying it all, it looks amazing! Is it Patagonia? Keep it going! Loadsa love and Big Hugs to you as always! Ciaran

30 Jan 2007
Bonjour you jet setter, get to see that we will be able to follow your adventures through the info highway, we want pics toooooo…. love phil

17 Jan 2007
Lynda, Mr Ciaran in the “Big Croissant” here, the big adventure sounds
brill!, I envy you with all that sun and sunrise clubbing, Thank God you
are doing the blog, I’ll follow it avidly!!!!!
Los Grandos Mucho Huggos to you (sorry theres no Spanish translator on
this comment box)

17 Jan 2007
Hey love, so glad to hear from you and you seem to have a great time.
Oz is going well, enjoying the beaches and really warm weather now,
I started working with agency so it’s cool to meet other people and we
got a really nice place.
All good.
Envoy yr trip and be safe.

17 Jan 2007
Glad you are having a ball! Will be in touch soon.

16 Jan 2007
deirdre m
hi lynda, great to hear about your travels. you describe BA very
well. make me want to visit there asap! i speak spanish already, so no
homework for me! having a ball here in Western Australia. holidaying
in the sun, exploring natural wonders of wind-sculpted deserts and
rich coral reefs with an international jet-set of ‘backpackers’!
un beso, deirdre molloy.

16 Jan 2007
18 Oct 2011 – start of travelblog

posted Sunday May 2007