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Blog: The Beginning of Venture Co…


Jan 2011

The Beginning of Venture Co…

Posted by / in South America /

So I’m here in a different country finally having survived the first half of my trip in complete luxury really, thanks to dear uncle alan!

I was a little nervous as I left him at Lima airport and made my way through customs to the airport and the feeling not made any better by a flight which was delayed by 4 hours and so arriving at 3.30 am instead of midnight. Of course everyone was asleep by the time I got to the selvre agrea hostel and i had to dive into an unfamiliar bed in a room with 2 strangers at 4am with the promise of only 3 hours sleep.

The two strangers in my room turned out to be Inger (22, Norweigan) and Emily (18, American) and we made our way down to berakfast Friday morning along with lots of polite convesation with the rest of the group – 11 of us in total plus 2 leaders – in order to find out more about each other.

Since then the group has bonded so well, there’s no-one who’s left out and everybody seems to have some common ground – to be expected I suppose when we are all interested in travelling to the same places. There are 3 guys from Singapore, straight out of the (compulsory) army, Daryl, Darren and Chinx, 3 girls from London all on gap years – Matilda, Kate and Theodora, one guy from London who is also half Bolivian called Nikoli and another girl who is from all over the place but who at the moment lives in Hong Kong – Amanda.

The first weekend we went to a market town called Otovalo. It is home to South Americas biggest market and was pretty spectacular. You could buy anything from paanpipes to llama jumpers to gap year, striped, trousers. 1 day in I was already spending too much… We stayed in a cute little hostel – all the girls in one dorm and so providing us with an opportunity to get to know eachother a little better. Sunday morning we were told we were going on a nice walk round a lagoon which turned into a major hike up a hill at altiude. Soon discovered quite how unfit I am and how much altitude affects your breathing (so I like to think) and most of us struggled up to the top.

Monday was the beginning of Spanish lessons, 4 hours a day with a teacher who cant speak English. To be fair it probably has helped quite a bit as I have had to learn how to understand the local accent. My spanish is still basic and still in 2 tenses but its improving!

In the afternoons we have done various things, salsa and cooking lessons, visiting the equator, seeing the new town, the old town (camera stolen on a tram -lovely) had some free time to skype too. Weekend just gone (el fin de semana pasada) we headed to Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. We all walked up to the refugio at 4800m, again stopping every 10 m to catch our breath. At midnight 5 people decided to go up right to the top (midnight climbing essential as snow melts in day time) only the 2 girls managed it, the boys got half way and were advised to turn back, quite glad i cosied up in sleeping bags for the night!

Yesterday we visited the equator and did some gimicky stuff to prove it was so. Off to Tena saturday for 2 weeks of book bus which is this cool little bus, illustrated by quentin blake, that goes to various schools and gives them books and what not. It means we have to read books in Spanish to little chicos, which could be interesting…. but hopefully a great and rewarding experience.

Rushed blog I´m afraid and just a small taster really of what we´ve been up to but I´ll try to write again soon…. until then hasta luego!

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