Day 50 – Los Tunneles

Day 50…a momentous day. In it’s honour I am going to do 50 things learnt, realised and experienced from the last 50 days.

  1. I have come a lot further than I thought I ever would – despite my big talk about plans, I never thought I would be able to do any of it.
  2. People miss me more than I thought and I love hearing from everyone about their life and any updates – I miss you guys too!
  3. I have been miserable more times than I can count on this trip – it has been the hardest thing I have done in my life to date. Thank you to everyone who has listened to my “hardships”.
  4. I have also had some of my greatest highs on this trip and I have loved sharing these with you all.
  5. Dance is the life, soul and pulse of South America. EVERYONE can dance and feel the beat. It is an amazing vibe to be around. I can’t wait to do more dancing!
  6. Maté is a strangely nice drink, despite being so bitter. I find it fascinating to hear about the etiquette and “proper” way to drink it depending on which South American country you are in.
  7. You can not only see the difference of each country you go to, you can really feel it in the energy, people and general surroundings. It gets you to sit up and pay attention more.
  8. My favourite stop in Brazil was Paraty. It’s where I started to really get to know my wifey, the town was beautiful, cobbled and quaint, the people were awesome and the trek to the beach followed by the taxi boat back is one of my funniest memories. Oh, and of course they had the best churros!
  9. I’m going to say my favourite stop in Argentina was Iguassu Falls but that is a little biased as I only went there and Buenos Aires and BA was a little traumatic….
  10. The favourite stop for Bolivia would have to be the Salt Flats. I have never seen anything like it in my life. It is breathtaking and indescribable. It is a close one with Sucre though!
  11. My favourite stop for Peru would have to be Machu Picchu….one of the wonders of the world….not much is going to beat it.
  12. Of course my favourite stop in Ecuador is the Galapagos, more specifically San Cristóbal, but again I may be a little biased as I haven’t been many places or for long….
  13. I was genuinely convinced I was going to die on death road – they don’t call me Klondike Kate for nothing….
  14. I have felt ill on this trip probably more times than I have been ill in the last two years. I am so grateful for the people who have been so sweet and tried to help me.
  15. I have never camped before this trip. It genuinely made me uncomfortable and weary, but for travel, I would definitely do it again.
  16. I am starting to like coffee!!!???
  17. I have pushed my comfort zone every single day of this trip. Even if only in little ways.
  18. I have started to notice small changes (well big for me) in myself as a person, for the better.
  19. I have been sunburnt more times than I care to mention. I am completely living up to the British tourist look.
  20. I have tried some really amazing new foods and flavours that have definitely expanded my horizons. Salteña’s still hold first place for now.
  21. Likewise, I have tried some equally not so amazing foods that I definitely won’t be bringing home….guinea pig….
  22. My standards for accommodation are getting lower and lower. After super cockroach and grubby mattresses, not much bothers me when I am tired enough.
  23. I have had some of the best night’s sleep in the last 50 days than I have had in my entire life despite the locations. 
  24. My phone bills have never been so high but they are worth every penny. I bet Vodafone love me right now!
  25. I still find flying exciting even though I have done quite a lot of flights now.
  26. I HATE packing. Every time I have to pack I have to have a very stern talking to with myself and force myself into it.
  27. There are days that despite having these beautiful locations at my finger tips, I still want to get into my panda onesie and curl up on my mum’s sofa.
  28. I often forget my age and force myself to not say I’m from “London” straight away to break the stereotype when asked.
  29. I still get super nervous meeting new people.
  30. I have become so much more laid back about things. I find I rarely stress as much, I am finding it easier to trust that it will work out.
  31. My list of places to visit is getting longer and longer and longer…..
  32. My most used travel possession is my battery pack for my phone.
  33. I have discarded and left behind more items than I thought possible when packing originally.
  34. I thought I would spend a lot of time reading but I have spent more time losing myself in music.
  35. I am getting quicker at getting myself in and out of a wet suit.
  36. The UK health and safety standards are both good and bad. They can make you kind of paranoid, but they also like, stop death…..
  37.  The fruit is wayyyy better in South America and they have so many more here. I could live here just for that!
  38. Clothes are less important to me than I originally thought. I was very emotionally attached to clothes at home. Here, they just cover my ass.
  39. I have been tired on more occasions than I think I ever have and other than a few dodgy judgment calls I have functioned pretty well.
  40. My own company isn’t so bad, but after a few days of no one else I get a little stir crazy and make people talk to me.
  41. It is easier to do things alone than I originally thought i.e. eat at a restaurant.
  42. Wherever you are in the world and however alone you feel, someone will always help.
  43. Dairy free is not as easy in South America as I thought/hoped. Ecuador does really nice chocolate though!
  44. Language isn’t a barrier for communication, especially with kids. Laughter is a universal language.
  45. I will never complain about slow internet at home again….ever!
  46. Home cooking is totally under rated. I am sure it is the best thing in the world, but no one mentions this.
  47. You have the same conversation a lot when meeting people. I feel like I need a sign as if I am at speed dating….. I’m Zoë, I’m from England, I’m travelling indefinitely…..
  48. Despite changing, core things about me are still the same. I’m a sucker for cats and will feed them wherever I go, I have a dark sense of humour, my favourite colours are orange and purple…so on….so on… 
  49. I love writing my blog for you guys! It’s liberating capturing my life right now.
  50. I have a lot more to experience.

That was harder than it looks!!!!

Today was the Los Tunneles trip. We were at the travel agency early, yay for another early start! We hopped in the back of an open top jeep and then into the boat to set off on the trip.

45 minutes​ in, we reached a nesting place for the boobies. A rock in the middle of the sea. The waves were crashing round it and they sat there completely unbothered and unnoticing of us. We were given the opportunity to take​ pictures and then we moved on. The weather wasn’t looking fruitful….

The waves to get to Los Tunneles were HUGE. Today only two boats made it there as the waves were so big and it takes​ such careful navigation. We were constantly being thrown out of our seats and sitting completely airborne. Our boat was one of the two that did make it…. Luckily!

At Los Tunneles we saw lots of blue footed boobies. We were even lucky enough to see a mating dance, a newly matched couple and a nesting male with two eggs! There was the mandatory tunnel picture, a bit of science and general knowledge and then back to the boat to get to the snorkel spot. Did you know that the feet on the blue footed booby get less blue the older they get? And that males with pale feet rarely get the chance to breed?

I had luckily already wrestled myself into my wet suit so I just needed to don my flippers and mask before plunging into the rather cool water. You quickly adjusted once in the water thankfully!!!! We spent about an hour and a half in the water. The tide was high and the current and waves were strong so it was tiring work.

There were so many sea turtles at this spot! They came so close….I even snuck a crafty stroke of one! It was amazing to see these creatures so closely and some of them were really massive. They are incredibly majestic in the water. Of course there are loads of fish. We were taken to a cave nearby so we could dive down and see a load of white tipped sharks sleeping….there must have been atleast eight of them in one small cave piled up sleeping like puppies! Finally, we were taken to the mangroves and we were shown a sea horse. It was huge, way bigger than I was expecting and had ever seen before anywhere. It was difficult to see though as the water was murky and the sea horse was the and colour and pattern as the mangrove roots.

After this, it was back to the boat for the bumpy ride back. Of course it started raining so by the time we got back to the hotel I was drenched again. I should have stayed in my wet suit! The afternoon was a lazy one because of the weather. We popped out for a juice and some postcards before buying some snacks to bring home to make a picnic style dinner. Tomorrow, weather dependent might be another early start….urgh!

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