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Final words from Equidor

1:25 am Filed under: General

We’re off to Peru today, we’re heading to Ambato to try and find a bus to take us down to the border. Should be a nice cruisey day.

Had an awesome time yesturday, we hired a dirt squirter and cruised up one side of the valley to get some great views of Banos and the volcano that looms behind the town.

We started out on a quad, I should have known better when they were working on it as we rolled up, it was gutless, half way up the hill climb it didn’t have enough power to drag us up the hill… even in first gear. We promptly decended down the hill and back to the shop to swap it over for a Honda 250 (2 wheel Motorbike), which I should have grabbed from the start, we zipped back up the hill in no time. I hope the photos can convey just how massive these valleys are, spectacutar views and a lot of fun dirt squirting in the Andies!

This is the end of the Equidorian chapter of our holiday, it’s an awesome place wish we had a little more time, bring on Peru.

Thanks for all the well wishes for our engagement, see you all at home for a big azz party.

Sunrise on Cotapaxi

2:38 am Filed under: Uncategorized

We’re here in Banos taking it easy after our Cotapaxi adventure. Banos is nestled in a valley surrounded by huge hills with little houses dotted all over them, from the terrace resurant on top of the hostel you have a 360 degree view with a water fall, and $1.50 long necks :)

From what we saw of Banos yesturday it’s seems to be a holiday destination for Equitorians as much as gringos. A little too gold coasty for my liking but you can hire dirt squirters and mountain bikes, we were planning out more of our trip this morning and think we’ll high tail it out of here tonight and head down to the boarder.

Well it turned out we really didn’t know what we were in for with Cotapaxi, but through ingrorance and perserverance we managed after 5 hours of glacier climbing through the freezing night and howling wind to get to a nice little sheltered spot at 5600 meters (280 from the summit) as the sun rose. It was absolutly stunning as we panted and wheezed trying to extract enough oxygen from the thin air, the setting was perfect and infront of the half dozen other climbers taking a breather and Mauricimo our guide I got down on one knee and proposed to Zetty!

Lucky for me she said yes :)

Since then we spent one night at a hostel in the middle of nowhere recovering, slept for 12 hours straight, then (after waiting by the roadside for a while) got a bus here to Banos, last night we hit the town to celebrate, didin’t have a huge, huge one, the night life here is a little strange, one crowded street of small bars and discotechs… a few cocktails and beers and a little boogy and we were done.

The mountain biking the other day was pretty cool, it’s been some time since I road a hardtail with v-brakes, so the decending was pretty loose, right near the end I was following to close to the guy in front and didn’t see a big rocky rut and slammed the rear wheel through it dinging the rim pretty bad, can’t beleive I didn’t pinch flat… kept that on the quiet.

The riding itself wasn’t anything all that special but the scenery that we were riding through was absolutly spectacular. We started with jumpers and jackets on at the top (volcanic mountain) and stripped down to shorts and t-shirt by the bottom (dense jungle).

Quito Ecuador

8:22 am Filed under: General

Sitting here sipping on a longneck ($1 US) in an internet cafe around the corner from Crossroads (Hostel Lamby and Sam put us onto) in Quito (Ecuador).

We?ve just got back from an overnight stay in Otavongo, actually a place a few k?s out called La Luna. We were sick of the city after only one day…

It?s a quiet little hostel in the hills run by a really nice couple, a bit like dReamers back home in Mt Beauty, an awesome view an not much to do but a few bush walks and take it easy (over a couple of beers and some nice food). Stark contrast to the hustle and bustle that we?ve been through so far.

The 12 hour stay in Lima on the way was… interesting, admittedly we only saw the stretch from the airport to the hostel and back but it wasn?t pleasent, slums that bordered on shanty towns and very dirty… the air is so heavy with polution it?s painted everything grey. I?m so glad we organsied the pickup as the Lima airport was a shit fight and a half… a wall of Peruvians all offering you a lift, our saviour was a little dude called Santos who promptly got us to the hostel. The drive there interesting, the streets are bloody loose at around midnight… a gringo wouldn?t last long I?d imagine.

Anyhow the rest of getting to Quito was easy, the airport and the rest of Quito is alot nicer, we spent the first day having a look around, we found this really nice park full of Equitorians. Apparently Sunday is family fun day and the park was a hive of activity, people playing soccer, vollyball and some form of marbles that they bet on. The kids had these cool pedal cars and zoomed around, there was little food stalls and a bit of a flea market selling crafts. We got stung by one stall who wouldn?t take no for an answer once we took interest in her paintings, we ended up getting them for less than half the initial price she asked for but it was a bit more than we expected.

That night we ate out a the “Taco Factory” with the other people in our dorm room, 2 poms and an interesting young guy from Denmark, was an interesting enough night which we capped off with some cocktails with the Denmark dude.

We spent the next morning organising a mountain bike day (Decent down a volcano from 4800 metres to 2000 unfortunatly no duelies) trip which is tomorrow and climbing Cotapaxi (the world highest active volcano) the next 2 days) this is why we?re back here again.

After the Cotapaxi climb we?re heading south toward Huaraz, we?re looking forward to spending some more time out of the cities and some more rides and climbs.

I’m Off

4:44 pm Filed under: Uncategorized

Just about to head off to Melbourne, I’ve just uploaded a modified version of Rhys Quest to keep you intertained. The big change is a mouse based control scheme.

I’ve gotta run wish me luck!

Hand Packed

2:23 pm Filed under: Uncategorized

Started getting my stuff organised for the trip tonight, this is my packing list.

  • 7 Pairs of Target “Nature” cotton boxer shorts.
  • 5 Pairs of socks.
  • 5 Singles
  • 1 Towel
  • 1 Sleeping Bag
  • 1 Turtle Fur head band/neck warmer
  • 1 Pair of thin wind proof gloves
  • 1 Pair of Cannibal bike pants
  • 3 T-shirts
  • 1 Polo Shirt
  • 2 Thermal tops
  • 1 Pair of long johns
  • 2 Pairs of pants
  • 1 Jumper
  • 1 Gortex shell jacket
  • 1 Duck down puffy jacket

I’ve just got enough room for a couple of acquisitions along the way, these packs fill up pretty quick when you wear XL everything, a spare pair of size 12 shoes is out of the question.

Everything else is pretty much ready to go, I’ve just reserved some accommodation in Lima for the night we land before we head up to Quito. Had a few beers over some pong last night with Zetty, getting reved up. Got some more beers tonight for James’s farewell, this’ll be the start of the holiday for me, better not go too hard.

Not long now..

Final Snow Trip for 2005

2:21 pm Filed under: Uncategorized

After the 7MM gig, brunch with the boys and dinner Saturday night we got up early, gathered the troops and headed up to Falls creek for a days snowboarding. This was our last chance to get some skiing in for the season, with 50cm of snow in the couple of days before, it was an awesome day.

After some speed runs down Scott’s to blow out the cob webs we headed over to the terrain park, we hit some rails and jumps for a bit, saw some guy poleax himself and get carted off in the meat wagon. Had a few minor stacks, one over the box slider resulting in a bit of a bruised knee. At this point we decided to head “out the back” to get some fresh tracks, this involves walking up the next mountain/hill so you can ski down a patch of untainted snow. It’s a lot of effort but it sure does feel good carving out fresh tracks in the powder.

The Hike up.

What it’s all about carving it up and hitting some natural terrain.

We’d earned a few muscle relaxants after such an effort.

It was a really awesome way to round out a big weekend, great to get a nice big posse up there also. Rounded off a nice but short ski season for me.

7 Minute Metal at Pony

5:02 pm Filed under: Uncategorized

I had a busy weekend, started out with a trip down to Melbourne to catch Buggy’s 7 Minute Metal Gig. It was at this pretty cool little venue called Pony, nice and cosy, the band is basically in the crowd. The gig went well and I felt Buggy played really well, unfortunately the band’s relationship with the singer has broken down and he made a real prick of himself. Apparently the rest of the band is holding him back and he’s moving on and had agreed to play out the last few already booked gigs. The funniest thing is that the band had already advertised for another singer before he said anything because he’s crap and an idiot.

After the gig and packing up the kit we headed back to Buggy’s for a beer, his PV (panel van) dropped the clutch rod (again) on the way home so he and Ev had fun driving it home jammed in 1st gear, running red lights because they couldn’t stop.

7 Minute Metal

The next day we headed out to the eastern suburbs looking for a wreckers and a replacement clutch rod. After a little trouble navigating seeing Buggy had the road porn over the top of the Melways, we managed to find one which we promptly fitted.

After this mission we headed down to Chaps (Chapel Street) for some brunch. We managed to entertain ourselves with Euan’s hair and attempting to confuse the waitress (I can’t make that interesting you just had to be there).

On the way to the studio to help pack up the drum kit we re-created a passionate encounter that Buggy had in a back alley and immortalized ourselves in a patch of wet cement, Buggy and I chose to do it with our nick names, Euan chose a large jiz spouting penis!

The Big and the Small of it

2:10 pm Filed under: Uncategorized

With computers and technology rushing toward the end game where they become self-aware and destroy their creators, mankind. It’s fun to look at tech from a few years ago and laugh.

Zetty being the queen of ebay that she is snaffled us up this bargain Canon Ixus 50 to take on our upcoming South American adventure. Here are some pics of it next to my 4 year old Canon Powershot S20, it seems so massive now? and it is. I purchased the old brick when the 3 mega pixel “small form factor” cameras just came out, it was tiny at the time and set me back a whopping $1,500.

Oh how times have changed, the shiny new little rocket takes a much better picture (the colour reproduction is way better), has more zoom, bigger screen, much longer battery life, twice the CCD res, faster, a quarter the size and weight and cost less than half what I paid for the old brick.

I love my tech but you’ve gotta use it or lose it!

(By the way the photo was taken on our Fuji S5500 digi cam, I’m sure a tech whore)

Ping Pong Lunch

4:17 pm Filed under: Uncategorized

What crazy stuff do four IT guys and an accountant get up to at lunchtime?

Well the last couple of days we’ve been playing Ping Pong at my house, the table only just fits in the lounge limiting the pong acrobatics a little. I’ve been surprised at the calibre of pong that we’ve been playing, between the odd clash of paddles there have been some decent shots played.

Mostly everyone is just dicking around, Chickens classic shot yesterday where he belted the ball deliberately into James’s paddle to win the shot was a classic.

I apologise for this pretty crappy post, only other stuff happening is getting revved up for Zett and my next big adventure. We’re heading to South America next week!!! We’re going to hike the Inca trail, head down into the Amazon basin, fly over the Nasca lines and also some little mountain bike treks. I’ve been hanging out for this for years, I can’t wait!

IT Ten Pin Bowling

4:25 pm Filed under: Uncategorized

After coping an arse pounding Saturday we headed back to Albury for the IT ten pin bowls night, we started with a BBQ and a few beers at Chickens house then a maxi cab ride to the bowls place.

I hadn’t been to the Wodonga bowling place since it moved from the old spot over the road from Target (must be 10 years ago???). As a bowling place it’s just a place to bowl I guess, nothing noteworthy. Accept the fact that they sell booze at the tuck shop.

This night was part of the their Christmas in July promotion, so they had a crappy DJ who played that stupid fricken dancing frog song at least twice!!!! (by request he announced – there were some pretty ferrel looking people at the other end of the lanes).

The bowling started out fantastically for me with a spare on the first frame, things rapidly went down hill with a huge succession of gutter balls, possibly the worst bowling effort ever!

We played properly for a couple of full games then moved on to a different style of bowling that I like to call crazy lanes, basically you had to come up with a new style of bowling every time you tossed the ball down. 360 spin, Backwards, commando roll then bowl, the style slide bowl between the legs, extreme velocity bowling where you start your run-up on the carpet and see how fast you can bowl (Chicken took this too its full conclusion with a massive strike gut slide half way up the lane!).

It was a good fun night, we were surprised that our antics didn’t attract any management attention, not that we were doing anything destructive. We finished the night off with a couple of beers down at Pattie’s back in Albury. I didn’t last long after the early start and boarding.

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