'For Adventures of a lifetime'

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Blog No. 4 - A ‘Parful’ (Ed. For those non Northern Irish amongst you ‘Powerful’) Day

Buenas dias, after a slightly earlier start to the day, everyone was up organising breakfast from 7:00. This early start allowed everyone to get a decent breakfast of porridge and fried egg, which was sufficient energy to start our hardest trek so far. After a minor mishap with some thieving rodents, a lesson was learnt within the group in terms of the breakfast menu. This was a learning curve; we began to grow and thrive as a group.  Food is essential for high team morale.

Today’s acclimatisation trek began in the sun and continued throughout. This trek proved to be challenging and everyone began to adjust to the climate and the challenging terrain. We progressed from base to the summit of Mount Pukara- 3750meters.

After arriving back from the trek a set team of six went into Muchachi to buy the remaining food for our five-day trek; this was an interesting experience as we had to buy food from the Spanish speaking locals in the market.

The day ended with a great meal of Bombay spuds, pasta and chorizo cooked by Cameron, Jake and Paddy. Everybody was in high spirits after a hearty feed, and we hit the hay early before the start of gargantuan main trek tomorrow morning.

 James Poland

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Blog No. 3 – A Proper Decent Day!

Cotopaxi taken not far from our camp
Travelling on the local bus...Good selfie from the staff
After waking to another proper decent breakfast at Hotel Andino, we prepared for travelling to our acclimatisation phase in El Chaupi. Following a fascinating bus journey where we saw some absolutely decent sights of the Quito, ranging from the favela-like shanty towns lining the hills and the pure decent mountains.
Shopping Ecuador style

The streets of Machachi
Upon reaching El Chaupi we set up camp and ate proper decent grub made by chefs Cameron, Jake and Andrew, after which a wee unit headed into Machachi to get some of the local foods and utensils.
Once we had returned from Machachi with all our materials, we went on a decent minor trek that was pretty decent. So decent! When we first arrived at camp today the sky was filled with clouds hiding the unbelievable beauty of the snow-capped mountains of Cotopaxi and Chimborazo surrounding us – truly decent vistas from the campsite.

Preparing Camp

Our home for the next two nights

The work never stops...Budget people get down to it

 (Ed. Some of the boys are currently playing cards while others are cooking dinner over an open fire.  We are at an altitude of 3,250m at the moment here in the camp and everyone seems fine, if not a little giddy. The plan tomorrow is to go to 3,750m  but back down to sleep. Hope you’re enjoying sharing the boys’ experiences.

The boys coming to the end of our short acclimatisation trek

Ally Hill   

Friday, 27 June 2014

Blog No. Two - Taking in the atmosphre!

The whole group sat around the hostel ready for the first day of planning


Culture!!!  or not 

The Guys just hanging out while some of the others negociated prices for our trip in the morning
After being woken up in the morning by the piercing alarm, we were greeted in the kitchen by mouth-watering croissants and museli, with a special raspberry sauce-which was definitely well-earned! Due to the intense nature of our expedition, we had to dedicate this day towards careful thought and planning. Following this, we ate lunch, which was a fantastic four courses of quite traditional Ecuadorian food; all for the grand total of $3 each.

We then laboured to round up food for the following day and the start of our acclimatisation trek. After much skilful haggling used by Louis Magown, followed by many daunting phone calls, we all basked in glory as we saved a whopping $20 for transport. Then we absorbed the rich culture of Ecuador (Ed. that made me laugh as I spent the day walking between the hostel and the phone a very developed city), by walking around the streets of Ecuador. Finally, we all relished a very exotic burger and chips meal in a local restaurant (Ed. oh it was exotic alright!). A definite highlight of the day was the numerous pictures taken with random girls-a very popular hobby of certain people (cough) Jerome (Ed. Aye it’s the quiet ones that are the worst). One final question remains-will Louis get diarrhoea after eating tap water-filled ice cream!   (Ed. after being told not to BTW folks!)
Mr M liking the Chelsea sign
We’re all off to bed now as most of us are still on UK time. 

Kiran Robbin

Blog No. One – Ecuador Travelling Through Time (Zones)

Some say a typical Belfast Summer day for us to start the long journey

Well folks, after one-hour flight from Belfast to Heathrow, nine hours Heathrow to Miami and five hours Miami to Quito we have, eventually, arrived safely at our hostel for the next two nights.  The guys have done a great job getting through all the immigration bureaucracy and without losing anyone.  They are really looking forward to their first full day in Quito tomorrow (actually today as it’s 8.00 in the morning UK time) but bed is now calling. 

We will be updating as and when we can, hopefully on a daily basis, apart from when we are on trek, so tune in regularly to see how we are all getting on.

Flying out of Miami

FYI, I will be the Editor (Ed.) for the blog and you will probably see some input from me at some point, especially when a little humour is required.  I will also take photographs during the day to give you some visual stimulus to what the guys are writing about.  It’s not always possible to show photos of everyone on a daily basis...please bear with me on this.

Here’s to a fantastic 3 weeks ahead.

Cliff (AKA Ed.) Expedition Leader

Looking back on the fantastic City of Miami on our way to Quito in Ecuador