A Travellerspoint blog


On our loooooong way home, we have had plenty of opportunity to reflect on our three weeks away. One thing is sure, we will do this again. It has been fantastic to be together as a family. No TV. No separate bedrooms for grumpy teenagers or forty-somethings to retreat to for a good sulk. We've probably had a bit too much wifi/internet, but that is today's world and anyway, how else can one blog? Otherwise, we have been just the four of us, holding our own in a strange environment, meeting people from all over the world, seeing some fantastic places,scenery, and especially wildlife, learning a new culture and language (Rob did very well with his Spanish), fighting the inevitable minor bugs and generally having a great experience together as a family. As a well-known advert would have it...."Priceless".

So as we have reflected on our best and worst moments...so drum roll please, here we are, the Noyes Awards.

Best Place and Overall Experience

Has to go to the Napo Wildlife Centre. Great Place. Great Wildlife. Great People.

Best Moment

Despite his aversion to horseriding, even Rob has to admit that riding across the paramo in the shadow of Cotopaxi was special, though his highlight is cantering home! For the rest of us, it was a magical hour cantering free, racing each other across the plain. Thank you to Ride Andes!

Biggest Surprise

Two awards here. From all of us, it was that composting loos are OK. Indeed preferable to normal loos!! I'm not sure the Black Sheep Inn will be looking to develop a marketing campaign around this but who know!

The second is a special award from Lucy and me. It comes under the surprise (scary) category.

When we were in Napo, Lucy and I went for a night canoe with some others. Throughout this canoe, we coped with loads of bats, spiders, frogs et al coming at us in the night. As we were returning into the main lake, where the centre was situated, we could see in the torchbeams literally hundreds of red eyes. Caymans looking for supper! We quietly glided towards them when all of a sudden there is what seemed an enormous whoosh sound as something leaps into the boat, hitting Lucy on the shoulder. Lucy screams and leaps on top of her seat. Her Father, bravely seeking to protect his daughter, does exactly the same! How the canoe didn't tip over....well it is a testimony to Lucy and my balancing skills and of course is why I joined her on the seat.....to maintain the boat's balance, stupid! Anyway, after much flapping around, our intruder was caught.....not a six foot Cayman but a six inch Bream. I'm not sure what story that Bream is telling his/her mother, but for giving Lucy and me our biggest surprise, an award!

Now for the most important category recognised by all travellers and suitcase packers of the world...........

The Most Useless Item taken on Holiday, not used......and most importantly.....Brought All the Way Back Home!

You will not be surprised to learn that there were several nominees in this category.

Rob brought his mobile phone though he has no roaming sim card and didn't take a charger.

Dad carefully packed his neck pillow, eyeshades and ear plugs......in his hold bag.

Dad also took two old, worn out long sleeve work shirts that he would use and then leave in Ecuador. They are once more hanging in his wardrobe.

Trina has a number of entries including Washing Powder tablets, a hair spray for aiding the blow drying of hair and her best entry....a very natty pair of water shoes, carefully researched and then bought in a sale, just for this trip. However she very sneakily wore them for the first time on our last day, to go down to the swimming pool in our hotel in Quito and so is disqualified!

That leaves the winner as the Mosquito Head Net, donated by Trina's sister V, and taken by Trina. This wins as the rest of us did not know Trina had even taken it, until she owned up ay supper tonight!

And that is about it! If you have read everyone of these entries. Thank you! If this is the first entry you've read, just see what you have been missing...........

We had a great adventure and would happily recommend Ecuador and its people to anyone looking for a holiday with a difference. And we learnt "stuff" too........like

A) In Ecuador on a single carriageway road, you can fit two buses, a lorry and a car, all heading in the same direction...easy.

B) You can tell the difference between seals and sealions easily because sealions have ears.

C) The Amazon was originally named after the Spaniard who first navigated it...Orellana.....but the name Amazon was more popular and was kept because it recalled the fact that he thought his party had been attacked by naked female warriors.....the Amazons from Greek Mythology.

D) Frigate birds are the scavengers of the sea in the Galapagos but in fact never land on the sea.

E) Ecuadorian cuisine has high points and low points.....they love soups many of which are very tasty. On the low side, the Noyes' will be avoiding Tree Tomatoes and Soft White Maize!

F) Always take your own sink plug!

G) Biodiversity....we met some startling examples of biodiversity and specialisation. From Darwin's 13 finches to the leaf cutter ant. Curious? Read this....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leafcutter_ant

H) Last but not least......when you are walking in the jungle.......don't step on anything that looks like a neat deposit of animal poo........chances are it's a Lancehead Viper..................

Posted by NoyesRus 16:04

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