A Travellerspoint blog

Viva Baños!

Only a week or so until Christmas, and it really doés take some reminding. Siting typing this update, and 3 guys dressed like sheperds walk past with a woman and a baby beside them on a donkey, and you think "oh, yeah, it´s christmas"

Been really busy of late with work. Getting an intensive english course underway, as well as english for business / tourism, which takes a lot of organisation and promotion. Coupled with the flu, it´s all hmmmmm.

been reading a lot of books:

"islam in crisis" really modern approach to simplifying the rifts in modern day islam and it´s vurrent crisis of identity. A cracker of a read....in stages.

"A short history of nearly everything" by bill bryson. I am pretty scared of science, as that side of my brain doesn´t function too well. I boiled the kettle for tea and, as long as it tasted nice, didn´t ever think about the fundamental facts of life around me. What a cracking read. A must if you want the story of where we came from and roughly how we exist in this form, compressed into a digestible medium.

"on great men" by thomas carlyle. This guy worships dante and napoleon, but convinces me he´s right in many ways that they are two fundamentally incredible people. Has renenwed my determination to read more dante and revel in the fact that, diminutive my stature is, but i can still see over more fences than napoleon ever could.

"the valkyries" by Paulo Coelho. A pretty inspiring book, which , although written in the general Coelho vein, has a distinct chracter to it. It coincided nicely with the moderately spiritual path i am on at the moment!

"speaking with the angel" collection of short stories, assembled by nick hornby. great cross section of contemporary fiction. Loved the one written through the personna of a dog. My friend in Sweden, the dutch Andre Van Haren has a book out at the mo, which i helped to edit, written through the eyes of a quasi-shamanistic cat named Mischa. I like that stuff!

"the corrections" by Jonathon Franzen. Very moving gritty fiction. Hits really hard. Reminds me of "something happened" by Joseph Heller, which was like Freud with the gloves off. Always nice when you´re travelling....prepared to accept otherwise outlandish self analysis and benefit from it. trick is, not to lose it when you get back.


Harry potter film was bloody great. saw it in quito last week. Seems like it´s becoming more adult as the years progress, and glad to see it´s translation into film doesn´t shy away from that. They changed dumbledore though....this one doesnt have the same twinkle, and has lost a few kilos into the bargain. shame.

found the skatepark in ambato, which is an hour away. at the top of a huge hill, in a town already at an altitude of 2300m. phew. Will stick some photos up asap, as it´s pretty interesting.


Lots more to tell, but no time as usual. story coming soon, after being ripped off and lied to one too many times....is it time to tell the true story of "THE BOSS" ? (cue drum roll) Only time and accrued holiday pay will tell.

"you see, mark, this school is like the Republican Party. We´re not interested in the truth, we care about IMAGE"
"If I ask you to lie to these students, goddamit, you better bloody do it"
"I used to get woken up every morning in the navy at 5am, by getting tipped out of my hammock onto the floor by the seargent. He´d make me scrub the floor for hours, then kick the bucket over it and tell me to start again. And you know what......? I loved it"


smell you later folks

Posted by mark92 12:36 Comments (1)


overcast 23 °C

Ecuador is a beautiful place. Flying into Quito revealed numerous white-capped volcanoes poking through the cloudbase, as Quito itself (shaped a bit like a banana!) spread out below us.

The town of Baños is really picturesque. Lying in the bubbling yellow brown waters heated by the volcano Tunguraua, at the foot of a 50metre waterfall was proof enough.

The spanish is quite slowly spoken here, which will make studying it much easier. Been teaching for 3 days now and it´s no bother. Students are nice and friendly, motivated and a good laugh.

Apartment comes witht the job. Very nice rooftop number, surrounded by misty green slopes with zig-zigging pastureland up seemingly impossible ascents.

In Riobamba at the moment, to visit the market. Pigs slumbering in cages, chicklets wedged in to boxes and my big feet tripping over streetside guavas.

Tomorrow is the Nariz del diablo (nose of the devil) train ride from alausi to sibambe and bak. ride on the roof with a wee cushion and a pack of fried bananas.

photos to come!

Posted by mark92 14:48 Archived in Ecuador Comments (1)


2 days in bed, after a week of feeling queazy. This is the culprit:

I hate this thing. So little energy that there have been points i can hardly sit up straight. Have had to force food down sometimes, although i can only eat fruit. Taken lots of rehydration salts etc etc, and hope that it will clear up. The abdominal pain is the worst.

9hours bus journeny to Oaxaca tomorrow night, followed by a 5hr o0ne to Mexico City, then an overnight flight to Quito, and getting picked up at the airport for a 4hr bumpy ride to Baños.

This thing better be gone by then!

Posted by mark92 11:09 Comments (3)



Mazunte is remote, peaceful, idyllic.
Staying with a guy called "carlos Einstein", who saw the boards and promised he would get a mini ramp out back if we stayed with him.
Surfing looks good, going later.
tomorrow its a swim wih some dolphins and a visit to see some endangered turtles laying their eggs.
gotta go, back soon

Posted by mark92 11:00 Comments (2)


puerto.jpgNow in 51713-Play..atela-0.jpg

This place is really relaxed.It tried to build itself up as a resort, but hasn't *thankfully* suceeded.
Rented boards from this San Diego surfer, who gave a few pointers for the bigger waves. Here, you get the full punch of the mexican pipeline, and it can knock you for 20 meters or more before you can even stop spinning.
All said, what an experience. sunburnt, salty mouth, swaying motion when i walk *like when you come off a lond sea voyage* and no email sent to anyone for a few days now...sorry.
About 7 hours in the water yesterday and 6 today. Getting more used to it, and heading tomorrow for a wee hamlet called Mazunte, which is abotu 50 km from here.no roads for the bus, but you can get a collectivo....hang off the back of a lorry that means.....to the beach.
Been to zipolite and puerto angel just up from there, and they were great, but the surf is much better at mazunte. maybe a week there and then off to work in Ecuador. Nice to be using the brain again to prepare for a bit more studying.
Wonder how the students will be in Ecuador.Really miss my students in Gothenburg.Hello chaps, hope you're behaving for your new teacher!

Funny things seen in the last 2 days>

A truck unloading a bunch of cheerleaders into the middle of a road , who went straight into a dance routine to that jiggy tune that says I AINT NO HOLLYBANK GIRL or something like that!! 20 times in a row.

guy who will check your blood pressure oin the street for 10 pesos. he aint not doctor, thats for sure.

guy playing a mini violin

sign saying CASH AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT above a desk with a sleeping old man

car wash full to the roof with palm leaves

wheelchair ramp with a lampost in the middle

many more.

will email you all soon, but i am being selfish for a few days. net is pricey in this town, but will have more time over the next week.

Posted by mark92 14:56 Comments (1)

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