these are a few of my favorite things…

when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad.. i simply remember my fa-vor-ite thingssssss!!!

please tell me you sang that to yourself when you read this blog title. if not, stop reading right now and go watch the sound of music. the real one, not the shitty version nbc just recorded. the guy from true blood as captain von trapp? seriously?

ok back to the whole point of why were here- i wanted to share a few of my favorite trip moments so far. one of them was definitely today. but were going to go in chronological order here so be patient.

street art- definitely one of my favorite things

street art- definitely one of my favorite things

wandering through Usaquen in Bogota with Natalia (my friend i met on couch surfing the first time i went to colombia in 2012) and her mom. it was my first night in Colombia, about a week before christmas and the whole country heaved with excitement for the holiday to come. the entire neighborhood was full of people admiring holiday decorations, watching street performers, eating and drinking.. on a tuesday!

lights in Usaquen

lights in Usaquen

apparently christmas celebrations last about a month across Colombia- and they take that shit SERIOUSLY. I’m not kidding, they don’t even put the baby jesus in the thousands of mangers across the country until after midnight on the 24th because he wasn’t born until then. that is attention to detail, my friends.

christmas week in cali– there were definitely highlights within the highlight, but the week of christmas was SO fun! the fair started in Cali, we went rock climbing a bunch, hiked tres cruces, and made friends i can’t wait to go back and visit, and had an amazing christmas dinner prepared by Carolina (one of the owners of Colombian Hostel) and her mother.

christmas light show in cali

christmas light show in cali

cali stadium, waiting for don omar to bump and grind (or at least thats what i think happened, we were about a mile away from the action

cali stadium, waiting for don omar to bump and grind (or at least thats what i think happened, we were about a mile away from the action)

coming down from the tres cruces hike- over a 1000 meters of elevation covered in less than an hour!

coming down from the tres cruces hike- over a 1000 meters of elevation covered in less than an hour!

the week culminated with the SUPERCONCIERTO- marc anthony and don omar at the cali stadium! i have never in my life been to a concert where literally everyone there knows every single word to every song… latin americans really love their salsa!

-the first afternoon/evening in the amazon. WE HUNTED AND FOUND AN ANACONDA. need i say more? not to mention we got to wade around like little piggies in a ton of mud.

mud-stompin sons of guns on a mad anaconda hunt

mud-stompin sons of guns on a mad anaconda hunt

-Casa del Arbol and La Virgen de Baños. i had a terrible stomach bug and felt like i wanted to crawl into a hole most of the time i was in baños, but i dragged myself out one day with some friends because i could not leave baños without heading up to the ‘swing at the end of the world’.

the end of the world!

the end of the world!

la casita! unfortunately it was locked :(

la casita! unfortunately it was locked 😦

it was a bit cloudy, so our views of the valley were obscured, but gorgeous nonetheless. my roommates (Marina from Argentina and David from France) and i decided to take the scenic route down and watched the clouds part and the sun come out as we trekked down the mountain. when we made it down to the virgin (arguably one of the ugliest statues I’ve ever come across) the weather was absolutely perfect- sunny, hint of a breeze, and warm enough to not wear a sweater but not so hot that we were sweating.

baños valley view from the Virgin

baños valley view from the Virgin

we spent about an hour up there, lounging in the sun, listening to music and chatting. although i felt like crap, i was in awe of the sights around me and so grateful for the amazing company!

roommates on the way down the mountain

roommates on the way down the mountain

kiwi hostel. i know i just wrote basically an entire blog post on my stay there, but you have to hear about it again. montanita (the town where the hostel is located) is pretty soulless- its basically 4 square blocks of walking hangovers, fake ray bans, and argentinian hippies trying to sell friendship bracelets. out of the 7 nights i spent there, 5 of them were spent at the hostel, learning how to cook ecuadorian food, watching the sunset, catching up on brand new movies (wolf of wall street!) and relaxing in hammocks. and i got a tan!

balcony view from the hammocks in Montañita

balcony view from the hammocks in Montañita

-Cajas National Park just outside of Cuenca. Cuenca is the first city I’ve been to in Ecuador that i actually feel like i could live in.

Cuenca

Cuenca

 

like Quito, it has a historic old town, but unlike Quito, the beautiful architecture and history of the old town and the fun atmosphere and modern culture of the new city is mixed together in the same location. after a week on the beach and a couple days in the city, i was ready for some nature. today i headed about 45 minutes outside of the city center to Cajas National Park with Val (met her at my hostel in Montañita), Pablo and Xavier (new friends from Cuenca!)

Toreadora lagoon

Toreadora lagoon

we spent an hour or so trekking around one of the larger lagoons, then headed down the road (ended up in the back of a couple pick up trucks- best tour bus ever.) for a trout lunch. 

friends at Cajas

friends at Cajas

green on green on green

green on green on green

One more night in Cuenca, then I am finally off to Peru! First stop, Mancora.

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