Indiana June is the main character in a real-life Pick-A-Path Adventure story. She is cycling the globe and letting people vote to decide what she does next. Her fate is in your hands so get voting to choose how the story unfolds. Read more…

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Sunday, 04 March 2012

2 Kookaburras & night riding in Cuenca

I found Ecuador's Cuenca quite the captivating city and was seduced to stay an extra day by two Kookaburra's and a gang of street riders. Cuenca was an important Inca site, and stones from the Inca ruins built the colonial houses. (Which explains why there's not much left.)


I took an open air bus ride and crossed the Tomebamba River which divides the old from the new and climbed a hill to get a great view of the city.

Climb  Ladies

All that exercise worked up quite the appetitie but I was in luck.


Expat Australians, Jenny and Chris run the Kookaburra café on Calle Larga and invited me to come in for a delicious BLTA and flat white. I walked away with a bag full of brownie and a warm fuzzy glow, having met two of the world's sparkliest people.

If you like vegetable porn you should check out their website:

(Apparently they found a naughty potato too but it got eaten before they photographed it.)


Next stop was Parque de la Madre where organiser, Jaime Lopez Novillo leads a city bicycle ride every Thursday with his puff-ball dog in the front carrier. He chooses a different spot each week to teach the riders a little about the history of Cuenca. He believes that cycling is not an alternative form of transport, it's the original form along with walking. 


I was invited along by Lucy (pictured below) and her husband Craig who have retired here in Cuenca and also plan on opening a café soon.


Staying an extra day in Cuenca meant I needed to be on a red-eye bus to Quito the next day to make my 6am flight to Galapagos on Saturday. It also meant saying goodbye to the cycle gang I'd been travelling with for the last fortnight. They were such a good crew, and we had many laughs but I don't envy the mountain path they are about to face. We had our final dinner at a sushi restaurant where finally, Charlie could eat almost everything on the menu. Joy oh joy, they even had chilled Sav Blanc vino on ice for Enrique and I.


I couchsurfed with Carol, my cooking buddy and she not only provided a comfy couch, she got up at 5am with me and cooked me breakfast. Plus she's given me a life-time supply of ear plugs to silence any snorers on the Galapagos trip.


Buses and Gringos go hand in hand in South America as it's a cost-effective way to bounce around this giant continent. So much so, they have a hot-dog named specially for them!


The view was once again sensational but as often happens at this altitude, the mist came in. It was quite terrifying flying around corners at top-speed in a complete white-out but we popped out the other side 11 hours later in Quito.


Many of the volcanoes here are still active so it's not unusual to see signs like this as well as directions as to which park to go to in the event of an erruption.


I'm now waiting at Guayaquil airport after a 4am start and we have a 4 hour delay while they repair the runway, seems like a good idea to me! Below is the view coming into Guayaquil and you can see the whole region is holding its breath under water with all the flooding.


Today we (fingers crossed) will land on San Cristobal in the Galapagos for our first of eight days exploring the islands. I'm travelling with a New Zealand company called Galakiwi and they have a wicked itinerary lined up for me. Starting with a downhill mountain bike ride and freshly caught fish for dinner, I'll try and update the blog every couple of days with news and photos of this wonder world.

Latest Poll Results
New York: What will Indiana June do in the big apple?
21% Track down and visit Oliver Jeffers:
Renowned Children's storybook writer & illustrator
11% Walk the High Line:
A linear park built on a 1.45-mile section of the elevated NY Central Railroad 
11% Be a NYC detective for a day: 
Part game, theatre and tour to discover some of NYC's most off-the-beaten path spots
13% Explore the City Hall Subway Station: 
Abandoned & hidden from the public for 60 years
12% Flying trapeze class:
Hone her circus skills learning how to fly on a trapeze 
30% NZ Flag + Statue of Liberty:
Bodypaint the NZ flag on her body and go up the Statue of Liberty
2% Go to Queens and find a 'Nanny' sound-alike:
Video someone with the nanny accent saying "noo Zealand, i love that place"
Voting closed | 204 VOTES
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