30 July niagra Falls 

I got up early at around 8 and took the car for a spin. There was very few people around so I go to take some pics of the falls. It’s so impressive. Got everyone coffee and the others for up at around 10. Got some breakfast in a all you can eat plece and the. We joined the que to get a ticket for the boat tour under niagra. Took about 1 hour. The bot tour is class they bring the boat right in under the falls and it only cost 30 dollars. After that we walked up along the falls and were thinking about jumping the fense for a class pic but in the end decided not to as we would prob get put in jail. 

We crossed the boarder back into USA with no problems and took the Senic rout back to New York. Found a lovely little rocky beach with great views of Toronto. 

The drive back was long really long but we all took turns to drive to thatd

Cave Surfing

 

Myself and a few mates headed down to Donegal in the hope of finding some waves at the popular surfing beach Bundoran however it was flat so we headed out the coast road. We stopped at a small secluded beach and headed out for a paddle. While paddling along the coast we noticed an opening to a small cave. We paddled into it and it opened up into the incredible cavern you can see in the picture. Surprisingly there was also a small wave you could surf through the entrance of the cave. It was a great find cant wait to head back.

It was scary at first as there were waves crashing through the entrance but ones we got through our breath was taken away. What we came upon was nothing short of spectacular. To have a cave with a accessible entrance, an opening in the roof to let light in and a beautiful beach at the bottom is extremely rare and another example of the incredible beauty of the west coast of Ireland.

I am from Sligo and did some surfing when i was younger but not nearly enough as i spent most of my time playing rugby and kayaking. When i went to uni in limerick i joined UL Surf club and started surfing loads. The club in UL is really good they have loads of gear and offer petrol subsidies to go surfing.

https://www.joe.ie/life-style/watch-man-finds-stunningly-beautiful-cave-cave-surfing-kerry-597231https://www.joe.ie/life-style/watch-man-finds-stunningly-beautiful-cave-cave-surfing-kerry-597231

https://instaireland.ie/hidden-cave-kerry/

http://m.independent.ie/life/travel/travel-tv/watch-cave-surfer-unearths-hidden-gem-in-kerry-and-it-will-blow-your-mind-36000508.html

June 15th- Almost home

We arrive in Paris at around 2 o clock in the afternoon. This is some time in the morning back in Peru. We are an hour late but we glide through immigration without any problems and even have about an hour to look around the duty free before boarding again. There are lots of nice expensive shops in the duty free here in Charles de Gaulle. We board at 4pm local time.

Arrival is scheduled for 4.20pm local time London Heathrow. We arrive around that time we dont get off the plane for at least fifteen minutes. I was stressing so much as we have to collect our bags, go through arrivals and find the National Express bus for half five. Eventually we can get off the plane- there was some issue with connecting the plane to the terminal or something. We rush to get our bag, which come within ten minutes and run out to arrivals. We find the bus stop and have thirty minutes to spare! So so lucky! We grab some meal deals in the shop and eat before heading out to wait for the bus.

The bus is fifteen minutes late.. eating into our limited time in Gatwick to check in the big blue bag. We arrive at the south terminal at 19.15. The gate closes at 19.40 so we literally leg it to check in the bag, then onto security. Me and Paul get split up here and i continue though the duty free running like some crazy person and eventually get to gate 13. No paul. I ring him and he is only coming through duty free now as his bag got checked in security. We both queue up and breath a sigh of relief that everything has worked out. All the connections and flights have gone okay and we are so lucky. My five decades of the rosary must have helped! 

We dont get to sit together on the Ryanair flight but we should be landing in Shannon in less than thirty minutes. Mum is picking us up there so luckily we dont need to get another bus again. 

-Tips for traveling in Latin America 

Bring your student card if you have one.

If getting a night bus make surf its full cam – ie 180 degrees. You can sleep much better on them. 

Try to learn some Spanish before you go.

Bring a sleeping bag. 

Always carry valuables on the buses and dont leave them under the bus with your backpacks.

You dont need to book flights ages before had as the prices dont really go up that much. Book about a week beforehand. 

Most airlines include a bag in there price. Not viva Colombia or lattam 

Bring walking boots and a rain jacket. 

Bring a down jacket if you have one. In Bolivia and cusco it get really cold.

Always agree how mcuh for a taxi before you get it. 

Apps:

Maps.me – download the maps before you go. 

Converter+

Hostel world 

Translate google – download English to Spanish and then it works offline

TripAdvisor 

Rome 2 rio – shows up the most buses but doesn’t have all of them 

Uber – the big cities have it 

14th June – The start of the journey home :( 

I am awake before the alarm and paul is fast asleep. We shower and paul remembers he saw a sign that you can pay in dollars. I have 25$ and he has some dollar coinc so we have 30$ total to pay for the night! The shower is electric and warm. We pack and head for breakfast at 7.15am. A simple bread and coffee breakfast gets us started then we go to reception to pay. They don’t accept the dollar coins here. We are five dollars short and have less time to get to the nearest atm which is 1.5km away. I have some Sols and the owner kindly takes our 25$ and then 10Sol on top of that. We have just enough money for a taxi to the airport. So lucky.

We arrive to the airport and check in the bags. We chat to some English people who are working with a volunteer agency helping the people affected by the floods back in March here. 90 died, over 700,000 had to be relocated and more than 1 billion worth of damage was cause to buildings roads and infrastructure. We noticed this on the bus into. Piura as the main roads were like dirt tracks. We board the flight and head for Lima.

13th June – Surf and kitesurfing 

Got up at 6 and went for a quick surf then headed back to the hotel and had breakfast it was so nice- pancake fruit and bread.

We gathered our things and packed our bags to be ready to leave later. We left the bags behind the counter. We headed to the beach and Paul went for a surf. I relaxed on the beach for a while and then went for a run. We both wore t-shirts for the whole day because of the sunburn from the day before. Paul had some lunch and i had a really nice smoothie, then he decided to try out kite surfing. 300Sol for lesson and practice. I went and checked out the buses for this evening while he did this.

Paul: the kite surfing was epic. Its hard at the start tho you dodo need a lesion for about 3 hours before you can get in the water. You need to learn the safety stuff. There is a lot of messing around with gear but ones should get going it is supper fun and i would recommend it.

We watched an amazing sunset after having some dinner in the green eggs and ham place. The sky was so colourful! We headed back to the bungalows, grabbed our bags and hoped we could catch one of the two 7.30 buses i had found out about but not booked. Booked out. Next one is at ten pm. We are lucky we booked a hotel in Piura already. We buy tickets for 45Sol for the bus and go for dinner. Paul uses the wifi to email the hotel and tell them we will be late arriving. We try ceviche! Its very lemon/limey. There are so many bugs again and Paul is very tired after his kite surfing lesson. We have no money left so i change some dollars i have to Sols.

We go to the bus station and first realise the agency lady ripped us off by charging us 45Sol when the tickets were only 20Sol- how easy these things happen when were tired. We sit and wait for the bus and watch so many pass. Our bus finally arrive 45 minutes late and we hop on.

Three hours of broken sleep and we arrive to Piura. We get a taxi for 8Sol to the hotel- Fel Piura. Its closed. We ring the bell for about ten minutes and the owner finally opens. We are thrilled. He was definitely fast asleep. We thank him and go straight to out room. He tells us he doesnt take visa- great that means less sleep for us as we will have to find an atm in the morning. We get to bed at around three and set the alarms for 6.30am. We is very kind and says we can give us breakfast an hour early as we need to head to the airport. Lucky!

12th June – The beach Mancora

I got up around 6 and headed down to the beach. Its so nice to be back beside the sea. There was one guy in surfing it looks really clean but small i went back to the hostel and then we went for a really nice run. Loads of other people running on the beach. 

We went for breakfast afterwards in a place called green eggs and ham. It was lovely not not too expensive. We decided we would look at the Kimbas Bunglaows (original accommodation choice) afterwards as it was super close. It seems really nice and kind of has an Indonesian theme to it. Its 100Sol for the two of us for the night so we head back to the hostel grab our bags, get a tuc tuc there and check in. We headed to the beach then and sunbathed and surfed and paddled for the whole day. It was lovely and relaxing. We headed back to the bungalows and used the internet, showered and got ready for dinner.

We went outside and there are LITERALLY A MILLION of these rotten grasshopper type bugs. They are big and some fly and they swarm around light. They dont bite but then keep landed on us. We go to a maexican type place for dinner. I had a fab salad and paul had a burger with sweet potato fried. There are so many bugs at dinner too so we eat quick and head back to the bungalow. 

We go to bed early after killing all the bigs in our room first.

11th june- to Mancora

The hostel owner was agin lying on the couch watching tennis when we ask to fix up for the night. He suggests we get a direct bus to Mancora instead of going through Tumbes. We hop in a taxi (3$) to the terminal. We grab some breakfast there and then book onto a bus leaving at 10.20 for Tumbes. We missed the earlier direct buses to Mancora and the next is not until two so we decide to go back to the original plan and go through Tumbes. Tickets are 12.25$ and we board the bus pretty much straight away. The weather is cloudy and mild with the threat of rain- perfect for travelling on a bus.

Some guy just stood up on the bus an started singing. He has a little microphone that looks like a child’s toy. He’s rapping. Its very entertaining. 

The border cross is a lot more modern and official here compared to all the others. The bus has to drive over a hole in the path to have the bottom searched. We get through quickly as there are so few on the bus.

We arrive to Tubmes and there isnt really anything here. We try find the Main Street and square which is kind of non-existent and end up getting some fruit from a stall. Paul has a sandwich and ice cream too. We are lucky he had some Sols left over from before. We next ask some people how to get to Mancora. Some lady tells us 25Sols each and keeps laughing at us. We leave and find a guy for 10Sols each.

The journey takes about two hours and he picks up lots of people along the way. We get there and go to get some dinner first. We them get a tuc tuc to bring us to a hostel that he recommends. Its 60Sol for us both for the night. Its a private room with a pool but its pretty disgusting. I shouldn’t have let him bring us here and went directly to the one paul found.. hopefully we get some sleep anyway.

June 10th- Isla de Plata

We had a good sleep last night and woke up ready for the day ahead. Breakfast was the Option of an American style, Ecuadorean style or fruit and yoghurt breakfast. After we have eaten we pack our bags and leave them in the store downstairs as we haven’t decided if we will stay here again for the night. Our group arrives soon after half nine and we all walk to the pier together.

Our tour starts with a boat ride to Isla de Plata during which we watch out for whales. We see some! About five in total the guide thinks. They are not breaching but  we see their tails as they dive deep. They are really big. We continue on our 40km journey to the island. Just before we arrive the guide gives us some banana bread and a banana. We hop out of the boat and walk to the beach. We clean our feet, put back on our shoes and start our walk. We walk up to a high point on the island where the group splits into 1) continue up 2) head down and around the island. We choose to go up as this is where we can get close to the blue boobies. Literally five minutes into the walk and we have met some Boobies on the path! We get super close- less than a meter away from them. The guide only speaks Spanish but there is a French couple with us who translate some information for us. We continue on our way and meet so many boobies, some with partners, some flying, some protecting eggs and some performing their dance for the females.

We reach the highest point in the island and see red ___ birds. So many of them. They look strange with the big red balloon thing under their throats. As we continue along the path we see humpback Whales jumping. The guide explains that it is the mother teaching her young to jump. It’s amazing. We are far away from them but can still see pretty clearly. We loop back around to where the group split and head back to the beach.

We walk back through the water to the boat for lunch. We have pineapple and watermelon and then see loads of turtles around the boat!! The guide feeds them some watermelon and they stay around the boat for ages. We then have a sandwich and head to the place to snorkel.

We arrive just at another side of the island to snorkel. There are some fish but the visibility isn’t good at all. We stay here for a while and then hop back onto the boat. We get dried and dressed and start the joinery back to the mainland at Puerto Lopez. It’s so rough and bumpy back the whole way and it feels like we were going so fast. The weather changes In the way back too- it was never sunny at Any stage today just cloudy. This changes to misty rain on the way back. No whales on the way back.

We arrive back to the port at half four and paul discovers he has lost the wrist strap for the GoPro pole. We chat to the guide and he says they will look for it and drop it to the hostel if they find it. We head back to the hostel and do some internet stuff. We check the weather forecast and it is miserable wet and CloudKit for the next week here in Puerto Lopez. There is also no surf. We decide that it’s not worth staying and doing a full whale tour with weather like this. We decide to grab some dinner and head back towards Guayaquil and on to Mancora in Peru as the weather looks better there.

We eat in a lovely Italian called cappucino which has lots s of road works outside the front. Food was great and we got a size of cake after. We then get our bags and head to the Main Street to hail a bus. Not too long waiting and a bus passes going to Santa Helena but they usher us on board anyway and from what I understood of their Spanish say we can change buses at one of the stops and get the Guayaquil. Fingers crossed we get there at some stage tonight.

Funny police checkpoint lol