Well we have completed the loop around South America and are back where we started, namely Buenos Aires. The weather is now much more clement. We are wearing flip flops but naturally the portenos are far too sophisticated for such casual foot wear. We took the tube from the bus station, called retiro, just before they went on strike. Somethings never change. However, the price for a dorm bed in Lime House Youth Hostel has gone up 3 pesos to 30 pesos per person.
The final part of our journey is to Patagonia, the end of the world as it is known around here. Already travellers have told us there is still ice on the roads. We did plan to camp in Patagonia but since we broke our tent in Iguazu Falls and the ice lingers in Patagonia we are changing our plans.
So to get back to my record of prices in South America, we have a daily budget of 60 dollars between two people. So far I have published prices up to 16/08/09. Sadly I lost my notebook and so I have lost the details of our spending for 17/08/09 to 19/08/09. I will assume these were cost neutral days. In other words we spent 60 dollars on each of these 3 days in question. The numbers quoted below are in US dollars because Ecuador uses dollars. At the end I give a running total of expenditure and budget.
20/08/09, Montanita, Ecuador
Tip to guide for our day trip to Isla de la Plata to see humpback whales and a bird colony 5
Hostel Montezuma 16
Cheese empanada 0.50
Beer bottle deposit back pls 0.20
Total 28.75 (31.25 under budget)
Bus from Montanita to Manta (5.50 per person) 11
Bus from Manta to Porto Viejo (0.85 per person) 1.70
Bus from Porto Viejo to Canoa (3 per person) 6
This was a crazy day of taking local buses not knowing exactly if we were going to get to our destination of the beach town of Canoa. Nevertheless, the scenery was lush jungle and at long last we hit equatorial heat.
Hostal Shalmar (for a double room) 14
Total 47.7 (12.3 under)
Hostal Shalmar 14
Water and fags 4
Hair conditioner (for the wife) 2.50
Facewash (again for the wife) 3.50
Dinner and beer 5
Canoa was an average beach with fairly warm water. As is our luck we arrived at the weekend and so there was masses of people partying to salsa on the beach. The best thing was the one dollar big bottles of Pilsner beer that the beach bars sold.
Total 46.45 (13.55 under)
Bus from Canoa to San Vincente (0.50 per person) 1
Bus from San Vincente to Pedernacles (3 per person) 6
2 bread rolls 0.55
Pedernacles to middle of nowhere and then middle of nowhere to Sua (4 per person) 8
Again a day negociating the supposed straightforward Panamerican Highway but taking a far from direct route. Through the kindness of locals we got there in the end.
Hostal Las Buganvillas (for a double room) 20
Water and beer 2.20
Total 63.95 (3.95 over)
Hostal Las Buganvillas 20
Fags and beer 3.20
Magnum icecream 1.50
Sua was a nice enough beach town that again packed out with pissed up locals a the weekend. The good news was that I was recovering from my last bout of the shits thanks to some awesome medicine that a Belgium couple gave us in Montanita. However, Waka was still weak.
Total 40.3 (19.7 under budget)
25/08/09, Quito, Ecuador
Bus from Sua to Atacames (0.25 per person) 0.50
Mototaxi in Atacames to the bus terminal 1
Bus from Atacames to Quito (8 per person) 16
Taxi from Quito bus terminal to Secret Garden Hostel 5
The Secret Garden was full but they nicely referred us to a place around the corner
Colonial House Hostel (double room) 18
Total 57 (3 under budget)
Colonial House Hostel 18
We changed 1000 dollars in travellers cheques each since we could get US currency which would be invaluable in Colombia and Venezuela.
Shavers and hair brush 3.40
Camilo Egas Museo entry (1 per person) 2
This was a small but awesome gallery of an indigenous artist that gained international acclaim. His changing of styles was very interesting as was his portrayal of the exploitation of the locals by the colonialists.
Book (an average book by Chopra Deepak because I was starved of reading matter) 4.50
Minced beef 1
Beer and fags 0.75
Total 49.6 (10.40 over budget)
Colonial House Hostel 18
Taxi to hospital 2
Waka suddenly got an attack of hyperventialtion while looking around the historical centre of Quito so I bungled her into a taxi and the driver nicely took us to a private hospital without overcharging us.
Waka getting so sick so quickly was a shock. Luckily the hospital was very good. They spoke English and got her straight to a bed. They tested her for varoius things and found some parasites in her stomach and prescribed some antibiotics that did the job.
Shit sample test 6.72
Total 88.69 (28.69 over budget) Not so bad for not having any type of health insurance.
Argentina $1,079 and Bolivia $1,016 and Peru $1,904 and Equador $111.71and $482.44
Total Spent = 4,593.15 US Dollars
Total Budget = $5,460
Total Difference = $867