Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Merhaba from Istanbul!

We`re on our last adventure before we go back to realıty and start workıng our lıves away next month. Thanks to Tyler`s awesome uncle Rıck gettıng us buddy passes to fly stand by to Athens Greece, there`s no way we could have come on thıs last hurrah wıthout hım. Anyone who has ever flown stand-by knows how very excıtıng or dısappoıntıng ıt can be. We were flyıng from SLC to New York to Athens. We dıdn`t make the fırst flıght out of SLC, but we were let on the next flıght at the last mınute. Usually on stand-by you are really hopıng to make all your flıghts, but I was hopıng to mıss the one out of New York so we could stay wıth one of my BF`s from dental hygıene school. My wısh came true and we got to have a slumber party wıth Spencer and Nıcole ın theır awesome apartment rıght ın the cıty. We had such a fun nıght and delıcıous waffles ın the mornıng!

We made were able to get on the flıght to Greece the next afternoon. The day we arrıved ın Athens happened to be electıon day, so we opted to take a traın out of the cıty that nıght. But we had the day to vısıt all the sıtes. We went to the Acropolıs and saw the Parthenon and all the amazıng ancıent ruıns there. It was really breathtakıng to see these magnıfıcent structures that have been around sınce bıble tımes.

A nıght traın, 2 bus rıdes, another traın rıde and 24 hours later we made ıt to Istanbul. Thıs ıs the most amazıng cıty I have ever been ın. It ıs amazıng to see the mıx of cultures here wıth the Muslım, European and Asıan ınfluences. I love hearıng the prayer call that plays loud throughout the whole cıty 5 tımes a day. We are very lucky becuase we happen to be here durıng Ramadan so there are many festıvals and the whole cıty ıs alıve wıth excıtment all day and all nıght.

Today we went to a tradıtıonal Turkısh bath. It`s lısted as one of the 1000 thıngs you have to do before you dıe. They scrub you down, massage you, and move you from sauna to steam room to cold water. Then they wrap you up ın tons of towels and leave you ın a room to rest. It was a very ınterestıng experıence to say the least. We`re stayıng ın a really cool hostel, but ıt`s not what you`d call a romantıc Medıterranean get-away. We stayıng ın a room wıth about 10 other people ın bunk beds. I`m gettıng a lıttle sıck of ıt, but ıf we want to have enough money to be able to eat the whole trıp we have to be as cheap as possıble. I do lıke stayıng ın rooms lıke thıs becuase I love hearıng all the amazıng storıes of people`s travels.

Thursday, September 13, 2007



This one's for Nan, but it doesn't do these spiders justice. I learned to just not look around me on the hike to the beach
This starfish was right outside one of the hostels we stayed, I was so excited to see a live one.

Ty lugged this bad on and off countless busses and everywhere we went. I would offer to carry it sometimes and last about 2 minutes. Ty's the man!

The spider hike to the beach

Pictures from the animal refuge

Baby Howler monkey

Wild Margay- a farmer in Panama found this when it was just born and was going to keep it as a pet kitten! It was crazy when the guy went in with it, the Margay jumped up to him and bit his forehead and it started bleeding like crazy!

Pictures from trip

Bouqete, Panama

Jaco Sunset

Bastimentos with our French friends

This is the run down place we
stayed on stilts over the water, we spent alot of time
in these hammocks

Waxing my new (used- but new to me)
board that we traded our old one in for

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Boquete, Panama

We are now in Boquete, a little town in the mountains of Panama. It feels like we´re in a completely different country. It is actually a little cold here, so it´s been a nice break from the over 100 degree weather we´ve been sweating in everyday. The air is so clean and crisp here, I always find myself just taking a deep breath to soak it all in. The people here are very friendly and alot of people still wear native traditional clothing, very bright colorful cloths.

This town is surrounded by mountains and a huge volcano. Today we went to some natural hot springs- heated by the volcano. I was expecting something touristy in some kind of resort. The taxi driver just dropped us off and told us to walk down a path for 45 minutes. The path was pretty steep and rocky so when we heard a truck coming we flagged it down to ask for a ride. The guy said to jump in the back. We went around to the back to meet 3 big dogs that looked like mixes of pitbulls and rotweilers. Ty jumped up with no problem, but when I started to get in they all started barking at me. The guy told Ty that they wouldn´t bite me. So we rode in the bed of this truck down a path with these 3 scary dogs (one of which only had 3 legs) for aways, I was white knuckled clinching to the side of the truck trying not to make eye contact with the dogs that for some reason liked Ty and not me. It was a fun experience. Anyway, the truck took us as far as he was going then we walked the rest of the way. The hot springs were as natural as they get. They were just groups of springs surrounded by rocks on a family´s farm. We paid the family a dollar to use them. We were the only people there, it was so amazing. The farm was on a river so we just spent hours going back and forth swimming in the river and the hot springs. I was so disappointed because I didn´t bring my camera, I pictured that we were going to some kind of Raging Waters where people would be everywhere and that my camer would get stolen. Too bad!

After the hot springs we went to an animal refuge. It was amazing. This couple from England moved here to dedicate their lives to rescuing animals that have been abused or are endagered and then releasing them back into the wild once they´re healthy. We saw so many amazing birds, monkeys and wild cats. We also got to hold and play with some of the monkeys, I´ll post pictures when we get home.

Yesterday we went on a killer hike on the Quetzal trail on the volcano. It was so beautiful, I can´t wait to share pictures. It is just so amazing how dense the jungle is leading up to the volcano. We didn´t have a guide, so we didn´t want to go to far and get lost, but we had an awesome time. The hike was exhausting, we were planning on going for an hour or two then taking a bus or taxi back into the town. But no bus or taxi ever came by when we got back to the main road so we ened up walking about 12 miles altogether. I didn´t think I was ever going to be able to walk again.

We are leaving Panama tomorrow and heading to Pavones in Costa Rica. Pavones is a legenday wave famous for giving the longest surf rides in the world (3 minute rides!) We are so excited and hope that the waves aren´t too big for us there. We are going to stay at a place that sounds pretty cool. It´s called the Yoga Farm. It´s 20$ a day for lodging, yoga classes over looking the ocean and 3 meals/day that are made purely from an organic garden in the back. I´m sure we will meet some really interesting people there.

I´m sorry that this was so detailed and long, but it´s the only way I´m documenting the trip since I don´t have a journal here!