Follow me!

twitter icons
For corresponding blog photos, please visit my website:

Post to Twitter

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Tienes una Llamada...

Sorry I have been MIA. The Gipsy Cholo posse have adopted me, literally. I don´t have a phone in my room and they call the front desk and the hostess of my hotel comes knocks on my door and goes: ¨Marie Elena, tienes una llamada.¨ (¨¨You have a phone call. It´s HILARIOUS. They must think I´m nuts. Who gets phone callS in the Galapagos Islands? I´m semi embarrassed every time they knock, but secretly love it, obv...) They are awesome and I´ve been running every minute since I got here. More soon, once I´m out of Galapagos. They're all awesome and I'm having the best time with them.

I dove with hammerhead sharks yesterday. A huge school of them above us, then got low on air (probably b/c I was secretly freaking out and using my oxygen like a madwoman -- at least it was ME using my air and having to come up, NOT my dive partner Felipe who made me come up prematurely every time) and my friend Ernesto had to take me up on our own without our divemaster so I didn´t run out of air at 90 feet and we had to swim right thru a current under a school of them. UNREAL. (I guess I was Ernesto's Felipe, this time....but at least he got to see hammerheads, right?)

The dive ended at 5PM ish and it got dark while we were on the boat back to our island and it was pitch black and all I kept thinking about was

A) Jaws and
B) how the hell does the driver of the ship know where to go b-c they´re like boats from 1902 and don´t have navigation systems.

Obviously, we made it, but being on a teeny dive boat in the middle of the Pacific at 7 PM in the dark in Ecuador in shark infested waters...a little nerve-wracking. XOXO

Friday, November 04, 2005

What is my life?

i have some new friends today from my first dive. 8 ppl from Ecuador that are
all different ages and have different lives. They´re great, very very nice and have
taken me in. I spent last night in one of their suites at the Royal Palm Hotel on the
island in some villa. I know, I mom is probably saying "Who goes with strangers to their hotel rooms?" Mom, they're wonderful people, I feel lucky to have met them! It was one of
their bdays at midnight. Antonio. He turned 32. And Jose Luis and Ernesto
threw a party for him in their suite. We drank vodka and whiskey all night and ate chorizos and cheeses and it was the NY version of hanging out with your friends, Ecuador style. Priscilla is from the States, Miami, so she was a good ally. She dates Roberto who is from Spain but lives here. WHAT IS MY LIFE. I'm spent last night with new friends at a nighttime birthday celebration in the Galapagos. If the rest of my trip is anything like this, moreover, meeting people like these people, I'm never coming home!!

I dove yesterday and there are sea lions (the look like seals...) all over playing with you in the water. And huge turtles and rays and white tipped reef sharks that are ¨friendly¨ sharks. Saw them in Costa Rica. So fun. If you can't tell, I'm having a blast here in the Galapagos...


Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Yesterday was great. Getting to Lan airlines, checking in, making myself a little window-aisle-seat-bed on the mostly empty plane. Lemme tell you kids, Lan is one heckuva airline. So spacious. Meals are normal, free tv, movies in each seat, blankets that are like...woven by the stewardess´grandma. I mean...a pleasure flight. We´re getting the crap end of the deal flying Continental and American. I´m telling you. Then, arriving into a country where the landscape took my breath away looking out the window, so much that I was tempted to take a photo but know they don´t come out because I´ve been retarded enough to do that in the past moments of being moved in the air. I got to my hotel, which looks like a Spanish villa in the middle of a dirty city called the Hostal de Fuerte Piedra 1 (NOT to be confused with Fuente 2, mind you...). It is quaint and the staff so friendly. The best part? I'm totally Spanish-speaking Marie. And they understand me!!! LOL. I slept most of the day. Finally being here is allowing all the stress of getting here to wear off. It felt WONDERFUL to sleep. I woke and needed food. Of course, I chose wisely. The guard from the hotel walked me to the restaurant b/c it's so shady @ night here. I told him I wanted typical ecuadorian cuisine, a glass of wine, not too $$ (in spanish), etc... He brought me to another villa-ish place that, on the interior, looked almost regal with high backed wooden chairs and portraits of kings everywhere. All fish-fresh that tasted like it was caught an hour before, tops. A lovely British woman (50ish) who just got back from Galapagos invited me to dine w/her. Such a nice evening. She said I seemed American by the way I "plopped" into my chair. Ha!! Josephine. I mean...such is my life now.

Today, I got up, spent about 2 hours in a travel agency re: Galapagos, Lima and Cusco/Macchu Piccu tix (did all flights thru 11-15ish...) and then, went to a place called El Panecillo, which is a statue of the Virgin Mary that sits atop Quito where you can look down on the whole city. Pretty wild to see the interface between the loud, colorful, busy city and the lush, serene, green mountains as backdrop. I took too many pictures of it, I think. And I´m HATING the stand alone photos. The Chinese tourist kind. You know ´em.... Kill myself. I´m keeping them to a minimum. They´re stupid. Then, onto the ¨Mitad del Mundo¨ or more understandably, The Center of the World. The Equator. Very cool - totally stood with one foot in one hemisphere and one in the other. Took pictures (made my tour guide I hired for the day take some with me...a little çecuadorian fellow that had too much sunburn on only his forehead that made it glow a 80´s flourescent pink...very odd and I think I stared a lot at it), got a certificate for balancing an egg on a nail ON the actual equatorial line. Tourist trap, but ce la vie, I´m a tourist. Then, into Quito´s old city for some looking around. Kinda reminded me of San Jose in Costa Rica: dirty, unimpressive. Care? Not so much. Then, back to nap-shower-email. Now, will figure out dinner. I have 3 restaurants chosen. Everyone here has said great things about all of them. Yes, I´ve inquired. Which one will be the question..obv... Shoot me, I´m still Zagat-y. For now.

Tomorrow, leaving for the Galapagos at 6 AM. Not sure I´ll be able to write too much from there. It´s totally undeveloped, internet is a bit far-off for Galapagosians (What do they call themselves? I´ll find out tomorrow.) But, you never know. I´m there until 11-6. Then, will be back in civilization. Meanwhile, the volcano on the island of Isabella (not inhabited by human life - only 2 of the islands are) is active right now and someone I met today told me that it´s a surreal thing, watching a volcano explode in front of your very eyes. I´m imagining it like a bigger version of my 7th grade science volvano project in Mr. Loring´s class (which was excellent thanks to my mom´s help). I hope it keeps erupting so I can experience it. FROM AFAR.... ;)

Talk to yáll soon. xoxoxoxo

I Am On My Way!

So...I get to the airport this morning. Bright and early, 5AM. Rearing to go. Check in, play-using my Spanish, acting the part, rocking the Martinez (yes, my dad's puertoriqueno)... STOP!

Since I have a one-way ticket, the country of Ecuador is going to send me back @ customs b/c I can't show proof of passage out. Rio two months later.... nope not good enough?!?! So I state my case to the Lan airlines ladies (and men) and they tell me @ the counter that I have to buy a return ticket just for customs to let me into country and so, since it's refundable (and fake...) they book it in biz class, we all have a good laugh (Marie Elena's "fake" ticket blah blah) and I move on. I'm now...boarding.

Am I going to have the time of my life or what?? :) Xoxoxo