These are my pictures from my trip to South America. I went over winter break from college. I was there for about one month. I went to Colombia and Ecuador.

I went alone, but met a number of people while traveling. I went with people I met to the amazon, horse back riding, and part way up a volcanoe. I didn't make it all the way up the volcanoe because the altitude made me feel pretty ill.

People say not to go to Colombia.. it is kinda scetchy.. it was fun though. the country has the highest murder rate in the world... but.. people are usually killed by people they know... and when traveling you don't know anyone. in some countries, like ecuador, there are lots of tourists, and there are thieves who pray on tourists... i met a bunch of americans on my first day in quito and all of them told me they had been robbed since coming to ecuador.. there were few if any americans in Colombia.. and i feel like that means there aren't as many people out there praying on tourists... most people i met were just excited to meet an american... they were interested and wanted to talk to me.
I know people have had problems traveling in Colombia, and I met people that did... but I had none.. and in ecuador there were all sorts of anoyances.. frequent passport checks for one.. the thieves i mentioned that you have to watch out for... and while I was on my way to quito from bogota there was a big protest where people were lighting fires in the streets... they stopped our bus.. that seemed scetchier to me than anything that happened in Colombia.
they were protesting the price of gasoline. they said it was too expensive i guess. I started talking to someone about it on the bus.. it seemed silly to me. i told them i thought gasoline should be more expensive.. that way people wouldn't be so wastefull of it. I later learnt that a large portion of ecuador was basically given to peru in some agreement made in brazil at the end of world war 2.. aparently oil companies were involved and it happened because ecuador didn't want to mine for oil... peru didn't mind... now ecuador has no oil so it's expensive.. but they want it to be cheap.. but they don't want to mine for it.. they'd probably be protesting if an oil company wanted to come to ecuador and explore for more oil... you can't have your cake and eat it too... i just wanted to get to quito though.
people think i'm a hippie, or at least did because of the way i look/looked.. I think i'm actually kind of conservative. i saw a quote once that said "revolution is the product of inexperience"... not that i'm all that experienced or anything .. i'm only 23 as i write this... i was 22 when on the trip i'm writing about.. but anyways.. i liked that quote...
anyways.. that thing i said about ecuador and ww2 etc.. my spanish isn't that good.. i'm no definate source.. correct me if what i said is wrong.. my email address is on the main page.

here are some ants in a pod that we saw while on a trip to the amazon in Ecuador

this picture is from a day of horse back riding near banos (don't know how to type the ~)

these butterflies are from the trip to the jungle

thats one big tree in the background.. it was fun climbing the vines and stuff.. this is also from the jungle trip

some vines if you cut them right just pour out water

one foot in each hemisphere.. a touristy photo at the equator

having fun at the festival de los blancos y negros. This was an interesting festival, it was in Colombia, in pasto. the festival dates back to the days of slavery when in the begining of january each year they would have a big party and let the slaves celebrate.. black people would paint themselves white with talcum powder and white people would paint themselves black with some kind of face paint. now it's just a huge party.. parades every day.. people dancing in the streets.. people would come up behind you with hands full of paint and just splatter it all over your face .. or attack you with the talcum powder.. once someon threw so much in my face i was on the ground coughing and chocking for quite a while. . he helped me up to some water though to clean out my eyes so i could see and was quite apologetic.. it was all in fun... these three clowns are people i met in bogota.. left to right are sueco alex and franco.. we called sueco sueco cuz someone said it's spanish for swede.. and he's swedish.. alex was australian, but coming from china where he was an english teacher for 7 years.. franco was italian, coming from canada... the other guy is some random Colombian who wanted to be in our picture :-)

on the way up cotopaxi (the volcanoe) .. looking at these pictures now makes me want to go do some climbing... i seem to be having trouble with la altura though.. i got altitude sickness on this trip and that other trip to the volcanoe in mexico... you can read about that on a link from the main page

this is another picture from the jungle.. this was just before loading up our canoes to go down some tributary of the amazon.. the guy on the left was our guide, the 4 on the right were people I met in banos(again.. wheres that ~!)_heh

we stayed in these huts for a couple of nights.. it was interesting.. we got to see a wedding cerimony of a couple of natives while we were there... they didn't even speak spanish... we drank chi cha, which is a mild alcoholic beverage.. the women make it by chewing on hard pieces of fruit for a long time and then spitting it into a large bowl where it ferments for about a week.. then it is mixed w/ a bit of water and drank.. aparently the hunters drink it to keep them full while out hunting..

some kids at the festival de los blancos y negros.. they were funny.. i kept shooting them with my squirt gun.. i gave him the popsicle he's holding cuz someone from the parade was passing them out or something..

i we found this creature along the river as we were conoeing through the amazon..

a monkey.. this picture didn't scan very well..

I caught a pirana when fishing in the amazon... aparently they aren't all that dangerous... he doesen't look so vicious does he? .. we swam in the river every day, none ever bit anyone.. but we could catch them and eat them w/ just a string a hook and an old bit of fish..

cruising down the river..

a nice sunset we watched after coming out of the jungle..

saw this tree in the jungle, thought it looked cool.

another picture from the horse back riding trip in banos.. i prolly aught to put these pictures in the correct order... heh...

and this one is also from the horse back riding trip i think, but it looks like i scanned it in upside down, and i don't have time to fix it right now.