Sunday, 28 October 2012


Well, we are now in Quito, Ecuador having traversed the entire length of Colombia.

Ah ah. There is an equator somewhere here

Now Colombia has some interesting features. Let me tell you about some of the more important ones.

And this leads me to the subject of shower roses and toilet seats ! Let me explain dear reader.

As we tracked south ( sounds like an aeroplane trip ! ) we found at the first hotel we stayed at there was no toilet seat or shower rose in the bathroom.(and no hot water tap also ) Presumably previous guests had stolen them. The receptionist thought that our request for a room with a toilet seat was quite unreasonable although after a long convoluted discussion in my primitive Spanish we got a room with a toilet seat. No shower rose again in the replacement room however !

Was this just one bad night or just one bad hotel? Here is where the plot thickens. The next hotel the next night also had no shower rose, no toilet seat ( and only a cold water tap) Would you believe ditto the following night ? And the following night ! Right thru Colombia from top to almost bottom both the rougher hotels and the better hotels we stayed in were all characterized by these missing ingredients. On the last night in Colombia we got the hot water but still no shower rose !

And you would have thought that Colombia was characterized by drug production rather than by a lack of shower roses and toilet seats Perhaps toilet seats and shower roses are used for drug production !

So as my contribution to solving this little problem of Colombia I have put together the following odes

An Ode to Shower Roses

"Roses are red,
Violets are blue
And for the shower head
I would like a rose too "

And An Ode to Toilet seats

" For my rear meat
I would like a toilet seat
For cold porcelain
Fills me with distain"

And An Ode to hot water

" In the hotel there oughta
Be lots of hot water
For I like a bit of heat
On my tired body meat "

And no further correspondence will be entered into on the subject of bad poetry !

Now for a few comments on travel over the last leg in seven weeks from the glitter of Hollywood in Los Angeles to the old world charm of Quito, Ecuador

We have supposedly been through some of the most dangerous countries in the world according to the travel advisories. From mass drug related executions in Mexico,to coup laden Central American countries to the supposedly anarchy ridden Colombia the advice is to just not go to many of these places. There are exceptions of course like Costa Rica , some of the cities in Mexico like Oaxaca and San Cristabal and the likes of Cartagena in Colombia. But generally the advice is all negative .

Beautiful happy people are everywhere

But on this whole trip we have never once felt threatened or unsafe. In fact the exact reverse has been true. Everywhere ( with the notable exception of some border police in Honduras ) both the people and the police and the military ( at the many road blocks ) have been warm, friendly and helpful. There has been a lot of interest in our bikes and our trips. But the friendliness is deeper than that. One gets the impression of regardless of however one is traveling the treatment would be the same

Which makes one realize that wherever you are in the world -

- Be wary about taking travel advisories from Governments too seriously

- There is a basic innate human desire whichever country you are in for people to want to be friendly and helpful.

- People like being asked for help by a visitor to their country

- Most people are very proud of and patriotic to the country they live in .

- All peoples like being told their country is nice and their people friendly

- Remember you are always a guest in a country. Your presence there is not a right !

- Be sensible with a few basic precaution wherever you are. ( including in New Zealand ! )

So now it is a rest and recreation stop in Quito where the bikes get serviced, Dick goes back to New Zealand for a few days and Diana goes off to the Galapagos Islands to hold detailed discussions with the finches and the tortoises there on the on the finer points of Darwinism !

From Hollywood

To Quito

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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