Sophie's a lovely girl from a tiny town near rural Cheltenham, in England. I met her today on the hike to Dos Rios, here on Ilha Grande. She's a very good-looking girl, but is unfortunately taken (don't you just hate it when that happens?) — her boyfriend, apparently, is currently travelling in Australia. Sophie has the ambitious aim of covering both South and Central America within the next 4 months: I say to her, good luck.
This is a precarious yet amazingly-successful trio, if ever I saw one. Kerry and Larissa are two English girls, backpacking round South America, as you do. Yuri's a local boy from Rio, and Larissa met him while staying in the big city. Larissa and Yuri are now a couple — and for a few days, at least, all three of these people are travelling together! I met the lot of them on the way to Ilha Grande today, and they're a great bunch, even if a bit insane at times. Yuri's got a great combination of local knowledge (and local language skills!) and adventurous spirit, that led to some really fun times on the island this week.
It seems that wherever I go on this continent, I simply cannot get rid of the guy. When I walked into The Clan this morning, who should I meet yet again, but my old travel buddy Chris! Nah, actually I was really happy to see him — it's been a while since we parted, back in Lima, and plenty has happened in between. Chris will be in town for a few days, before he heads off to explore various other places in Argentina. Today was also a day of reunion with Oly, who I last saw not that long ago in Quito, and who's going to be down here in BA for the next few months, trying to get some freelance web design work. Plus, I bumped into various other people that I haven't seen for a while — such as one guy that I met back in La Paz, and another that I met in Cusco. Seems like all the '07 PEB veterans have come down to Argentina — time for a big reunion party!
A very unique couple to be staying in a hostel in Argentina, if ever there was one. Simon's an English IT dude in his 30s, and Anna is his very sweet little 10-year-old daughter. They're in town (in Patanuk, along with the rest of us) for the remainder of the week, and they're hoping to do a bit of skiing and a bit of boarding up at the mountain, during their time here. Simon enjoys crazy snow runs, lots of beer, and rolling his own tobacco ciggies — he's also a vegetarian, when not in Argentina (where I believe vegetarianism is virtually impossible, perhaps even illegal :P).
Two young English girls, that I ended up climbing Volcán Villarrica with today. They're actually travelling with one other English girl, but their friend couldn't make it today, as she was a bit sick. Great sports, and (like me), looking forward to plenty more travelling and advnturing for the rest of the coming year.
I met Tony here at the Secret Garden, on my first night in Quito, and I've been bumping into him now and then over the past few days. I ended up convincing him to come and climb Cotopaxi with me: which was just as well, because otherwise, I might not have been able to climb it at all. Tony's an Englishman, who gave up his boring day-job about 7 years ago, to become a permanent traveller, and a virtually full-time scuba-diving instructor. Quiet chap, but he's up for any adventure that comes his way.
I first met Oly almost three months ago, when Chris and I bumped into him, along with his girlfriend Stef, and their crazy friend Sophs, on Lake Titicaca. Well, what do you know: I've bumped into him again, here at the Secret Garden in Quito. Oly's a web designer from England, a guy who likes a beer or two, and (at the moment) a travelling junkie.
I've met a lot of interesting people on my trip, but Kate would have to be the most unique soul I've come across so far. She's been in South America for over a year — she lived in Cusco for 6 months, and she's just broken up with a local Ecuadorian boyfriend that she had for a long time — and she plans to go back to Cusco, and to live there indefinitely. She's a "healer" — you know, into traditional rituals, herbal medicine, shamanism, and all that tree-huggin' hippie stuff — and she wants to pursue healing as a full-time career move. Met her randomly in Chiclayo today, and had a great time hanging out with her and going sight-seeing with her.
Chris and I met Sharon at the end of last week, in Huacachina, where she was chilling out with the rest of us. She followed us to Lima, and she's been hanging out with us this past weekend. She's a London girl, of Filipino descent, who enjoys splurging on some cheap Peruvian clothes shopping, and who is never hungry when it's meal-time. Very laid-back, and a bit indecisive, but good fun.
Sophs is a girl who vehemently claims to be a Kiwi, but who talks with as British an accent as any I've ever heard. Hence, she is a wannabe Kiwi (Christ... aren't there better things to wanna be? :P). I met her on the boat to Amantaní this morning, along with her two friends who actually are British. She's crazy in every fiber of her being, from her outrageous comments, to her endless drinking, to her flamboyant dancing. Gotta have one like her on every ride.