A Travellerspoint blog

Soul searching

overcast 25 °C

So the last update i wrote was fantastically upbeat and I'd probably make you sick with more stories of partying etc but needless to say it was quite a heavy week on the booze front for my birthday week - Jess and Melissa, you will go down in history for one of the most hilarious evenings of my life but no more to be mentioned here!

However, I'm afraid things have gone a bit pear shaped and by Sunday I was in quite an unhappy place.  I tried to blame the 5 day hangover but in reality it turns out to be that this week I'm solely supposed to be concentrating on the dive training and i don't think I've ever felt so anxious about something thats supposed to be fun. It was actually making me feel physically sick. So after a lot of soul searching and admittedly a few tears I've decided to pack in the dive master course. I've never really gotten over the first scare I had, and the more I read about what I'm going to learn next, the more terrified I am. I cannot believe that I'm going to have to give up on something I wanted to do so much, and that my whole plan for the future is just over but there is absolutely no point in doing something that is going to make me so miserable. I'm going to do one more dive to complete my advanced diver qualification and to just get me back in the water but I'm afraid I'm done. I'm more than disappointed  :-(

Ive been having such an amazing time until this point but when you are feeling low it's when it hits you how far away from home you are. There was a massive part of me that just wanted to curl up and come home. But I know I'm tougher than that and that I mustn't see this as failure, I just haven't found my thing yet. Plans are made to be changed right? So onwards and upwards and all that, and thanks to ma and pa for the pep talks, and to Jo for putting up with me! So I'm open to suggestions, what next people?! 

Posted by christinahicks 10:23 Archived in Ecuador Comments (8)

Quad biking fun

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Posted by christinahicks 12:01 Comments (1)

Birthday treats

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Posted by christinahicks 11:56 Comments (1)

No diving but lots of other shenanigans...

semi-overcast 27 °C

Unfortunately I have got an ear infection which means I can't dive this week but it has meant I've been able to do some other stuff instead! So on Sunday I was woken by the sound of engines running instead of the usual farmyards animals - the guys had rented quad bikes! Jess and Melissa were on one, Mike and Lisa on another, and Perry and Jo on the mother of all machines. I swapped with Perry and Julia got on too and off we went! We only got half way down the road however when we tried to make a tight corner and ended up in a ditch in front of two policemen! They just laughed at us as we tried to get it out! Don't worry, no broken bones, just some injured pride for Jo as there were some women driver comments I'm sure! Kieran then took over on our bike and Julia got on with Melissa and Jess and we headed off to the beach at Olon, the next town along. I have to say my 30 year old brain was wondering whether it was the best idea to be tearing along the beach on a quad driven by a 19 year old but it was so much fun, lol.

We managed to all get a lift back to Montanita in the back of a pickup truck driven by someone from the school and we went back to the cabanas and Julia made an immense curry. Don't know where she found the ingredients, it is a bit pot luck when you attempt to cook here! So an early night and a DVD for us after quite an exhausting weekend!

Back to classes on Monday at the more respectable hour of 10am this week. We are now learning the past tense and I'm beginning to be able to pull sentences together but we are so awful at practising out side of class, we all speak too much English! After I got back from class I was told that there was a delivery coming for me on one of the local buses! My amazing mother had somehow managed to organise flowers to be delivered to me for my birthday, and considering there are no street names here that is some feat. And this was no ordinary bouquet of flowers, I have never seen anything like it, it took two of us to carry them home! After admiring them for a while, we went out for a little bit of dinner and were going to go to the beach party that is held on mondays but after walking all the way along the beach it was obvious nothing was happening so we called it a night. However, it was just passed midnight so I started my 31st birthday strolling along a beautiful beach with some wonderful people, not a bad start to the year!

So I got up and went to my morning class where they sang happy birthday to me, then when I came back to the cabanas the guys were baking me a cake! Couldn't believe it! Now that would have been a mission to find ingredients for! We devoured it in minutes and then headed to the beach. Unfortunately the sun has still not decided to grace us with it's presence and as you may know it always rains on my birthday so I was treated to some light drizzle! But we hung out, had a couple of beers and some takeaway chicken and attempted to make a sandcastle! Back home for a quick change then out for dinner at a peruvian place called wipeout, then on to a pool bar. We thought we'd head to cocktail alley but it was pretty dead due to it being a Tuesday so we went to a bar called Maholos instead where we chilled out and listened to some music, the bartender let us choose songs from his iPod and even taught us some Spanish words, not all of them rude! Really had a great day and didn't have time to feel homesick or anything which I was worried about. I have really landed on my feet with the group of people who are here and although of course I miss you all like crazy, I couldn't ask for better people to substitute you with for the time being!

My Spanish teacher says that in Montanita you celebrate your birthday for 5 days so I think it is going to be a pretty hectic week, as there is a public holiday on Friday and a couple of our crew are leaving a the weekend. However, next week I am purely diving with no Spanish lessons so that will be quite intense, so making the most of this, la semana de fiestas!

On a separate note, it has been so awful to hear what has being going on back at home. It has even made the news here and it really seems like you are watching something from another country. Please stay safe people and I hope it rights itself soon. I don't know, I leave you alone for a couple of weeks and look what happens to England!

Hasta luego, muchos besos xxx

Posted by christinahicks 12:32 Archived in Ecuador Comments (0)

Dive master here we come!

semi-overcast 25 °C

So when I last wrote, we were heading for a karaoke night but there was a power cut throughout the entire town. We headed in anyway, and it was amazing to see all the bars and restaurants still open with hundreds of candles and fires in the middle of the streets! You get the feeling this happens quite often here! Had a lovely meal out with the cabana crew and then we watched my dive instructor sing with a local band in our favourite bar, Cana grill.

Early start on Thursday for the first of my open water dives and to be honest I was pretty nervous. We drive for half an hour down the coast then take a boat out to a little island covered in blue footed boobies (these are birds people!) The first dive went really well and it's a very strange and exhilarating experience. However on my second dive, I managed to perform one of the manoeuvres and then breathe water in through my nose and completely freaked out. So we had to stop the dive early which I was really frustrated with myself about. Kieran, my instructor, was really good about it and we went back into the pool to practice until I overcame the urge to breathe in through my nose! It unfortunately knocked my confidence a bit and it's fair to say I haven't taken to diving as much as a duck to water as I would like.

But practice makes perfect and we went out again on Friday and this time I managed to complete both my dives without any problems so that meant I'd qualified as an open water diver! Still feel a little bit nervous with it all but I'm sure that will go the more I do it... Back to the cabanas for a BBQ organised by the school which was immense; meat, fish, massive prawns, you name it we ate it! There were then some inevitable drinking games and I have to say this whole experience is a little bit like being back at university, although I'm older and hopefully a little wiser! We went into town afterwards, to Cana grill again surprisingly, where Kieran was singing again - us girls from the cabanas are like his groupies!

So diving again today, and completed three dives which included search and recovery, navigation and buoyancy control. All went ok and feeling a little bit more confident with it all, but bloody knackered! Two more to do tomorrow and then i will hopefully qualify as an advanced diver! Completely forgot to mention the most amazing thing about going on the dives is that we see whales almost every time we go out, saw 5 today! Incredible. The other divers went and snorkelled with them once so I'm hoping we get close enough to that at some point. How amazing would that be?? You can hear them under the water though which is just bizarre.

Anyway, I think thats quite enough to keep you occupied for the meantime, it has certainly kept me busy! Hope all is well with you all back home

Muchos besos x x x

Posted by christinahicks 17:55 Archived in Ecuador Comments (0)

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