Sunday, May 31, 2009

I'm on my way home :)

It's 9am and I am going through airport security in San Juan.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Things I'm enjoying once again

A really hot shower
Snickers ice cream bar
Taco bell (yup, had it already last night)
Television (I started watching the Hills this morning and then found myself having to force myself off the tv to go to a different beach today. Good thing I never watch tv at home.)
Listening to the radio
Karaoke (last night at the bar)
Not haggling

Friday, May 29, 2009

Beautiful forts

Castillo San Felipe del Morro

Dumb dutchies

Too busy eating cheese and building windmills to win this battle :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Vroom Vroom

I decided to rent a car for $35 a day because the taxi ride from the airport to old town San Juan alone was going to be $19 one way so I figured why not.

Driving here is fun. It's good to be in the driver's seat again. American road rules except all the signs are in Spanish. Totally awesome.

I drove into old town, parked in one of the public pay lots for $3 until 6am and then walked to the budget hotel that I had heard about from the tourist information office at the airport called San Juan Guesthouse.

The room will be $37 for tonight but I like it. It's got a big bed and air conditioning. The bathroom is shared. So basically it's a little more than the price of a private room in a hostel in Australia.

The owner of the guesthouse seems super cool. He's fluent in both english and spanish, like most people I've encountered here so far.

He recommended a less touristy place for me for dinner tonight. It's called El Jibarito. I ordered pan baked grouper for dinner and I'm waiting for it now. I exercised some Spanish with the waiter who I think is also the owner and now he is making me only speak Spanish to him so that I might learn some more. That's pretty hardcore of him, I appreciate it.

The city is seriously SO beautiful. I am loving this place already. Someday I will come back here for a month. There's supposed to be good diving here and good ocean fishing as well, for marlins and other types.


My friend Sam (that I met in Barc) called me from Arkansas! That would be my first phone call received in 2009! Haha

Love using my cell phone again :)


Damn I just had to tip the bartender. America sucks!!!


More oddities

I just asked for hot sauce and they gave me Tabasco. Oh the shame of American life.

I keep speaking to the bartender in Spanish because he looks latin and my brain is still in South America. He's responding in English. Hahahha

P.s. Yuengling beer tastes really really good.

Getting used to it again

It's good to see this selection of beer again.

It's painful ordering a Mexican Salad for $10 though. LOL

I'm in Miami!

Currently standing in line at immigration. It's nice to not have to fill out all the forms because I'm a citizen of the country I'm entering, haha.

Also, it's super cool to be able to read both the English and the Spanish on all the signs in the airport. It's like extra credit or bonus points!

It's also nice to see AT&T on my phone.

There was a small spot on my form that asked me to list the countries I've been to before entering the US. When I saw that I literally sighed at the task before me. A woman nearby heard me and asked me if I needed help. When I asked her how to fit 15 countries in the box, she just told me to mark down Colombia and it would be ok.

Soon, I will have 3 hours in the business lounge waiting for my flight to Puerto Rico.

I'm entering the United States today

Wow. What a weird (but good) feeling. I am happy to be going home soon but also wish I had more time.

I can't wait to witness everything I miss, and also see how my trip has impacted my life.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

At the airport again!

Gonna fly back to Medellin today to take my next RTW flight to Miami and Puerto Rico tomorrow. Woohoo! So I'm just staying 1 night.

Santa Marta and it's airport is beautiful. When I come back to Colombia I am definitely visiting.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Air plans

I purchased my flight from Avianca for the 27th. It will fly me from Santa Marta to Medellin, Colombia. That means I have 1 day tomorrow to do what I want here. I heard the beaches here aren´t that great, so I´m not going to check out Tayrona for a day.

Instead, I´m going to probably sign up for a diving course from a nice company here and do a couple of fun dives tomorrow. After that I will prepare myself mentally to leave Colombia, because I will be flying to Medellin and then from Medellin to Miami to Puerto Rico the next day, the 28th.

Here's how the town looks

Just a quick pic of the water area. The entire inlet is about 300m wide.

In Taganga, Colombia

Taganga is a fishing village on the Carribean coast that is popular among backpackers. It's a bit touristy here because of that, but touristy for Colombians too so it's still reasonably cool.

The beach here is a bit dirty, though I still think it looks nice with all the fishing boats and such. The sand is dirty though. It's easy to tell after being in Playa Blanca for a couple of days.

I'm drinking a mango juice at a restaurant called Bitacora near the water.

I'm thinking about doing some fun dives here tomorrow.

Monday, May 18, 2009

It was a close one

On the Wednesday night I was in Medellin, I was supposed to meet David in Parque Lleras as Juan Valdez Cafe. (Yes this is a real cafe and it's really named that, haha. It's a big chain.)

Parque Lleras is a public square with a green park in the middle that has quite a few large trees that cover the entire park almost. (to give a description of how large these trees are)

I was walking along one side of the park on the sidewalk and headed to the cafe. I saw it in front of me. I was looking at the front patio area to see if David was around. I wasn't paying close attention to the area around me but there wasn't really anyone around so I just kept walking.

All of a sudden I hear some noise in the tree above me, and a large branch about 2m long with leaves on it and everything falls from the top of the tree that I'm walking under and falls down on the ground 5 feet in front of me where I'm walking. I stopped walking suddenly of course and looked up. There was nobody up there. I was expecting to see some kid grinning because he pulled some kind of prank or something. You never know, I was in a new country.

There was nobody up there. A guy that was sitting on the grass saw it all happen and he yelled out something in Spanish that I couldn't exactly understand. I think he was smiling because nothing serious had happened but he knew the gravity of the situation. I picked up the piece of wood to see if it was some hoax but it was a good 5-10 pounds.

If this thing would have landed on my head I think I would have been seriously hurt. It was so weird. I stood there thinking about it for about 2 more minutes before I continued walking and stepped into Juan Valdez cafe.


While I was in Medellin, I met up with my David who had been traveling arould the world for over a year and then had decided to live in Medellin after he enjoyed it so much there.

I first met him in Egypt, when we were on the same Nile cruise together. He runs several traveling related websites, including and Currently these are his full time jobs as he tries to survive in the Colombian city.

He met up with me once for lunch when I first got into town to catch up and have some Cuban food together. It's nothing like the Cuban food you'd get in LA. To be honest I couldn't tell the difference between what we ate and what Colombian food is, so who knows.

That night we met up and went out to a bar in the same area of town, near Parque Lleres. It was a Wednesday night so it wasn't very wild outside. A pretty chill night I would say. On Friday night I saw him at a bar/club called Blue.

During the week he was very prompt about commuication and he was super nice about emailing me information on where to go and what to do in terms of social events.

From what I could gather, David really enjoys the spirit of the city. The people are friendly and easygoing. The city is full of life, including during the night, and there's a lot of pretty people there, which I think David is trying to take full advantage of meeting before he has to go back home in 2 months.

He's been renting a decent apartment for about $40 a week he says. I've seen pictures inside his apartment. It's pretty nice.

I didn't get to see him the day before I left the city to come to Cartagena, but I have to go back to Medellin to fly out to Miami and Puerto Rico, so I think I'll have 1 evening to say bye to him before I leave the country.

Take ANY seat!

On the plane flights yesterday from Medellin to Monteria to Cartagena, I was in a very very small jet. The kind that takes you from like Los Angeles to Barstow, CA. It was called a Jetstream and it was produced by BAE.

I was about to board the plane after walking out to the boarding area, but looked at my ticket and couldn't figure out what seat I was assigned to. I asked the lady who was manning the door to the plane and she told me to go in and take any seat.

Take any seat? Awesome! (I thought) except all the seats are small and cramped. There were only 20 seats or so total and none really had any legroom, so I had to put my backpack down on the floor in front of the seat and keep my legs folded on top in cross-legged position for the full flight.

The only seat that was available was behind the pilots. There was no door to the navigation area so I got to watch the pilots fly the whole time. It "looked" like a pretty easy task, though I'm sure it's probably not. I'm sure it's all peace and quiet until something goes wrong, so since my flight was pretty easy there wasn't a problem.

It was quite a bumpy ride still, because the plane was so small. I was sitting right by the engine. They gave me some earplugs while I was boarding. That was pretty thoughtful of them.

Water problems

I took a 1.5L water bottle full about halfway with me to paragliding because I was still recovering from the night before when we left early in the morning to get to the paragliding site. I was trying to hydrate myself like a responsible individual.

So we get to the top of the hill about 3 hours after we first departed from the hostel. Lonneke (Netherlands) happened to have signed up first so she was called up first to fly. Karst (also from Netherlands) and I, after a couple minutes of taking pictures of Lonneke getting tied in and taking off, decided to sit down and hang out while Lonneke was getting her ride. After about 30 minutes, we realized that Lonneke was landing, so we ran up and started taking pictures of her landing for her. The whole process was quick and we needed to meet the timing, so I just decided to leave my water bottle in the spot where we were sitting and I would come back and pick it up later. (I knew that Karst was going to be next)

After taking pics of Lonneke landing and Karst taking off, Lonneke and I walked back to where my water bottle was, except as we were returning I saw a Colombian guy (happened to be one of the paragliders) putting my water bottle down and walking away from it. From his facial posture I could tell he had drank from my water bottle. I immediately thought, "what the hell man?".

There's a restaurant about 50 meters away. It's not like the guy was dying from thirst. He was just stealing water from me because he thought nobody was looking.

This guy just looked like one of those people who haven't bathed in like a week. I wasn't going to drink the water bottle after he touched it, so I got pissed off that he had just drank out of it without permission.

At some point as he was walking away from the bottle, he looked at me because he had some kind of feeling that it was mine. My face was cross and I gave him the "what the hell is your problem?" look to his face. I made him feel bad, so he said sorry in Spanish. Then he thought I might not understand, so he said sorry in English. I flipped him off and said "fuck you dude." He really triggered a reaction out of me that I thought was only reserved for taxi drivers. I felt like I'd been scammed again, and this time out of a water bottle. I was tempted to force him to buy me another water, but decided to keep my patience because I didn't think hurting him was the best choice for me.

I think my reaction shocked him because after that he got all pissed off and he was cussing out loud to himself. Lonneke and I sat down and continued talking about her flight and about how quickly Karst had taken off after they tied him in. After a minute or so the guy was standing about 10 meters behind me and cussing in Spanish, which I finally understood because he kept saying the word "chino" which means Chinese. There were no other asians there so I knew he was talking about me.

I just kept my guard up in case he was going to try something stupid. After a while to the left corner of my eye I saw a guy throw a big water bottle down the hill off the front of the ramp where everyone jumps off. I knew immediately that it was him and he had taken the time to get the water bottle and walk all the way over and throw it down the hill, as if I was planning to drink out of it again and he was hoping that I would be annoyed by the fact that he threw it away.

Lonneke and I started laughing. He was pissed. He was looking at me and saying "fuck you." I flipped my middle finger at him again with a big grin on my face and said "fuck you" again just to piss him off some more. He was furious but he was tying in to take another person up in the air, so there was nothing he was gonna do about it. He took off a couple minutes later with a customer.

Karst returned from his flight. He got out. They tied me in and we took off.

After I landed, we walked up to the restaurant to eat something. We ordered and sat down on the picnic benches and had a good meal. The guy walked by several times but never said anything. He never even looked in my direction. I could tell he didn't want an altercation when I was there ready for him.

We finished our food, paid for it, and walked down from the restaurant to the middle part of the hill where people were signing in and flying. We walked down the hill toward the road from there and after we were about 100m down the hill, the guy walks out over the top of the hill and yells some random Spanish loudly down to us. I didn't even notice until I was looking back at Lonneke because she was coming down more slowly than Karst and me.

I saw some guy at the top of the hill pulling his pants down and mooning us with his ass. I was confused for a bit until I realized that it was that guy. I immediately started laughing and said "hola! chau!" in Spanish and turned around and kept walking. The 3 of us started laughing like crazy because he was such a coward and I had pissed him off so much that he was making a fool out of himself on the hill. The people on the hill were laughing too.

We walked all the way down the hill laughing and then waited for the bus. While we were waiting Lonneke told me that during their wait for me, the guy had retrieved the water bottle and came over and drank it in front of her bragging about it because I wasn't there. That made me laugh so hard. What a freakin' coward, seriously? Karst was there with her but he didn't know what was going on so he didn't do anything.

That thought annoyed me. He was lucky we were already all the way down the hill when Lonneke told me that.

I hope that maybe next time he decides to steal he thinks about it at least one more time first.


I went paragliding in Medellin 2 days ago. I had been planning to do it for a while because the Lonelyplanet book had told me that Medellin is the center of paragliding in Colombia. Also, Charlote had told me while we were in La Paz that I could do it there. The cost was about $30, which is a steal compared to what we would get charged in the states.

The whole experience took the full day, but the flying itself was about an hour long for me. There was a 2 hour public transportation experience including the metro and the bus both ways. I went with 2 Dutch people and for whatever reason they assigned us all the the same guy, so had to wait for eachother to finish. Also, after we finished jumping, we were quite hungry so we ate at the restaurant up there on top of the hill before we left.

The flight was nice and calm. The wind was quite cold and so I was glad that someone at the hostel had told me to take a long sleeve shirt or jacket. The entire experience was peaceful except for a couple of events:
1. when the paraglider is trying to catch a thermal (circular upward flow of warm air) to get you guys to float upwards higher in the sky and you're looking down at the ground, you start feeling a bit nauseous.
2. in the beginning there was pretty much no communication with the jumper, and so it worried me a little bit but later on realized that there isn't that much to talk about. He does pretty much everything, including the landing. At the end of the flight he just told me to lift my legs and then we basically crash landed on our asses.
3. There was drama concerning my water bottle. I'll describe that one in my next blog post.

And now, here are the pictures:

Strapped in and flying.

Getting untied after the entire flight and crash landing.

Here's what I looked like during flight.
Getting strapped in in the beginning.

Putting on my helmet.

Room full of Americans

I'm definitely getting closer to home.

I'm currently staying in a hostel room with 12 beds, and almost half are taken by Americans. This is first for me to ever have this many people in the room from the states. Cartagena seems to be a popular location for Americans, which I didn't know before.

There's a guy from Michigan, a couple from Florida, and a guy from Kansas City.

The people from Florida say they got here with Spirit Airlines, and it was only $200 for their plane tickets. That's an amazing price!

I guess when I want to come back to Colombia, it won't be as tough as I thought it would be on the wallet.

Got sick last night for the first time

Here's what I ate yesterday:

12pm - fried pastry that had pineapples, ham, and cheese in it
12:30pm - hamburger at the airport cafeteria
4pm - 2 mango fruit shakes from a street cart (1 creamy and 1 without cream)
5pm - chorizo off a street cart that didn't taste like chorizo
7pm - chorizo off a street cart that didn't taste like chorizo
9pm - a fish dinner plate from a restaurant near my hostel
10pm - 2 ice cream popsicles

Throughout the day I was drinking lots of water too.

Then at around 2am while I was trying to fall asleep, I felt the urge to go to the bathroom, and the bathroom is only 20 meters away but I almost didn't make it in time. hehe

Anyway, that went on for about an hour until I fell asleep. I woke up this morning and had to go again.

So this morning I decided to take it easy and hang out at the internet cafe. I ate a chicken grill plate at around 3pm. So far, since the morning, nothing bad has happened and I'm hoping that it's over, although after I had the chicken my lower stomach started growling again.

Tomorrow I'm planning to take a trip to the mud volcano. Hopefully the problem doesn't come back or else I'll have a little something something to contribute to the volcano.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


This afternoon I'm off on a plane to Cartagena. I heard Colombian busses are great but I decided the price was low enough ($100) to avoid another overnight sleeper bus.

This is the start of the Carribean coast for me. I expect amazing beer commercial beaches and wonderful coastal scenery with amazing fresh juice drinks.

We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

More pics of Australia

Feeding kangaroos at the Australia Zoo.

If you've ever wondered what a kangaroo with a joey inside looks like, here it is. You can see the little tail of the baby sticking out the hole of the mom's stomach.

I'm such a rebel. This was on the lighthouse trail in Byron Bay.

This is my friend Jess (England) eating a gyro (they call them kebabs everywhere else) at a small concert in my hostel's stage area in Byron Bay. I just really love this picture. The lighting and framing came out perfect.

This is Bondi Beach in Sydney during the middle of *winter*. Whoever said Sydney didn't have nice beaches needs a head check.

More pics from Australia

On Magnetic Island, I climbed to top of a hill to see the sunset when a bird flew into my view.

This was my bed on the boat that took me around the Whitsunday Islands. Quite roomy I must say.

Driving my Whitsundays boat around using my feet because I'm *that* good.

On Fraser Island, which is a place that's like 80% sand and we drove a 4x4 truck around together in crappy weather that weekend. At first I thought the white stuff in the back of the picture was salt, but no, it's just more sand.

I told you the weather on Fraser was terrible. We stood underneath a picnic area to get out of the chilly rain to eat lunch. Then once the Ipod speakers came out it became a discotheque. And yes, this is the weekend where I was stuck in a car with 8 girls.

I never finished displaying my best pictures

So going back to Australia (I left off right after NZ :) )

Here's my friend Sarah (England) in front of the Sydney Opera House!

Here's my friend Sharon (San Francisco) eating chinese food in Cairns at an all-you-can-stack-on-your-dish place. She ate more food than me and weighs about half. This was one of our classroom day lunches during my open water diving certificate program.

Here's a blurry diving picture of myself in the Great Barrier Reef.

I caught the 3 girls from my diving group napping between dives. haha

This is what the water looks like in the winter at the outer Great Barrier Reef. Really nasty huh? haha

First thoughts on Medellin

Overall so far, it's ok. I think it would be better as a first impression if I hadn't had such high expectations built up for it.

Are the girls pretty? I guess so, but no more so than other cities (excluding Bolivia) I've been to. I've seen a lot of silicon, which for some guys might be great, but for others like me, not so much.

Are the people nice? Yeah, I've found that most people are very friendly. They smile a lot here and look happy. I really enjoy that and it affects my impression. In contrast, people in Bolivia looked like they were unhappy to be alive.

Is the city beautiful? Yeah, it's pretty nice but nothing to gawk at. The area of the city where my hostel is looks like Westwood or Santa Monica. It's really nice. I mean nice enough to look like the best parts of Santiago, Chile. I can tell people here have some money.

I can tell that most of the people who are in my hostel have been here or are planning to be here for a while. They seem to love this place. I overheard some guy yesterday telling his family that he is going to live here, so he's looking for an apartment. I guess I need to stick around and poke my nose in different places to figure out why, because right now I don't feel like this is a place where I'd stick around for very long. In the back of my mind I'm already wondering what airlines I should look into to fly to Cartegena, which will be next destination in Colombia, right before I hit the beaches on the Caribbean coast.

I'm meeting an American guy named David tomorrow for lunch that I first met in Egypt on the Nile cruise. He's decided to live in Medellin permanently for now and I hope that maybe I can get some insight from him on what he enjoys about this city.

There's some paragliding going on here in this city. I'm going to find out if I can do it tomorrow or the next day.

Kung Fu time!

I was at a restaurant today called Crepes & Waffles that I found in the neighborhood mall. (I'm in one of the nicest parts of Medellin right now by the way)

I walked up to the counter to look at the ice cream menu, because you know, I *must* have my ice cream. I stared at the delicious looking pictures on the back wall for about 10 seconds until one of the ladies working behind the counter greeted me. I said hello and asked for a small ice cream sundae looking thing that has whipped cream on it. I forgot what it was called but it was like 2 scoops of vanilla and a scoop of chocolate with a chocolate cookie stuck inside.

She says "ok!" and starts making my order. There are 2 other ladies standing there next to me and I hear one say to the other "he is Jackie Chan" in Spanish. As you can imagine my eyes enlarged at the surprise. I looked at them and said, "I'm not Jackie Chan" and smiled. They immediately reacted to that with looks of embarrassment. I laughed.

One of the ladies asked me if I understood Spanish. I said I understood a very small amount. She said she was sorry and told me she wasn't messing around to make fun of me, she really thinks I look like him. So that made me wonder, does that make it better or worse?

I don't really care about it. I thought it was humorous. I'm wearing a tank top today because it's humid here in town (with mosquitoes and everything) and maybe she thought I looked buff. I have this lucky habit of looking buff even though I'm a complete piece of flabby fat because I've now not worked out for almost a year. Or maybe they meant that I look old? GRRRR

I totally understand what they're talking about. You should see how many times I mistake one black person for another or in Bolivia I thought a random woman on the street looked like a travel agent I talked to about 2 hours before and nearly made a fool out of myself.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Saving money as a South American

In most bus stations that I've used in South America, there has been a station tax that I've had to pay before I enter the departure area to get on my bus. Usually the fee has been around 50 cents.

Which is not a lot of money (you would think), but apparently makes a difference for a lot of poor people in these countries. It makes enough of a difference that almost every time I boarded a bus, the bus would pull out of the bus station as if to depart but then pick up people who are waiting outside to get on the bus.

These people already have tickets purchased and in hand, except they get on the bus outside the station so that they don't have to pay the tax. The bus ticket could be $20 but they won't go into the station to save less than 2.5% of the ticket price.

The whole routine is planned and understood by even the bus drivers. They know to pull outside the station and pick up a bunch of locals before they actually depart the city.

3 hour blitz of Arequipa

On my way back up to Cuzco from San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, I had to change busses a couple of times. One of the cities where I did that was in Arequipa, Peru. A lot of travelers stop in this city to see the canyon of condors, but I decided that I didn't have time to afford there.

There's a famously huge monastary there and a museum that has mummies that I wanted to see during the 3 hours that I had in town (after I arrived on the first bus and before my next bus departed), but when I walked around town looking for these places, they happened to both be closed and so I never got to chance to see either.

What I did get to see is the Plaza de Armas and I noticed that the town is very busy and full of life. Before I had arrived I had thought the town was small, but after walking around a bit I realized that there are quite a few people who live there. I would also dare to say that it's touristy there but I have heard people who stayed there for a while tell me that it isn't, so I don't know whether I'm right or wrong.

I wish I had had time to stay there longer, but I had to save time for Colombia, so I cut it out of my plans. If I visit Peru again I will have to go back.

Helping destroy the ozone

One of the side effects that I had from being at high altitude was the constant farting. Apparently indigestion is one of the natural side effects of high altitudes and it gives everyone more gas than usual. It didn't matter what I ate and it didn't stop until I arrived in Lima yesterday.

The other thing that I noticed when I got to Lima was that it was easier to go #2. It didn't take as much effort as it used to throughout Bolivia and southern Peru.

I know you all wanted to know this privileged information so I thought I'd share.

Solo castellano por favor

Holy crap, nobody speaks English here. I'm so glad I didn't come here first. I would have seriously suffered. I'm not even sure if I would have made it to my hostel.

I made it here using the bus, metro, and walking today. I asked a lady on the bus from the airport where I should get off to get to a metro station. She told me she was headed there too so she led me off the bus to the metro. That was really nice of her and not unexpected because traveler's have told me that people in Colombia are super friendly and nice.

I saw a lot of hot dog stands on the way here but since I was carrying all my bags I didn't feel that I had the ability to eat any of them at that time. I will go street sausage hunting tomorrow.

Made it to Medellin

All the workers at the airport are wearing masks. That's probably not a good sign.

A girl just passed out in the bathroom at immigration. Eeks.

The customs guy went through my entire backpack. Heh

I'm trying to figure out how to get to my hostel. Taxi or bus? Hmm

It's raining a little outside

I'm in Quito, Ecuador for an hour sitting on the plane while more passengers board for our flight continuation to Medellin.

I am super excited about Colombia. Super.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Leaving Cuzco

The skin on my face is dark and peeling everywhere because in my attempt to wake up at 4am and go out the door the morning of Machu Picchu, I forgot my sunblock.

I'm sure it will be ok eventually but right now I kind of look like a big mess. Hehe

I'm at the airport in Cuzco waiting for my flight to Lima. I am sitting next to 2 koreans that were staying at my hostel and happen to be on the same flight with me.

We shared a taxi to the airport and we'll probably share one to our hostels in Lima because they are close together.

I'm a little sad to leave this city. I really enjoyed it here. I hope I will find myself here again someday.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I´m back in Cuzco

I finished off Machu Picchu! The 4 days were fun and seeing the city on the mountain was beautiful.

I just moved my flight to Colombia to the 11th, and I´m about to go to the travel agent next door and buy my flight to Lima for tomorrow. So today is my last day in Cuzco, which makes me a little sad, but I think I´ll live.

I have really enjoyed this city and I definitely wouldn´t mind visiting again.

Uploading pictures is not going to be possible from here. The connection is not good enough. I am going to try tomorrow from Lima.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Got up at 4am today...

To take this picture.

Machu Picchu baby! It's beautiful.

P.s. Yes there is a data connection on Machu Picchu

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Change of plans

I changed my rtw ticket so my next flight is from Lima to Medellin, Colombia. I have decided to skip Costa Rica after hearing lackluster reports about Costa Rica unless you're planning to do lots of diving.

I'm flying out of Cusco on the 9th, then to Colombia on the 10th.

After Colombia I will still see Puerto Rico for a few days before flying home to LA.

Off to Machu Picchu!

I searched through a couple travel agencies yesterday and found one that was $150 for a 4 day jungle adventure ending at Machu Picchu and Agua Calientes.

It starts this morning. I'm guessing I won't have any cell service until the last night.

The first day is biking downhill, and the 2nd and 3rd days are hiking. On the last day we will walk down to Machu Picchu from Agua Calientes for sunrise.

The fee includes entrance into Machu Picchu which is currently $40 so I think the price is a-ok.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cusqueña Korean food

Yep, I had me some Korean food again! This time I have a picture of the food.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A good start

Tonight's bus ride is going to be good. Nobody is sitting in the seat next to me, and the tv screen is right in front of me. Woohoo

Omg this bus has free unlimited coffee. Wow again (even though I don't really drink coffee)

Off to Cusco

For Mama Africa's, I mean Machu Picchu.

(Mama africa is an awesome bar in cusco, in case you don't get the joke)

I bought a ticket tonight from Cruz Del Sur, which is Peru's luxury bus line for $30 for the 9 hour night bus.

A lady just came by and asked me to put my seat belt on and they're playing a welcome video. Wow. Am I still in Peru? It's amazing what good companies will do to impress the tourists.

The price is high enough on this ride that it's pretty much filled with 2 week tourists and almost no long term backpackers. So that means it's gonna be boring for me and maybe I can get some blogging done before I fall asleep in a couple hours.

I splurged on this ticket because I'm quite finished with sleeper busses from hell. They're not that worth it because they screw over your next day if you don't get to sleep well. The Bolivian night bus from Potosi to Uyuni ruined me so now I won't do cheap night busses alone anymore :) I'm glad Charlotte was with me that night, or else it would have been tough.

And yes, since I left Charlotte last night, I'm now traveling alone again, at least until I hit Cusco and hopefully meet more cool people :)


They're playing the movie "Pathology" on the Peruvian bus I'm on right now. It's got a LOT of gore in it, and sex and violence and there's kids on the bus. What the hell?

Not really an appropriate movie to play for the general audience me thinks.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I hate Chile

No not really, but they DID take my 50 cent hackey sack that I bought in Bolivia during my Salar trip and loved for 2 days.

They took it away at customs because it is made with corn kernels on the inside. I bet the customs lady just kept it and gave it to her kid. That's such shit.

In Calama, Chile

I'm in Calama, Chile right now. I made it to San Pedro de Atacama this morning after crossing the border into Chile.

My trip through Salar de Uyuni was awesome. The trip report is coming next.

I just slept through a 2 hour bus ride because I was a bit tired from having waken up this morning at 5am. We slept in a place that had no electricity at that time, so we were all packing while wearing our headlamps. It was the earliest I've ever been awake in my life without power, I'm pretty sure of that.

I'm taking a bus in 20 minutes to Arica, Chile. From there I will look for another bus to cross the border into Peru and get to Cuzco for the second time to see Machu Picchu. This bus ride to Arica will be about 8 hours long and an overnight.

I had to say bye to Charlotte earlier when I left San Pedro. I was sad again, like usual. I'll see her again though, when I visit Montreal on a big Canadian road trip or maybe she'll find herself in Los Angeles someday in the near future.

I sat next to some ass on the previous bus ride just now. I happened to accidentally lean on him while falling asleep and he pushed me off him with a thrust like I was purposely invading his space. What a jerk.