"What do we leave behind when we cross each frontier? Each moment seems to split in two; melancholy for what was left behind and the excitement of entering a new land." (diarios de las motocicletas)
My story is one of adventure. A story of two like minded people embarking on a journey into a land whose oldest memories still mark her surface.
I am on the verge of realising my dream of touring South America, and throughout this diary that dream shall come to fruition. My travelling partner is my girlfriend, Tracey, whom over the last few years has begun to share my dream, and in the months leading up to my departure has taken the leap and joined me. Tracey will travel with me through the majestic city of Buenos Aires, across the expansive salt flats of Bolivia, and up the relentless stairways of Macchu Picchu, perhaps to simply appreciate the relics of past civilizations and the incomparible South American landscape. However my purpose does not mimick that genuine outward interest, but lies in the lack of purpose with which my life is currently wound. Inside myself I have made a decision, not a calculated well thought through decision, but a decision that is if anything a true choice of my heart. A choice to surrender myself to the world, to find out if I have a true worth.
When Tracey returns home in December, I will chase my thirst for purpose from Argentina to Ecuador, ofcourse sharing my time with the wonderous places that pepper my path. In Ecuador I am to become a volunteer worker in the 'Cloud Forests' that hang on to the Andes by a delicate thread. (www.volunteerecuador.com)
After my volunteer work I hope to have the stamina to explore the Amazon (A world hidden within a world), where I will take the most extreme caution not to offer my dangling toes to piranha, or my bare pale skin to mosquitos. The mighty Rio de Amazonas (should it grant my passasge) will bring me to the unparalleled beaches of the Brazilian coast, and to my first encounter with the Atlantic Ocean. An ocean which I hope to not see long before becoming emersed in it.
Las playas de Brasil are the last point on my pocket size travel map on which I have scribed an 'X', and from here the future will be open to the endless stream of possibility.
Join me on my journey,
Don't worry I'm looking after myself.
if you would like to view a travelblog for Tracey, that I assure you will be far superior, search for Tracey Messenger in Travelblog. (if there is more then one, she is the pretty one)
June 30th 2007
My Name is Andrew, and this is my story. Well atleast this is a part of my story, that bridges the gap between my next story and the last. It all started in a slow paced beach town in Northern Brazil called Jericoacoara... I had decided to leave Jericoacoara at a rather odd moment, and after having made the decision to take flight things sort of happened quickly. I walked to the tourist office and got a ticket to leave at 2, but it was already 11, so I went back and packed all my tired gear back into my pack AGAIN, and paid up my bill at the pousada. As I counted the notes coming from my formerly full wallet, it began to become evident that 10 days of beach life had taken its ... read more
June 25th 2007
I arrived here very uncertain of what exactly awaited me. Luckily I was welcomed to town by a man named Alvaro who was a local, after having left his homeland in Uruguay, and he spoke perfect english. He showed me around and introduced me to everyone, so I spent a week here. What can I say... ItÂ´s Jeri! You may be mildly impressed by some of the images I have managed to capture on my modest 2 megapixel camera, and even if you arenÂ´t even a little impressed by some of the undeniable quality of my shots (composition, lighting, artistic originality, the total package), I can assure you that would someone with any real skill or knowledge in the art of photography have been with me in those places, that the images he/she (letÂ´s not ... read more
June 12th 2007
Love the Pun! Love the Pun! What do you think of first when you look at a starry sky? Does the mystery spin your mind into a wonder, or does that endlessness that is stretched out infront of your eyes cause you to look back in on yourself. I find that once I have found the Southern Cross (painted on the worlds ceiling by one of us Southerners a long time ago), and after I have cast my eye to its Southern Star and imagined my home down there in the Pacific, that the infinite sky is listening to me. The stars don't care to hear the sound of my breathing or my steady slow pulse, but rather it waits on the hope of catchng my thoughts. That first thing that runs from my mind ... read more
May 31st 2007
The people of Medellin smile at me with white smiles every day from behind a counter, down a supermarket aisle, at a table in a restaurant, passing in the street, or looking from the other side of the Metro platform. Beautiful people with perfect figures, and a wardrobe consisting only of figure flaunting outfits seem to see something special in us few blue eyed, pale skinned people that venture out into the publics view. Occasionaly someone will approach me and ask me where I am from, or complement me on looking the way that a common kiwi boy does. Whistles and suggestive words ring from crowds outside bars as we conspicuously weave between the waves of turning heads, and then we seem to be set upon a stage in a spotlight as we try to ... read more
May 23rd 2007
This is Cartagena, A place with a history of pirates, stunning Carribean beaches, Colonial architecture, hot days, humid nights, corner cocaine dealers, and parading prostitutes. This is a place that seems to barrage you with a culture that isn't found outside of Colombia, in a city that still houses forts, barracks, and cannons from ages found now only at the theatre. This is Cartagena! So what am I doing here? I am travelling with my Scottish friend that I met on the 'Ciudad Perdida' trek. His name is Colin (great name). We thought we ought to come back to Cartagena, because last time I didn't really see as much as I should have, and he hasn't been here yet, so we are here now(or at least we were when I wrote that bit). Our Cartagena ... read more
May 17th 2007
As I lifted my bare foot from the smooth, dull grey, slippery surface of another round topped river stone to fight through the current that seemed to cut my feet from beneath me, and then stretched out through the flowing, fresh, cool water to find another sure spot to set down my slowly shifting weight, I realised how great things at that exact moment in my life were. And as I think of that thought, and take into consideration this moment right now, I feel pretty fortunate still. I am here at the Northern tip of South America, just out of the jungle covered valleys of the Sierra Nevada of Colombia taking another step in a journey that has run through all kinds of different worlds, and has put me in company with some wonderful ... read more
May 3rd 2007
8 months ago if you had asked me which South American nations I would be visiting on my upcoming trip I would have told you that Colombia did not feature in any of my plans. The reputation for Drugs, Danger, and Guerrillas was my reason, but after having spent months meeting travellers whom had ventured into Colombia my view on the Cocaine Capital changed. I was told time-after-time that the land and people are only matched in beauty by one another, and that to miss the oppurtunity to go there would be very unwise. My oppinion of Colombia has been so dramatically altered, that now I am here in Colombia! I caught a flight out of Quito and arrived in Bogota at 8am on Tuesday morning. The first Colombian that I really interacted with was ... read more
April 27th 2007
I have just landed in Quito for the second time in my life. I have just sat through another Ecuadorian Taxi Ride. I have just deposited one dollar at the reception of Posada Del Maple for my room key. Now I sit here to tell you about what has been a week of my life. A week spent in The Galapagos Islands. A week I will never forget. It is a two hour flight from Quito airport to touch-down on the runway at Baltra Island in Galapagos. With the stop-over in Guayaquil, and the numerous delays that our flight endured, it took three hours. But as you lean back in your computer seat and sigh, as you contemplate three hours of waiting, consider that I have waited for weeks, knowing that I would soon visit ... read more
April 12th 2007
45 meters from the rocky ground below, a waterfall cascading over me, Fear submitted to determination, the essence of life surging through my veins, and a smile cast across my face as I hung from a single rope! The sensations that I felt this past week in Banos whilst repelling down a 50m waterfall were truely some of the most pure feelings of accomplishment and joy that I have felt for a long while. As many of you are aware I have a firm fear of heights, 'strange for such a tall guy' some may say, but the truth is that my fear of heights has haunted me in every vertical pursuit on which I have ever embarked throughout this comedy series that is 'My Life'. So when my two travelling companions and I saw ... read more
April 6th 2007
I return to you now at the beginning of a new chapter in my journey. The time I commited to working for the better of others has run dry, and with an emotional departure beneath both a full moon and the flashes of lightening on the horizon, I set off in the same old pick-up truck that arrived at 9 to steal away all the other volunteers that departed over the weeks I have been here. Watching the bodies of the families I have come to know well, fade away as the red glow from our tail lights could no longer touch them, was the last line in the last chapter of my journey. Now I must mould my own adventure alone. I didn't wake up this final morning, until the sound of eight little ... read more