Curtis and Jen

Curtis and Jen

Curtis and Jen

My name is Curtis Hanson and I'm an application developer/systems administrator for the local school districts. I'm also a C-17 mechanic for the USAF and a clerk at a convenience store. In addition, I'm a student at Oregon Institute of Technology in Portland where I'm completing my degree is CS. I travel as often as I can - provided the mortgage is paid. Have currently been to 29 countries and 32 states; and have lived in the US (currently), South Korea, and Germany.

My name is Jennifer Joe. I was born on a clear Friday morning in San Francisco, California. I left there to move to Oregon when I was 29. Currently, I’m working at the City of Tigard as their Environmental Program Coordinator making sure the drinking water is safe for consumption as well as assisting our residents to conserve as much as they can in this drippy climate of ours. This trip will be my first out of North America and considering how crazy Curtis is (or as he likes to say, “adventurous”) I’m hoping to come back from it so we can discover other places on this amazing rock we live on.

We are preparing for our trip to Peru and Bolivia this spring. We leave at the end of March for a few weeks. Hopefully, we'll bypass the rainy season but no worries. While there, our tentative destinations are: La Paz, Salar de Uyuni, Lake Titcaca, Cuzco, Machu Picchu, and everywhere in between. - “Don’t go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

South America » Peru » Cusco » Machu Picchu April 2nd 2012

Saturday, March 31st, 2012 Machu Picchu, Peru There are a lot of ways to get to Machu Picchu. For the more adventurous and physically apt, there's a 2 or 4 day hike along the historic Inka Trail. And for those pressed for time or just out of shape, there's a train/bus option. Of all the options of getting to Machu Picchu, we chose the old people way (train). Not because we ARE old, but because we didn't have time for the hike. A visit to Machu Picchu in this manner for those starting Cusco is a day long process. Much of the arrangements can be made in the city and even on the internet. But buyer beware! It can be a trying experience. We planned ahead by buying our train tickets and park passes online. PeruRail ... read more
Flower at Machu Picchu
The Sun Temple
Red plants at Machu Picchu

South America » Peru » Puno March 31st 2012

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 Our next stop on our trip was Copacobana, a quaint town on the shores of Lago Titicaca. But seeing as how Curtis accidentally miscalculated the length of time required for the trip, we decided after arriving in Copacobana to just push through to Puno in Peru. This is that mildly unentertaining story. How do we describe our uneventful bus ride? So, from Uyuni to La Paz is 12 hours. La Paz to Copacabana is anoth 5 hours. And lastly, Copacabana to Puno is another 6 hours. We spent so much time riding buses that both our ankles and calves swelled into balloons. In addition to our burns from the Salt Flats (don't underestimate the power of the sun at almost 3 miles from the sea). Why doesn't Bolivia nor Peru run trains ... read more
Swollen and sunburned
Ferrying our bus across Lake Titicaca
San Francisco Church in Copacabana

Sunday, March 25th, 2012 La Paz, Bolivia For our last day in La Paz - at least until our return flight - we checked out of our hotel and finished up some last minute sight-seeing before the Salt Flats. We browsed the markets, discovering both the Witch´s Market and Black Market. The Witch´s Market contained your usual ¨run of the mill¨handcrafts found in most other markets, but also had dried llama fetuses (just in case you were looking for some, go here). The Black Market - which pretty much looked like a Home Depot expoded- is the market containing goods smuggled from Chile. While we didn´t see any, our book noted that the occasional Bolivian law enforcement officer could be found shopping here as well. We opted on purchasing some super cheap, kitcsh, sunglasses and baby ... read more
Curtis & Jen in Uyuni

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz March 25th 2012

Friday, March 23rd, 2012 We arrived safely in La Paz about 6am. The flights were tolerable, Curtis was body searched at Portland, we sat directly in front a crying baby from San Francisco to Miami, and they managed to lose our luggage upon arrival in La Paz. We took a taxi to the city center, where our hotel was located, and had to wait till 11am to check-in. So we wondered about the streets and had breakfast till our room was available. After check in, we took a well deserved nap and were fresh (minus clean clothes) and ready to explore our surroundings. Those who are familiar with altitude sickness can relate to how we may have been feeling at the time - at 12,250 feet (2.25mi). We did not suffer from the major effects we´ve ... read more
Curtis body searched
Plaza de San Francisco
They threw a parade for us

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland March 22nd 2012

March 22nd, 2012 Welcome everyone to our Peru and Bolivia travel blog! We'd like to take this opportunity to tell you where we'll be going, what we'll be doing, and how this blog works. This first post is to inform you that you are a participant in our blog, the only emails you'll get from us are ones regarding our trips. The Plan We'll be leaving for Bolivia early on Thursday (March 22nd) and arriving in La Paz at about six in the morning the following day. La Paz is the highest captial in the world standing at 11,913 feet (2 1/4 miles). We'll spend our first couple days here to acclimate to the altitude before heading south to the Salar de Uyuni (Salt Flats). Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world, is ... read more

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Ko Samui September 20th 2008

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008 FINALLY - This vacation is beginning to feel like a VACATION! After an exhaustive 2 weeks of hiking through Thailand and Cambodia, we have finally arrived on the island of Ko Samui in the south of Thailand. Marking the final leg of our trip, these final days are dedicated to sitting on the beach, working on our tans, watching the waves roll in, and most important, RELAXING! We arrived, via ferry, from Surat Thani, in the mid-afternoon. It occurred to us on the ferry that we could no longer put off our decision and needed to decide on what beach we were going to stay at. After more reading, we decided that Bo Phut Beach would be our island destination. Sally decided that she wanted to stay at "The Lodge" but when ... read more
Sally on Balcony
3rd Match of the Night
Bungalow at Smile House

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai September 16th 2008

Friday, September 12th, 2008 To begin with, Curtis' ankle is doing much better. Most of the swelling has receded and the bruising is virtually non-existent. We began this leg of our trip at the Hualamphong Train station where we opted to go north after learning the south trains were not running due to a three week long worker's strike in support of the PAD. We chose a sleeper train (highly recommended) and head up over the evening. Sally, still sick from whatever she ate slept immediately while Curtis finished reading "Me Talk Pretty Oneday" by David Sedaris. Good recommendation Deidre! In the morning, the attendant brought us breakfast and gave us coffee. The coffee, unfortunately, is what is typically found in the region: instant Nescafe. Add lots of sugar and dehydrated creamer and you almost have ... read more
River Rafting - Bamboo Style
At the Village
Wat Chediluang

Asia » Cambodia » North » Angkor September 11th 2008

September 8th, 2008 Where to begin? We began our trip to Cambodia at the Hualamphong Train Station in Bangkok where we purchased our bus tickets. Curtis, being the ever punctual man that he is, had us showing up 30 minutes prior to our departure time. Sadly, we forgot that all of Thailand is on "Asian" time and ended up sitting there waiting for nearly an hour before our bus showed. Not really that big of deal, but when the station lacks air-conditioning, it sucks! The bus ride to Cambodia was very long. Setting off from Bangkok at around 9 am, we did not arrive at our hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia until after 9:30 pm. The 12 hour ordeal began with a bus ride to the border for about 3 1/2 hours. Shortly before arriving, ... read more
Us at Ta Prohm
Curtis Flexing & Pointing at Ankle
Sally Giving Curtis the Bird

Asia » Thailand » Central Thailand » Bangkok September 7th 2008

Saturday, September 6th , 2008 Greetings from beautiful Thailand! Our adventure started on Thursday morning with twenty-six hours of travel, but once here, it was all worth it. There is much advice given to travelers heading to Thailand and we must admit, it is good advice. We took a metered taxi to our hotel, fourty-five minutes later we reached our destination paying a total of 500 baht for our ride (including tolls and tip). Not a bad deal for about $17 dollars! We arrived late on Friday, around midnight and were very happy to finally get some sleep in a horizontal position (sleeping upright on a plane is NOT sleep). Today we got an early start, beginning our day with a run to the train/bus station. We were trying to figure out the train schedule for ... read more
Curtis in Front the Muay Thai Ring
Sally at Wat Pho
Turtle in Atrium Fountain at Wat Pho

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland September 4th 2008

Thursday, September 4th, 2008 Before we start with the update to our blog, I want to apologize for the pathetic title I gave our blog. We plan to blog about our trip every five or so days just to keep everyone informed on what where we are and what we're doing. Internet cafes are abundant and provide a nice break from the sultry weather. If anyone who's reading knows anyone that needs to be added, throw a comment at the bottom of the page or just e-mail Curtis ( or Sally. With that, below is a narrative detailing our plans of the trip. A few hours are left before we - Sally and Curtis - head to Thailand for two and a half weeks. We are gonna start our trip with a grueling 26 hour elapsed ... read more

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