“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending” - Carl Bard
2008 has been a year of personal discovery and has given me the chance to re-write my story.
Thus my story begins!!...To set the scene I am in my mid 30’s and come from Sydney, Australia. I am embarking on a year long career break to explore the world and see how much mischief I can get up to. I have since sold the house and all my worldly possessions; converted my frequent flyer miles to a RTW ticket and packed my bags
The Philippines - London - Middle East - USA - Central & South America
.Here I come!!!
Thank you for visiting my travel page!! To my fiends & family - Enjoy my stories, I’ll see you all soon - somewhere?
..And don’t worry, I’ll tell you where to mail the travellers cheques!!!!
June 4th 2009
Salar de Uyuni - Part 1 So far so good. We managed to avoid yet another strike in Uyuni which would have resulted in us potentially having to reduce our time on the salt flats or ´Salar´. Thankfully the strike was resolved on the day we were due to leave Potosi, so we set off mid-afternoon in our 4x4 jeeps (the only mode of transport that you can use to travel through the flats & surrounding terrain) to reach the town of Uyuni, the closest town to the flats. The start of the journey invovled a mad scramble to get into the jeeps, whilst kicking out as many people as we could from our jeep to give us more room. Lets be fair, this was going to be our home for the next four days ... read more
June 2nd 2009
Bolivia is the land of the "Worlds Highest ........". The world’s highest airport; The world’s highest ski-field (although it hasn’t actually had any snow for the last few years...); The world’s highest golf course and now the world’s highest city.......Welcome to Potosi - altitude 4,200 m.s.l.! We left mid afternoon the following day from Sucre, but not before my early morning stint at the Joyride cafe for more pancakes and the biggest cup of coffee I think I have ever had, so much coffee that I walked away with the coffee shakes at the end of it...Ouch! Potosi, a UNESCO world heritage city, is set against the Cerro Rico Mountains. It was founded in 1545 after the first discovery of silver and became the largest & wealthiest city in Latin America by the end of the ... read more
May 31st 2009
The travelling refrigerator After saying my goodbyes to those in my group who were leaving us in La Paz, I set off together with the rest of the group and some new additions to Sucre, the Legislative capital of Bolivia. It was going to be my first overnight bus experience in Bolivia and not one that I was looking forward too, for two reasons. Firstly, I hate overnight buses and Secondly, because I really hate over night buses. We boarded the bus, settled in and waited for the ordeal to start. I had learned from previous experience, with lice infested blankets, not to use the one provided to us on the bus to Sucre and immediately placed it in the overhead compartment. However, it didn’t take long for me to realise that they were there for ... read more
May 26th 2009
Copacabana is not the place Barry Manilow was singing about I celebrated our last night in Peru by treating myself to my last ever Peruvian pisco sour in Puno before heading of to the ‘Rock & Reggae’ bar for a few games of jenga and cuba libres with the rest of the group. What with cheap drinks and not much else to do, it was no wonder that the night disintegrated after one too many strong cuba libres. Giant teddy bears, bean bags and many hands became the theme of what was left of that night! The next day we were heading across to Bolivia, staying in our first Bolivian town of Copacabana for the night. A place that hardly rates a mention other than to refer to it as the town that Barry Manilow did ... read more
May 23rd 2009
Goodbye Cusco We had a full day in Cusco after the trek to rest up. I didn’t do very much that day. Was there any surprise in that? I spent some time wandering around the city, looking around before going back to the hotel for some R&R. After four days of hard slog, we deserved a party. And party we did. We participated in a pub quiz and won (although, really we had to split our group up and so in reality only half of our group won that night). The prize? A very large bottle of rum and a very small bottle of coke. Later that night, we continued our party at a local club, with trashy Latin & Western music till very early the next morning - The day we would have to ... read more
May 18th 2009
The Inca Trail is my bitch This was the one part of my trip that I had dreaded the most, feared the most. The Inca Trail. For months before, I had contemplated chickening out and getting the train up to Machu Picchu on the last day, just so I could avoid the trail itself - but I didn’t want to regret it later on. Eventually ‘D-Day’ rolled around and it was time to do it. Time to walk the trail - 45kms in 4 days, highest elevation of 4200m. How hard can it be? Day 1: 11 kms - Walking Time: 6 hours Laura (my roommate) & I got split up from our original group & were placed into another group of 8 people, 2 guides, 14 porters & 2 guides - One big happy ... read more
May 12th 2009
The never-ending journey A miners strike at 3am in the morning! Could this day possibly get any worse? After being on the bus for 5 hours, we were woken up at 3am to be told that we would be forced to sit on the side of a road, along with dozens of other trucks, buses, & cars waiting for the local miners to remove the boulders & loose stones they had put on the road to block the way. By 9am - there was still no resolution with the miners, who, by this stage were blind drunk and threatening to blow up the buses if their demands were not met by the local government. We only had two alternatives; we could either wait on the bus until the road cleared; or alternatively walk the distance ... read more
May 9th 2009
Pisco & The Ballestas Islands What can be said about the town of Pisco? Weeelllll!!! Not much really (Granted the town had been heavily destroyed by an earthquake in 2007). Nevertheless, we were only using it as our overnight base to visit the nearby Ballestas Islands, otherwise known as the ‘Poor Man’s Galapagos’. We caught our early morning boat from the port of Paracas and we subsequently herded into 24-seat speed boats that would cover the journey across to the Islands in super fast speeds. Our first visit en-route was to see the three-pronged candelabra, etched into the sand hills on one of the nearby islands - then it was out into the open sea for the very bumpy journey to the islands themselves. The islands were made famous for their guano producing birds (otherwise ... read more
May 7th 2009
I never envisioned that the landscape of Peru would be so arid, so desert like. As we left Trujillo to make our way to Lima on our 12 hour bus ride, I saw nothing but stretches of sand, broken every now and again by glimpses of the coast in the distance & a very nice pepsi sign or two. We got to the suburb town of Miraflores in Lima late in the evening, leaving us with only enough time and energy to grab a bite of Pizza along Pizza St and of course, a drink or two of pisco sours to wash it down. We ended up in a Cuban bar filled with locals strutting their stuff on the dance floor - far too good for us to even contemplate going on the dance floor with ... read more
May 3rd 2009
Peru was the next destination on my South American jaunt and our first stop was a few days along the coast to appreciate some Peruvian beaches. It was going to be a relaxing 4-day start to our intensive few weeks in Peru, culminating of course in The Inca trail - something that I was both highly excited and extremely nervous about. But to get anywhere on this continent - You have to travel vast distances. This is something I am slowly starting to appreciate (and that is saying a lot given my home country), but needs must and I am getting very familiar with the inner workings of the South American public transport system. To start my journey into Peru - I had to get there first. Exhaustion doing nothing is suddenly taking on a completely ... read more