Eric Powell

GringoAnciano

Eric Powell

Born in 1945, aged 0, in Romford, which is now part of Greater London, UK. Two lovely children (1986 & 1988). Now retired from working in orthopaedic research in hospitals as a bioengineer. Bioengineer? - I never found out what that was, and now it's too late! Currently living in Manchester.




To fill the gap after the grounding of the space shuttle fleet Uruguay has built a replacement quarried from special local heat-resistant stone. I was fortunate enough to get a picture of the completed spaceship on its launch pad; three of the booster rockets are clearly visible (see photo 1). As with most projects there has been a gross financial overrun and so they have had to cut some corners on the transport system for supplies and astronauts to the launch pad (see photo 2). However, the government are confident that the imminent launch will be successful and have commissioned a celebratory tango that is currently being extensively rehearsed in the streets (see photo 3) ahead of the main parade after the launch. ^ Para llenar el vacío después de la puesta a tierra de la ... read more
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South America » Uruguay » East » Punta del Este March 19th 2014

Punta del Este was a good introduction to the wildlife of Uruguay and their different temperaments. Some were glad to pose with the tourists (see photo 1), whereas others wanted to maintain their distance and just chill out (see photo 2). Unusually, there was an area of town containing clothes shops that just helped you emphasise that particular part of your body that you felt needed bringing to the fore. One such example is shown in photo 3. A personal sense of delicacy prevents me from elaborating further. * Punta del Este fue una buena introducción a la fauna de Uruguay y sus diferentes temperamentos. Algunos estaban encantados de posar con los turistas (ver foto 1), mientras que otros querían mantener su distancia y simplemente relajarse (ver foto 2). Inusualmente, había una zona de la ciudad ... read more
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South America » Brazil » Rio Grande do Sul » Porto Alegre March 13th 2014

In Porto Alegre I managed to find quite cheap accommodation (see photo 1). However, the floors sloped slightly and one had to be careful about rolling out of the beds that would be set out at night. An unusual feature of Porto Alegre is the so called Haemorrhoid Monument, a giant futuristic representation of a group of haemorrhoids (see photo 2). It is not widely known that Porto Alegre is where the world's first successful human haemorrhoid transplant was carried out. The monument is a tribute to those pioneering but under-appreciated and misunderstood surgeons. * En Porto Alegre me las arreglé para encontrar un alojamiento bastante barato (ver foto 1). Sin embargo, los suelos con pendiente ligeramente y había que tener cuidado con el despliegue de las camas que se establecen en la noche. Una característica ... read more
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At Florianopolis I witnessed a most unusual fishing match where each team consisted of a man and a heron (see photo 1). The heron would point with his wing to where he knew the fish were, and when the fisherman looked for reassurance would nod his beak in affirmation. At this signal the fisherman would cast his circular net (see photo 2). Most of the fish caught would go into a bucket for later weighing but one fish per catch would be thrown to the heron as a reward and an aid to concentration. The fishing would finish at night where prizes were awarded, and after a committee meeting (see photo 3) the coveted 'heron of the match' would be voted on. * En Florianópolis presencié un partido de pesca más inusual que cada equipo estaba ... read more
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South America » Brazil » Paraná February 24th 2014

My next trip was by narrow gauge railway through the rainforest (see photo 1) to Morretes. Near there I lived for a week in a cabin in the rainforest (see photo 2). I did go for walks in the rainforest (see photo 3). A nice relaxing time away from mobile signals and internet. Sending emails required getting a 15 minute lift to an internet café in Morretes. * Mi siguiente viaje fue por el ferrocarril de vía estrecha a través de la selva tropical (ver foto 1) a Morretes. Cerca de allí viví durante una semana en una cabaña en la selva (ver foto 2). Lo que ir a pasear por la selva (ver foto 3). Un buen momento de relax lejos de las señales de telefonía móvil y de Internet. Envío de correos ... read more
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South America » Brazil » Paraná » Curitiba February 22nd 2014

While in Curitiba I went on a tour of the Vila Velha state park. There are several rock columns there made of layers of different types of sediments. As the top layers are harder than the lower layers erosion causes them to taper towards their bases (see photo 1). Best to get there soon if you want to see them; the top fell off one of them three years ago. There are also man-made marvels in Curitiba. They constructed two spaceships, including attached booster rockets, from wood (see photo 2). Unfortunately the first one failed when they attempted to launch it but the second one remains there as a testament to a brave early space programme that was later abandoned. I was also able to get a rare photograph of one of the local trolls. They ... read more
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South America » Brazil » Paraná » Iguaçu Falls February 21st 2014

From Asuncion I wanted to go and visit the Iguaçu Falls. The only direct bus was to the Brazilian side of the falls (they are on the Brazilian-Argentinian border) so here I am in Brazil. I visited both sides of the falls and they are absolutely spectacular (see photos 1 and 2). I would urge anyone who gets the chance to go and visit them. However, I noticed just in time an attack by a vampire butterfly (see photo 3). I thinks I managed to discourage him before he could suck my blood and he flew off into the jungle where I think I noticed the early stages of a transmogrification into a Transylvanian count. *** Desde Asunción quería ir a visitar las Cataratas del Iguazú. El único autobús directo era al lado brasileño de las ... read more
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South America » Paraguay » Asunciòn February 10th 2014

There has been a recent remarkable increase in litigation in Paraguay in which people have claimed injury from carelessly wielded handbags in crowded shopping situations. This has lead one entrepreneur to set up a sort of handbag 'car park' where for a modest fee you can leave your handbag and he will guarantee its safekeeping until your return (see photo 1), Ladies can therefore enter crowded places with an easy mind, and then reclaim their 'lethal weapons' when injury is no longer an issue. Similarly, if you are concerned about the safety of papers while you are away from your desk another organisation hires out attack-cats who will guard them for you (see photo 2). I saw a T-shirt which translates as 'I am not 40, I am 18 with 22 years of experience' (see photo ... read more
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South America » Argentina » Chaco » Resistencia February 8th 2014

In Resistencia I came across a plaque in one of the squares dedicated to a dog called Fernando (see photo 1). There was a campaign to vaccinate all the local dogs against rabies and all the owners formed a queue in the square with their pets. Fernando arrived by himself and joined the queue, and was himself vaccinated. In recognition of his public spirited action he was awarded vaccination disc number one. In contrast some workers were told to paint a local park bench. By the time they got round to doing so a tree had grown engulfing the bench and so they made the best of a bad job by cutting away most of the tree and also painting what was left of the tree as well as the bench (see photo 2). En Resistencia ... read more
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South America » Argentina » Salta » Salta January 28th 2014

While visiting the area of the Tropic of Capricorn one of the locals noticed that the monument to mark the tropic was in danger of falling over and asked me to told it up (see photo 1) while they went to get some workmen to repair it. After five hours when no one had turned up I walked away. I hope it didn't fall down. I would hate to feel that I had jeopardised the local tourist industry. While in the garden of the hostel we heard the feint sounds of lovemaking. Someone thought it was a couple in one of the rooms. I said it was too quiet and it might be birds. We eventually found that it was two tortoises trying to make little tortoises (see photo 2). So before you complain to your ... read more
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