Hippobear

Hippobear

Hippobear

At some point a small crick broke in my routine, I felt a thin breeze of opportunity and for the first time I made something out of it. I cut off my stay as an expat in England, gave up my working visa, and asked Liz to join me. My grand plan to round the world using only overland transportation (basically meaning not to fly) didn’t find audience so I settled for South America. Yet, as I like, I looked for interesting ways to journey rather than just reaching a destination. Then, after 10 months of backpacking I simply satisfied my capacity and desire to travel. I acknowledge I was fortunate to be able to afford doing such a trip and giving this amount of time to travel in my age and with the woman I love. I think I deserved it. The contribution to my being and to my next job was greater than being working for a similar amount of time in the office. I hope to resume backpacking soon.




South America » Guyana » Lethem July 6th 2010

Orange, Green and Blue. Orange ground, blue skies, and green jungle ties them together. Oh, and I forgot golden rivers. Going bananas in the Guyanas It is definitely not an ideal country for backpacking, but perhaps exactly that attracted me to visit... and Kaietuer Falls too of course. Being on a limited entry visa I was in a rush so this is the first rule when coming to Guyana - no rush, because here Time is in the hand of God. It is funny to say that - after being travelling for more than 9 months when coming to Guyana - and even funnier after coming from the jungles of Brazil and Peru. Perhaps it was me facing a limited time, or maybe indeed there was something in the vibe, for me however, the locals appeared ... read more
On the edge of 226m sheer drop
Bridge accros Takatu river
Rupununi savannah

South America » Brazil » Amazonas » Manaus June 29th 2010

It was in the height of the Mundial, daily football matches dictated our actions for the day. We set down in a cheap hostel, in a big room with many thick mattresses, not very far from Manaus' docks. We were seven who stayed together from the boat journey Tabatinga to Manaus. It was a lovely journey well set and organised, a cruise compared to the rough boat I had in Peru. Although we were on hammocks there was enough space between them and a nice breeze cooled the sweltering heat and calmed the humidity. At the roof balcony there was a little canteen that served burgers, ice cream, coke, chocolate, tea and coffee, AND we had a TV set with the Mundial on - floating on the Amazon and watching the Mundial for four days - ... read more
Musing on water
White sand beach
Manaus - Two million people city

South America » Peru » Ucayali » Pucallpa June 11th 2010

The boat better not taken It was my idea to take a boat from Pucallpa to Iquitos. As usual I saw something that the common traveller doesn't do and got fueled with passion to do it. I was not too naive to think that it was going to be a cruise-like boat trip, but I had no idea how much I was going to be out of my comfort zone and how much I would beg for it to end. Yet, this trip was definitely an adventure that I will remember, for its filth and for the fact that I did it and survived. Would I recommend? I think that if one wants to feel Peru in its blood and bones - there is nothing more Peruvian or perhaps Latin American than that, though Marika said ... read more
Cargo
It was quite tight
Any possible space was used for Crago

South America » Peru » Loreto » Iquitos » Amazon Rainforest June 8th 2010

What does an 'indigenous' community mean? After visiting a few it seems to me like it is only a marketing label. I guess we are some two hundred years too late to meet a real indigenous people, add to that our contemporary conscious of cultural contamination we dare to visit communities that haven't seen a white man before. Therefore when I see an army of men and women ravaging on me with their arsenal of handicraft I feel disappointed and cheated - I don't think this is indigenous, even if they are half naked. For this reason I appreciate the trip I did with Daniel in the jungle near Pucallpa, a jungle city on the Ucayali river at the far eastern end of the Peruvian road system. The city enjoys small amounts of tourism both local ... read more
Canoeing in the bush
Floating on a peaceful lagoon
The house we stayed in on the first night

South America » Peru » Ucayali » Pucallpa June 4th 2010

When I finally arrived in Tarma after Three days on Andean roads I found Don Pepe sitting by the dining table enjoying the company of three lovely young women, two looked European, Helen from Denmark and Johanna from Germany who was designing the vegetables bio-garden, the third was Denise the new administrator who replaces Alejandra. I stayed in Tarma two nights, had enough time to wash my clothes and wash Ramon, the dog, and get useful information regarding the journey I wanted to do to Pucallpa. I didn't meet the kids in Tarma as planned because they extended their stay in Huaraz and therefore took a direct bus from Lima. I as usual didn't want to hop to my next destination in the ordinary way. Instead of taking a bus to La Oroya in order to ... read more
The jeep and the Canadians still happy after breakfast
Head to head
Palcazo

South America » Chile » Easter Island April 4th 2010

For many years I have wanted to visit the Easter Island, and this was the only real requirement for me of this trip to South America. Therefore when we were in Santiago in January we looked into the trip and booked our tickets, we were lucky enough to get a really good deal. We arrived in Santiago for the trip on 3rd April, expecting our flight to go on the 5th, however, when we tried to confirm our tickets we found the flight had been cancelled so we called the Lan offices, luckily for us, as they had put us on a flight on the Tuesday meaning we would have a day less. After talking to the office they said we could fly a day early, on the Sunday, so we grabbed the chance to have ... read more
Tongariki after sunset
Last rays of sun for the day
Ball of fire

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Osorno March 27th 2010

It ain't over till it's over It is one of these things that first you hate then you love and appreciate. I really wanted to do this trek after Marika and Byron told me that it was the best and hardest trek they have done. I can't remember if there was 'ever' at the end of that sentence but it was tempting enough to go there. They said they had encountered almost all kinds of landscapes including a desert - moonscape, hot natural baths, forest and of course the geysers - the peak of this trek. So I did it. I left Liz in Bariloche with the kids (B&M) and they kindly hosted her in their temporary flat, I then took the bus to Osorno. This was the first lone bus ride I had done on ... read more
Nearly there
Morning has broken
Sea of clouds

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Puerto Varas March 20th 2010

Over the Border, again After our time on Chiloe we returned to Pte Montt to Hostel Suizo and it's owner Rossy for a few days rest, to catch up on washing, phone home and all the things that are impossible to do whilst in a kayak. Again we had a great stay with Rossy and were lucky enough to again meet up with the Dutch couple Koos and Nicolin, along with a fellow cyclist they met en route, Albert from Switzerland, we had a lovely evening together before we embarked on our trip to El Bolson. Ram as per usual didn't want to take the easy route to Bariloche to meet our Australian travelling friends from Torres Del Paine, no he wanted to do it the most difficult way, which involved buses, walking , ferries and ... read more
Arriving in Lago Tagua Tagua
The two small ferries
On the verge of Lago Azul

South America » Chile » Los Lagos » Chiloé Island March 19th 2010

The last time we wrote something was when we left Peru, that was so long ago that it feels almost like another life. A short memory from childhood even though it was just three months ago. Since then we crossed by bus to Chile and continued to Argentina, Buenos Aires to meet my parents and then headed on down south to Ushuaia to thrill ourselves with another brief meeting with them and to 'start' travelling up north. And now three months later here we are in Puerto Montt, back after a fantastic week of kayaking and site seeing at the island of Chiloe, just south of Puerto Montt. When we arrived in Puerto Montt with the Navimag ferry from Puerto Natales we unexpectedly found a lovely hostel nearby the port - Hostal Suizo - which is ... read more
A penguin running up hill
Sea otter eating crab
One of the many wooden churches in Chiloe

South America » Chile » Magallanes » Puerto Natales March 19th 2010

My journey starts at El Calafate, Ram, Marika and Byron left me there whilst they went onto El Chalten. I was going to do one day's visit to Perito Moreno along with a walk on the glacier, then one day out on a horse ride. I left the lazy ones in bed as my glacier visit started with an 8.30am bus pick up. Then we had a journey of an hour or so before we got to the national park entrance. We were dropped for an hour and a half, so that we could walk down the viewing walkway, take in a woodland walk and have our lunch. Later the bus picked us up and took us to our boat embarkation point, followed by a crossing in front of the Glacier to the refugio where we ... read more
first time Liz on crampons
like dunes of ice
dunes of ice




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