Feb 2002 moved to London, England.
After 5 years of living in the wonderful concrete jungle city of London, l’ve decided home is where the heart is and return to family and friends in Melbourne
BUT, not before spending two months discovering a magnificently cultured continent like South America. High mountains, lost cities, wild rainforests and if the language alone doesn’t make you melt inside, sexy Latino music and samba dancers will send you into exhilaration!
Here is my travel journal (a little late l know but better late than never eh!) l will keep it updated throughout my journey so you can keep track of where l am and what l've been up too. l've also added a few places l've travelled to this year. l hope you enjoy the read as much as l enjoyed writing about the experience.
November 26th 2006
Our last 18hr South American bus journey, from Bariloche to Mendoza, was probably the most fun of all the bus journeys taken. It was comfortable, the food was good, time to get to Mendoza seem to go quite quick and the biggest highlight of the journey was winning a bottle of wine at bus bingo in Spanish. Mum - you would be so proud of your daughter, all those years of practising with you paid off. To the disappointment of some of the locals on the bus, (l´m sure a lot of them were thinking ´not that roudy gringo chica in the back..´) it made a very pleasant and interesting bus ride. Over 1000 active wineries in Mendoza makes up over 70% of the Argentinas wine. The minute l set foot into this city it spelled ... read more
November 24th 2006
It was so nice to step back into Argentina again. The journey from Pucon to Bariloche was one of the best bus journeys l´ve ever taken. Directly through all the mountains and lakes in the south part of Chile and Argentina, the lakes were emerald blue color, the mountains were glistering in the sun. Bariloche is a big city surrounded by lakes and snow dusted mountains part of the Patagonia Region. This was Argentinas little playground, with again, more advenuture activities you can think of and noted for some of the best mountain scenery in the world....and a hell of a lot of Chocolate shops. Bariloche has a massive Swiss influence which becomes apparent once you see all the chocolate shops on every cornor of town and top skiing facilities around Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi. The ... read more
November 20th 2006
Crossing the boarder from Bolivia into Chile was one of the most thorough and official border crossing experienced in South America. Driving into the Atacama desert, north of Chile, officials stripped searched all buses, cars, trucks etc. All passengers needed to off load their backpacks and unzip all pockets for thorough manual screening. Instead of being questioned for food or drugs it went more like "you have drugs..", "you have food si.." Immigration took about an hour and half, apparently there´s some sort of strike going on so a few people were just standing around looking pretty. San Pedro of the Atacama is the only town in the desert, a common route from the Salt Flats is to enter Chile via San Pedro. The town has a whopping population of 3000 with more backpackers roaming the ... read more
November 15th 2006
Another highlight of this trip l was looking forward too was seeing the salt flats of Bolivia amongst all the beautiful lakes and mountains. Sure enough the views were more than l aniticipated. What better way to enter a new country than by 4x4 3 day driving tour around Bolivias famous salt flats, lagos and many Volcanos. The tour started in a pumping and happening town called Uyuni (see photos), here we were acquainted with a group of 11 Isrealis, which we would be spending the next 3 days driving around with in a Landcruiser. Needless to say, Lou and l were the odd ones out in this group so the only way to get involved was to learn Hebrew. Most difficult language l´ve ever attempted to speak - not a lot learnt and a lot ... read more
November 14th 2006
Driving into La Paz was like driving into vehicle mayhem. Something noticeably consistent about South America is they have no road rules and a licence to drive is not required! A very smoggy city with 1.4mil Bolivians on to the roads all at once, whether by vehicle or foot, they are begging, selling, tooting horns at one another, whistling...it was quite a change from Lake Titicaca and the mountains where we’d been in isolation for the last 2 weeks. La Paz is known as the highest capitol city in the world, the city itself sits comfortably at 3600m in the middle of what looks like a canyon, with snow-capped mountains circulating the cities perimeter. A city with pretty views from a far and bustling with people, the nightlife is pumping and everything is as cheap as ... read more
November 14th 2006
After a very long and hard week on the Inca Trail, it was definitely time for some rest and relaxation and where better to lay my feet up than on one of the worlds biggest and highest lakes side of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. Before settling on the lake, a dodgy overnight bus journey from Cusco to Puno and over the boarder onto Bolivia sadly saw a somewhat disappointing farewell to Peru. The so-called tourist bus turned into a local bus where Peruvians were getting on and off on several stops and sleeping in the aisles. We worked out later that this was the perfect opportunity for locals to find their next black market trading goods - a bus full of tourist mobile phones and cameras! (For any travellers reading this, ensure your baggage is always ... read more
November 5th 2006
The city of Cuzco was once the city of the Inca empire and is known today as the Americas archeological capitol. Cuzco is over 3300m from sea level so the first thing we all needed to do, before starting the Inca Trail, once we landed was acclimatise to the altitude level. A crew of 14 enthusiastic trekkers romed the hilly streets of old Inca built walls admiring the beauty of Cuzco by night. This was the beginning of many beautiful sights we were about to become aquainted with over the next 6 days. The first day of the tour was set aside for an ´easy walk´ in the mountains, a visit to the local villages, which some of the money paid to Gap Adventures goes towards, and a cruisy bus ride up a pass to experience ... read more
October 28th 2006
We were suppose to meet Gareth at the airport as he was arriving from London only 15mins after our flight landed. Several hours later there was no sign of Gareth at the hotel or the airport however we new the flight he was suppose to be on had landed on time. 5am l get a knock on the bedroom door, thankfully it was Gaz. Poor guy had been stuck in Miami for several hours. Gareth has been interigated by the American Federals for being Mr Gareth Jones from the UK who is wanted by Interpol. Anyone who knows Gareth knows this guy is as innocent as they come. After they let him go several hrs later to catch his connecting flight to Peru, he was then stopped again by the customs officer who proceeded to strip ... read more
October 27th 2006
Buenos Aires, a typlically buzzing European city which the Argentinians are proud to call their capitol city.. Setting foot into Buenos Aires was like walking into home away from home. l was amazed at how this city is made up of fabulous European architecture and culture. At first glance l felt like l was in Paris by all the beautiful roman style buildings, people rushed to and from places like they do in London and similar to Milan, people thrive themselves on fashion by dressing to impress at all times. It's funny being in this city as it looks and feels very European, although the Argentinians would prefer not to consider themselves as part of South America rather part of Europe, the Peso is worthless after the fall of the economy in 2001 making everthing in ... read more
October 24th 2006
Most people say the Argentinian side of Iguazu Falls is so much better than the Brazilian side, and to see the Brazilian side first. This is true however, don't be mislead, the Brazilian side of the falls is still extremely impressive and a definate must do first. On the exit of the Brazilian boarder, l had some minor federal issues to sort out before l was allowed back into Brazil to see Foz from Brazil. Unfortunately, l had lost my landing card which is required upon entering and exiting the country. This was not the smartest thing to do, the Federal Police officer was not impressed, the fine was $R165.00 to be allowed out of Brazil. In my average speaking Italian and 0 Portuguese, our taxi driver decided to help me by speaking to the officer. ... read more