I'm Kyle. I'm almost 30 and I've never set foot outside of the US (unless you count Tijuana, which I don't). I've always wanted to travel, but never had the wherewithal - until last summer when I won a round-trip ticket to Rio de Janeiro. So South America's where I'm headed, two months is how long I'll be there, and Canada's where I'll tell people I'm from. Y'know, so people won't be confused by my politeness.
I'm Eden. I spend too much time thinking of cute things to say about myself. I also usually write in lowercase, but I guess Kyle's proper capitalization made me feel sheepish. I've been to East and Southern Africa and Central America. And now another South! One of these days I really should go to West Something.
The two of us journaling together... it isn't indicative of any cute clinginess or codependency on our part. We're just really into conservation. Because you know, for every blog created, a dolphin gets caught in one of those six-pack rings. Or something.
May 18th 2006
many geographical hotspots have their own motto. for example, belize's is "you better belize it!" connecticut's is "connecticut:we're full of surprises." the united states is apparently the "land of the free," whoever that's supposed to be referring to. argentina's is "argentina: un pais, en serio!" which translates roughly to "argentina: seriously, we're a country!" in our three weeks in this "country," we have come up with a few more...how should i say this...appropriate mottos. here's one: Argentina: Your Unreliable Friend because here's the thing. everyone has that unreliable friend, right? you know who i'm talking about. he says he'll be there at 8, but you call at 10 and he says he's not coming. she borrows a cd and only after you've forgotten you ever owned it does she return it, if ever. or, say, he's ... read more
May 13th 2006
We're rushing through Argentina at this point in an effort to arrive early in Buenos Aires. According to the film Starship Troopers, BA should prove to be a cultural smorgasbord of English-speaking Aryans and giant killer bugs. In the meantime, there's no reason we can't spend a day in Rosario, where Argentina apparently keeps the majority of their towering, ostentatious monuments. After enduring a bus ride from Cordoba on which we were forced to watch Crash (not the awesome 1997 Cronenberg version but this new awful Sandra Bullock one), we were greeted at the door of Rosario Hostel by a fabulously attractive girl named Rita. (Eden and I agreed that seeing fabulously attractive girls is good for helping you forget you just watched an awful Sandra Bullock movie.) The evening got even better when an Australian ... read more
May 11th 2006
I've noticed that a lot of eateries in Argentina don't necessarily have everything that's listed on the menu. This is, of course, if you are given a menu at all, and if that menu contains anything more than pizza, pasta or steak. DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND: I love Argentina and its cuisine; the pizza, pasta and steak in Argentina are all top-notch. But really, a person (or country) can perfect anything when it's all they ever do, ever. We spent a day-long connection on Tuesday in Tucumán, northwestern Argentina's largest city, which is also a giant bus station. Perhaps there's more there than that, but after Monday's 17-hour commute, we felt entitled to convalesce a bit. Terminal del Tucumán is a self-contained consumer's paradise, boasting 30,000 square metres of restaurants, clothing boutiques, electronics outlets, internet cafes, currency ... read more
May 7th 2006
Argentine mountains are like brake lights. They are bright red and it's a good idea to stop when you see them. Uh, lest you drive off a cliff. Sorta. Nevermind. Unfortunately, the bus into Cafayate kept moving, so my pictures got all blurry. I noticed an Australian fellow a few rows behind me (of course, I wouldn't find out he was Australian, nor would I know that his name was Trevor, until he would later tell me that stuff) trying to take pictures out the window. Trevor was having difficulty getting shots from his aisle seat. He was further hindered when the old woman in the window seat next to him woke up and recoiled at the camera in her face. She appeared very very dismayed and very very elderly indeed, and Trevor fumbled awkwardly with ... read more
May 4th 2006
I've managed to reduce the time it takes me to put in my contact lenses to about 87 minutes. The secret, for all of you contact lens-wearers reading this right now, is practice, practice, practice. You will never become as fast as me without putting them in it at least once every two weeks. Unfortunately, we didn't have 87 minutes as we had to be at MoviTrack HQ in Salta at balls o'clock in the morning, so it was Glasses McGee for me today. (Incidentally, "Balls O'Clock in the Morning" is not just what I call the excellent berries-n-peanut-butter breakfast drink Eden invented years ago. It also happens to be a cool band name, should any band ever be wise enough to use it.) MoviTrack is a safari company started by a couple of Germans who ... read more
May 1st 2006
I didn't pick up any laxatives today as planned. I started feeling better on my own. ...Until I realized I'll be stuck in South America when Art School Confidential opens in US theatres! Ugh! Why is my life so terrible? Aside from the 400+ sculptures, there's not much to see here in Resistencia. Yet, for some reason, despite the constant overwhelming presence of car fumes and roaring mufflerless engines, I've in fact found myself relatively enchanted by this town. Maybe it's because some intersections here inexplicably look like Old Vegas. Or maybe because the man who single-handedly runs our lovably dumpy El Hotelito reminds me of a Spanish-speaking Charles Laughton. Or maybe it's all the labor protesting, but that doesn't really count because it's Labor Day today and that's what they do on Labor Da... read more
April 29th 2006
nothing can make you feel the ambiance of a jungle like a papier-mache museum. it was like i was really there, in the thick of it...me and the bug-eyed crinkly alligator snapping at my feet. i can only assume they have this museum at the entrance to the ruins of san ignacio mini to simulate what it must have been like for the native savages and their jesuit benefactors to live there. there was also, inexplicably, the front half of a pirate ship docked in the courtyard of the museum, but that was just silly. san ignacio mini was one of the many missions set up by the jesuits in the 15th-17th centuries in southern brazil and north argentina...they, predictably, were gung-ho on converting the natives, though they went about it in a slightly more humane ... read more
April 28th 2006
The following are excerpts from my journal over the last four days or so: 24 April - Monday 11am. Our passports were not exit-stamped upon leaving Brasil. This is a formality that is apparently often skipped, but another English-speaking tourist on the bus last night told us we'll probably run into problems trying to get back into Brasil later without the exit stamp. So we went back to the border this morning to take care of it. Not a problem, despite a wasted morning. But it's okay! We're both healthy and should have no problem making up for lost time at the Falls. 5pm. The falls were beautiful. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Poor Niagara." I don't think I drank enough water. Not feeling so good. 8pm. My body aches in ways I've never felt before. ... read more
April 24th 2006
today, kyle learned several valuable lessons: 1. iguazu falls is very awesome. 2. just because you're at a waterfall does not mean you will absorb water by osmosis. 3. walking around in the hot sun all day with very little water puts you on the fast track to many nasty things, such as kidney infections. follow these lessons up with two trips to the local hospital, $20 worth of medical care (i shake my fist at you, expensive united states), and one shot in the butt, and you have us stuck in puerto iguazu for 4 days. why can't we get sick in awesome towns where she who is NOT sick can actually find something to do? other than wander the streets looking vainly for soup and getting whistled at by hoodlums and ne'er do wells? ... read more
April 23rd 2006
There isn't so much to say about Curitiba so much as there is to see. I know this: Curitiba, which was named for its copious pine trees that have since been replaced by buildings, is a paragon of urban planning excellence and is globally considered so. I adore the architecture here. Also, we spent a lot of time not doing anything, what with Eden's fever and shitting her brains out. But thanks to Aureo, his extraordinarily generous family, and the Couch Surfing Project that brought us all together, we hadn't to worry about beds or toilets. (Also, thanks to the miracle of antibiotics and Eden's ingesting of them, we'll both be in peak physical condition for Iguazu Falls on Monday. That's right, there's no reason the both of us shouldn't be perfectly healthy on Monday, for ... read more