Paul & Amei


Paul & Amei


Days on the Road

It was always in the back of our minds. To travel the world and to see as much of it as money, time and health would allow. Traveling the world would stay on hold as we raised two wonderful and responsible kids. Now that both our children are out of the house, we seized the opportunity to hit the road.

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Our RTW Trip

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Buenos Aires October 16th 2012

A fifteen hour $120 bus ride from Puerto Iguazu got us to Buenos Aires in good shape. Argentine busses are incredibly comfortable. Services offered provide reclining bed like seats, individual video screens presenting movies and music videos, a full bar pouring wine, champagne and whiskey as well as serving full hot meals. Greyhound in America can't compete. We relish the comfort since many previous Central and South American busses lacked even basics like a bathroom, heater or blanket for cold nights or a window that would open for fresh air. One overnight bus in Bolivia required requesting the bus driver while roaring down the highway to pull over in the middle of nowhere for bathroom breaks. It was lovely urinating under nighttime sky illuminated with zillions of stars, but a bit awkward finding space away from ... read more
Casa Rosada
Casa Rosada at Night
The Balcony Used by Eva

Sadly, we left our month long Bolivian home behind to find literally greener pastures. The road from the Salar led us into San Pedro de Atacama, Chile whereby we stayed one night. San Pedro is an oasis created to cater to transiting tourist. The town is attractive, resembling New Mexico with low slung adobe homes and dusty streets. Unfortunately it's overpriced and touristy but serves its purpose as a rest stop before moving on to Argentina or points further south in Chile. We bought our bus tickets to Salta, Argentina, an 11 hour journey for $63 per person and looked forward to Argentine wines, beef and tango culture. The bus ride from San Pedro to Salta is simply spectacular. The road descends thousands of feet, winding its way from the arid altiplano through fog shrouded steep ... read more
Salta's Cathedral
Bees in the Bakery
Dollar Hot Dogs

South America » Bolivia » PotosĂ­ Department » Salar de Uyuni September 30th 2012

Back on the road again felt good. We looked forward to new sites, experiences and surprises offered by traveling to outpost far and away. Uyuni is just the place, a weathered Wild West type town surviving on the edge of the world's largest salt plains, hemmed in by incredibly dry dusty deserts and surviving as the start for Toyota Land Cruiser trips across the arid Altiplano of Bolivia. Uyuni existed years past as a central railroad yard, delivering supplies and hauling out gold and silver from nearby mines. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid stalked the area, robbing trains, raising havoc but eventually being cornered by the Bolivian army and killed. Surprisingly, the locals speak kindly of them, noting their Robin Hood ways and a bit proud their notoriety brought to the area. Nevertheless, we arrived ... read more
Llama and Beef Steaks
Uyuni Outdoor Gym
Adelio, Me and His Land Cruiser

South America » Bolivia » Chuquisaca Department » Sucre August 29th 2012

My good friend Dr. Kathlyn Ignacio issued stern orders from 5000 miles away, get some rest and recuperate or else she would do something that I can't print. Rather than risk her wrath when I return to the States, Amei and I agreed it was time to pull off the road and decamp for a month in one place. Our choice was just right. Sucre is a wonderful relaxing college town filled with revolutionary history, white washed walls, indigenous markets, friendly folks, fine food, comfortable lodgings and a temperate climate. Its where Simon Bolivar declared independence from Spain and Che Guevara stayed nights at the Grand Hotel. Sucre is unlike a lot of Bolivia, with obvious wealth displayed throughout its colonial buildings, many churches and fine universities. Students are well dressed, hanging out nightly in the ... read more
View of Sucre
Church & School of San Felipe
Tarabuco Market

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » La Paz August 18th 2012

It's been a while since I last blogged and I blame road weariness for my malaise. Traveling is hardly routine, for there is the constant need to plan. Bus tickets need to be purchased, hostels contacted, food located, destinations decided, clothes washed, crooks avoided, traffic dodged, companion cajoled, money converted and bathrooms found. Wow, and then throw in a bout of diarrhea and you every excuse not to blog. That's where we found ourselves as we arrived in La Paz, the highest capital in the world at over 12,000 feet. Luckily for our lungs, our bus dropped us off a block away from our hotel Cruz de Los Andes, a nice clean bargain of a place for $26 a night that included a full breakfast. Check in was smooth, so we stashed our stuff and ventured ... read more
Cheap Street Meals
Witches Market
Llama Fetuses

South America » Bolivia » La Paz Department » Copacabana August 13th 2012

Puno to Copacabana entails a border crossing, the required passport paperwork that keeps most travelers anxious until your bestowed a requisite visa. We arrived after a comfortable two hour bus ride down Lake Titicaca's shores to the end of the Peruvian road and where Bolivia's begins. In between we obtained our Peruvian exit stamps from a bored customs agent, exchanged some dollars into Bolivianos from an elderly Indian woman in a bowler hat, and walked past Indian textile vendors and roadside lunch stands deep frying pork in pots brimming with oil. Passing under an dilapidated archway, we were directed by unsmiling border guards to a well worn immigration office. An officer at the door divided US citizens from other foreigners, primarily because US nationals are required to pay $135 while others are not. Ouch. But anyway ... read more
Copacabana Harbor
Chapel of Candles
Decorating Before the Blessing

South America » Peru » Puno » Lake Titicaca August 12th 2012

From Arequipa to Puno it's a pleasant five hour bus ride up hill to higher altitudes and colder weather. Puno is on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the largest highest navigable lake in the world. However, travelers come her not to navigate but to explore Indian inhabited islands, floating reed homes and exceptional natural beauty. With all that in mind of course we chose the opposite direction, a half day tour of Syllastani, a pre Incan necropolis about thirty minutes inland from Puno. Syllastani highlights are large tall tubular tombs where nobility rested until gaining the life after. Grave robbers found it easy to enrich themselves, since these tombs stand on hills essentially advertising that big shots reside within. Although most tombs have tumbled and lay empty, the panoramic setting on a high hill is reason ... read more
View from Syllastani
Incan Homes Along the Highway
Floating Islands of the Uros

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Colca Canyon August 8th 2012

Machu Picchu is a hard act to follow, so we were keeping expectations low as we headed toward Peru's canyonlands. An all day ten hour bus ride from Cusco to Arequipa gave us time to read, relax and take in the colorful Peruvian countryside. The ride to Arequipa is the Altiplano of Peru, high altitude treeless plains sliced by lazy rivers, rural farms, and rocky roads leading off to far off ranches and valleys. Boredom is rarely present, for if one becomes tired of scenery outside the window, the action inside the bus can be entertaining. Hence, at a short middle of nowhere stop, a couple of Indian women board with a large greasy bag smelling of something cooked. Surprisingly, they display a huge chunk of roasted Alpaca right down the bus aisle. Watch you step ... read more
Volcano Misty Outside Arequipa
Santa Catalina Convent
Colonial Water Filter at Santa Catalina

South America » Peru » Cusco » Salkantay Trail August 1st 2012

The following piece is from our daughter Connie, who flew into Cusco after a two month stint in Mozambique to visit us for ten days. Since I was a bit burnt from blogging, I more than welcomed her article which offered me a break from writing as well as her younger generational insights....... Into three weeks of volunteering in Mozambique, I fell victim to homesickness. I will never know whether it was the lack of Internet, the unwelcomed male advances, or the constant use of Portuguese that made me feel so alone. Regardless, I broke down and asked my father for a ticket to wherever they might be. A month later, on July 25th, I was touching down on the tarmac of Cuzco Airport, Peru giddily walking into the arms of my parents. A foreign city ... read more
Basket of Alpaca Heads
Our Group
Day One

South America » Peru » Ancash » Huaraz » Huascaran National Park July 17th 2012

Our first impressions of Peru along the bleak barren coast were now a ten hour overnight bus ride behind us. And what a contrast. Where as a dusty desert defined our last few days, now snowy spiraling peaks and picturesque mountain villages predominated our new Peru. Arriving in Huaraz at 4:00 A.M., we hopped a taxi to the Casablanca Hostel ($15 a night including continental breakfast ) and were surprisingly given early morning check in at no extra cost. We promptly crashed. Huaraz is the place to go for trekking and serious mountain climbers. Just outside town are many towering peaks poking the sky at 20,000 feet and higher. These granite gifts from God seduce you to get outdoors, sign up for treks and spend time wondering how insignificant man is beneath these behemoths. Wasting no ... read more
Local Huaraz Taxi
Our Group
Day 1 Campsite

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