Ann and Gordon

Ann and Gordon

Ann and Gordon

After talking about it for long enough we´re finally on our way. From the freezing cold of the UK to the boiling hot of Argentina, as the adventure begins...

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Barnes May 3rd 2012

The number of times Ann and I have looked at each other and said this time in 2009 we were in X or doing Y is incredible. Looking back on our travels in 2009 they were incredible. South America is a huge and amazingly diverse continent and we really on scratched the surface….heck we didn’t even make it to the East Coast and that was in nearly 9 months of travelling. The plan was for Ann and I to come back to the UK and work for a year or so, get married and then head back to South/Central America. We loved Colombia so we were going to start there, get on the Gringo trail and charter a boat to Panama and work our way up to Mexico, but life intervened! About a month after we ... read more
Our Wedding Day

South America » Peru » Loreto » Iquitos » Amazon Rainforest August 9th 2009

Probably the final part of our stay in the Columbian Amazon is all to do with the mad rush out of there. There is one fast boat 6 days a week which goes from Santa Clara in Peru to Iquitos in Peru, some 10 to 15 hours away, depending on the boat and on the state of the Amazon. To get to the boat is a convoluted logistical border crossing exercise. The boat leaves at 5 in the monring. Steve's place is about 30 mins drive from Leticia town. So it was up at half 3, loaded into a car and dropped off at Tabartinga in Brasil (border crossing number 1 achieved). From there it is a taxi boat across the river to Santa Clara in Peru. Then Gordon shows off his prowess in speaking Spanich ... read more
Gordon and the Sloth
Noctornal Monkey
Finally an Anaconda

South America » Colombia » Leticia August 4th 2009

With our return date looming and our point of departure being half a continent away we decided that a couple of flights and a boat ride were necessary to ensure another call to Oneworld partner airlines wasn´t required in order to chane the date be fair changing the date was out of the question given we had 2 tickets for U2 at Wembley on the 15th of August. We flew from Bogota to Leticia. Leticia is the Colombian town at the three frontiers, which is he point in the Amazon where Colombia meets Brasil and Peru. We had arranged to stay at a lodge, Tacana Lodge about 40 mins out of town, run by an Ex-pat Brit called Steve McLear and his Colombian partner, Elena. Steve's a top bloke who has been in South America ... read more
Not the nicest spider in the world
Frog in the Night

South America » Colombia » Bogota July 30th 2009

We spent 2 spells in Bogota once before we flew off to San Andres Island, and again after the Caribbean Coast and Ciudad Perdida but for brevity of blog entries we have decided to condense the two into one! Bogota the First Time - 8 July to 11 July We made it! Thankfully this bus ride wasn't so dramatic as our ride into was however just as travel sick inducing.....there is something odd at trying to watch a movie on a bus going through winding hills and having to read Spanish subtitles. We made it though and soon we were whizzing though the Bogota streets on our way to another hostel! First impressions of Bogota are that its actually quite a nice city. It lacks the overcrowded feeling you get in BA and the sense ... read more
Cathedral Rooftop at Sunset
Inside the Salt Cathedral
The Altar

Cue the theme music. Strap on your bullwhip and best jungle clothes as Ann and Gordon attempt to emulate Indiana and make it to the lost city of the Tayrona people. Making it there was fine, getting back was a little trickier, but more on that later. Firstly what is Ciudad Perdida and who were the Tayrona.....yep time again for a little history lesson. Colombia has a number of diverse indigenous populations. The Tayrona were one such population who inhabited the Sierra Nevada de Santa Martha which is the mountain range in the North East of the country on the Caribbean Coast. The Tayrona's built their main urban centre at what is now known as Ciudad Perdida (translated as Lost City) on the Northern slopes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Martha. The city was occupied ... read more
Looking Out Across the Valley
The Long Road.....Day 1
The Tayrona Trail

South America » Colombia » Cartagena July 19th 2009

We bid farewell to San Andres and uneventfully flew into Cartagena....officially Cartagena de Indies. First impression was that this city was hot.....unlike the island we had just left the cooling breeze was soaked up by the urbanity of the city. We arrived at our hostel where we met up with Wendy and her friend Will. The mentioned that they had enjoyed the few days they had been in Cartagena so far but that they had some reservations about the hostel.......the oven like rooms were the first cross, and being woken up at 3am and being asked to help roll a spliff didn´t add to their rating. We agreed to stay a night and see how we went......a night was all we stayed. As nice as the Hostal Media Luna was in appearance dirty bathrooms, temperamental water, ... read more
Cartagenas New Town
Gordon Driving the Cannon
Ann Riding the Cannon

South America July 11th 2009

A recurring theme in this trip so far has been the constant need to rug up against the cold. With a month to go we decided that we needed a holiday from travelling in the sun. Given Colombias's proximity to the it has a Carribean coastline.....and due to some dodgy diplomacy about 200 years ago, Colombia has possession of two carribean Islands which are about 750km North of Colombia but about 200km's off the Nicuraguan Coast. With Ann recovering from our night out in Bogota we headed to the airport a little early. To be fair the airport was a little quieter than our hostel, especially since the crew from the night before still hadn't made it to bed. The flight itself was pretty uneventful......until we came into land. San Andres is pretty small so ... read more
A wet View of Panama
Just to prove we were there
Gordon kitted up & ready to dive

South America » Colombia » Popayan July 1st 2009

Well this is the final South American country that we are visiting on this trip (bar our small re-entry to Peru to get to Lima) and we were excited about it. On our travels up through the other countries we had mixed reports about Colombia. - Some people said "don't go its dangerous.....what with Cocaine traffikers, FARC Guerrilla's and Colombian paramilitary!" - Other people we met said, "Go! It is one of the most beautiful and safest countries in South America. Everyone is very friendly and it has hardly any tourists". The first set of people were those who had not been to Colombia themselves and the latter were those who had! The South of Colombia certainly rings true to the latter comments. Most of the tourists we met were Colombians on holiday themselves and the ... read more
Wendy & Ann Trying to Stay Warm
The Laguna Canal Ride
The Canals

South America June 23rd 2009

It was always going to take a while for the high of the Galapagos to fade. However, given that Lucy only had a few days left we figured that a couple of days in and around the spa town of Baños would be a great way to spend that time. Thanks to Lucy we didn't have to slum it in a way....thanks to Lucy's generosity we got to stay in a very exclusive spa resort, with its own pools that overlooked the town of Baños. We had three days in Baños and there is plenty to do to keep you occupied. We divided up our days as follows....Day 1 - make the most of the Spa facilities...relax! Day 2 - Jungle Trip and Day 3 - Canyoning....a bit of an adrenaline rush to finish off ... read more
Its a Long Way Down
Ann Swings in the Jungle
Looking Out Across the Puyo River

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos June 12th 2009

Don´t think just do! Yes there are arguments about the impact that tourism has on the Galapagos. Yes there are arguments that the Ecuadorian Government simply pockets the USD 100 entry fee and does little to assist the Galapagos population. Yes there are arguments that the islands natural beauty is being spoilt. Disregard the arguments and go. The Galapagos aren´t called the enchanted islands for nothing and they rival Antarctica as one of the most amazing places we´ve been in the last 6 months! The variety of wildlife both and land and in the water is astounding and amazingly most of it is indifferent to humans, allowing you to get up very close. Our trip was for 10 days. We spent the first couple in Purta Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. We dove for one day ... read more
Competition for the food on offer
Pelican with his catch
The tempting Fisherman's Catch

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