Derek Lacoursiere

Derek Con Carne

Derek Lacoursiere

Derek is going to travel to Southamerica on December 22nd.

South America » Brazil » Paraná March 31st 2010

I will eventually get down to write a little blog on where I have been for the last while: the German colony of Witmarsum. Until then, these two videos about my encounter with some ninja wasps. It seems like every creature around here likes to bite*, and bite hard! *or sting... read more

South America » Brazil » Paraná March 18th 2010

Witmarsum From Mato Grosso do Sul (the state Bonito is located in) I took a bus to the state of Parana, to search out Witmarsum, a Mennonite colony I had heard much about from Melissa (my girlfriend) who has family there. Bonito... Curitiba... Campo Largo... Witmarsum. After many bus changes ("trocar") and too many confusing directions in Portuguese, I made it to Witmarsum and the house of Frieda Janzen, Melissa's aunt. Her dad, Hermann, happened to be there at the same time. Thank goodness that they both speak English! Yet most of my stay I spent trying to understand conversations in Portuguese and German - Portuman, I call it -both of which are spoken by nearly all the locals. Witmarsum is mainly a farm town, with a large agricultural co-op that handles all the milk, soy, ... read more

South America » Brazil » Mato Grosso do Sul » Bonito March 14th 2010

Bonito At Puerto Iguazu I had the pleasure of bumping into a couple of American girls for the third time in the trip (first in Chiloe, then in Ushuaia, and now in Iguazu). We even went to the falls on the same day. So when I found out that they were heading to the much-talked-about Bonito, I tagged along. They had left earlier but I managed to catch them in the nick of time at Foz de Iguaçu (Brazil) and hop onto their same bus. We ended up spending nearly a day traveling to Bonito. For those of you who have never been to Brazil, picture what you would think a typical Brazilian landscape looks like. The resulting image is probably the landscape surrounding Bonito: lush vegetation, beautiful blue skies, sparse jungle, lots of cows (the ... read more

South America » Argentina » Misiones » Puerto Iguazú March 11th 2010

Puerto Iguazu I arrived in Puerto Iguazu on Wednesday at 5pm. I happened to book a bed in a party hostel - not quite my scene - which is in fact the largest hostel I have ever seen. It's called the Hostel Inn Iguazu. There are easily 300 people there. It has a large pool, pingpong, fussball, two pool tables, 7 computers, a small soccer field, and who-knows-what-else. That night I joined in on an asado and a buffet followed by a samba show. A bit of seminudity to start off my stay in Iguazu... The following day I decided not to hit the falls because I was waiting for a couple of friends to arrive in Puerto Iguazu. I figured that I would wait to see the falls with them and share in the amazement. ... read more
Devil's Throat

South America » Argentina » Misiones » Posadas March 8th 2010

Posadas Posadas is placed at the shores of the Parana river and has a nice Costanera. I didn't spend too much time here. Instead, I used it as a base point from which to visit San Ignacio. If you follow the Costanera you will eventually get to the Puente Internacional which connects with Paraguay, right across the river. It's a very large, impressive bridge. San Ignacio The whole area around San Ignacio and Posadas is famous for the jesuit missions it holds. These not only in Argentina, but also in neighbouring Brazil and Paraguay. Of these the most well-known and well-kept is in San Ignacio. The bus dropped us off at a tourism agency where the people were very kind in giving us all the info we needed and some more (they had to sell SOMETHING). ... read more
San Ignacio
national park adventure
national park adventure

South America » Argentina » Chaco » Resistencia March 6th 2010

Resistencia Known for its sculptures and unbearable heat. This was my first exposure to 40+°C. I spent a good deal of the daytime in the hostel. I arrived on Saturday and found a very poor tourist infrastructure. I didn't expect anything fancy, but a tourist information office would have been great. I actually spent some time chasing a phantom tourist office because the locals don't seem to really know where anything is in the city and, if they do, they don't know how to give directions (this conclusion was not drawn carelessly - I had many instances to back my results). I arrived on Saturday at 7am or so and finally found a hostel at 3pm, with no map. Resistencia proved to be mostly a waste of my time. But the sculptures were nice, even though ... read more
palo borracho tree

South America » Argentina » Entre Ríos March 2nd 2010

Rosario The home of Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the resting grounds of many soccer fans killed in all-too-common lynchings, and the bearer of the Argentinan Flag Monument, Rosario is located North of BA and slightly west in the province of Santa Fe. The city is known for being quite picturesque due to outstanding architecture, art, and - as every Argentinan man kept on reminding me - the women. Have no worries about the last item. On the flip side, Rosario is known to be also a dangerous place, almost on the same level as BA. I have so far had no troubles in Argentina even though I have taken my share of risks. Whether Argentinans exagerate or not about crime in their country, I couldn't say. The Flag Monument is an outstanding sculptural and architectural piece. It ... read more
Flag monument
Flag monument

South America February 26th 2010

Upon arrival in the airport of Buenos Aires, I searched for a nice spot on the granite floor to await the arrival of dawn while I pursued the elusive sleep I lacked. The air hostesses had thought it was a good idea to wake us up for dinner at midnight. Bah. In the morning I was able to find a cheap, smoky hostel in the middle of Buenos Aires, near its most imposing monument, the Obelisk. The Obelisk is certainly not the only monument in the city - the number of all the monuments in Buenos Aires would probably be in the hundreds! I took a few pictures as a sampler. My first jaunt around this world-reknown city told me much about it. The way my shirt stuck to my body and the water drops waiting ... read more
La Boca
buenos aires building
La Boca

South America » Argentina » Tierra del Fuego » Ushuaia February 26th 2010

Trip - Strait of Magellan The odyssey began on Saturday at 2am with a pilgimage to the bus station. I was to make a connection in Rio Gallegos at 8am and then travel to Rio Grande with an ETA of 4:30pm. The first leg of the trip was timed perfectly. So it was that we left Rio Gallegos on time, with good weather. Weather, however, was not our concern - we were going to have to cross into Chile and then back into Argentina to reach our destination. The Chilean controls at Chille-Argentina border crossings have so far proven to be a real drag, so two of them in one day bore heavily on everyone's moods. Sure enough, the first border crossing took nearly 4 hours, pushing up my ETA to 8:30pm. The second border ... read more
glaciar el Marcial

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