Fergus Hamilton


Fergus Hamilton

This is my once-in-a-lifetime, round-the-world gap-year trip-

We're now in sleepy Livingstone, home to the Garifuna commmunity, the only Black-Caribbean inhabitants of Guatemala. They qre descendents of runaway slaves who mixed with indigenous peoples in the Caribbean. In the eighteenth century they were then forcibly moved to Roatan, off Honduras, by the British, before fanning out over the next two hundred years to the coasts of Honduras, Guatemala and Belize. Complicated. Livingstone is pretty chilled and perhaps a little shabby but I do rather like it, it's at the mouth of a large river, only accesible by boat and you can watch pelicans hunting from the hammocks in our little hostel's garden. We have just come from an island just next to Roatan, Utila, home to more Garifuna but also a more recent colonist- lunatics. To put it in context, Utila is a ... read more
End of course night on Utila
TreeTanic Detail

After three years, I'm sweeping off the internautical dust to keep all my fascinated friends and family up to date with my holiday travelling. I've recently been to Morocco and Istanbul, but Cental America has, even after a mere three days, proved itself well worth the extra long flight (which consisted of watching films anyway). Landing after dark in Guatemala city; which I'm reliably informed is "like a bomb landed in a giant toilet and rubbish tip", we decided to save its dubious charms for the night before our flight home and head straight for Antigua, the tourist, and former poltical, capital. Having braced my patience for hordes of annoying cabbies and my buttocks for some pretty dodgy roads, I almost couldn't believe it that we easily tagged along in a friend's shuttle taxi, sped along ... read more
Too nice?
Creepy Mannequins
No Se

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco » Cusco July 31st 2010

As the intervals between blogs grows wider my trip grows ever shorter, I'm now in my last few weeks and days. It feels very strange as I can clearly remember having the 'I'm just starting my trip' conversation way back in Bangkok. Since my last entry I've been to many of 'must see's in South America, notably the Death Road, Salt Flats and THE must see, Machu Pichu. The Death Road and Machu Pichu were indeed fantastic, the same, unfortunately can not be said for the Salt Flats... Essentially the Salt Flats of Uyuni in Bolivia are the remains of a large and ancient inland sea that dried up leaving a huge expanse of pure white salt, peppered with some cactus covered 'islands'. A popular option when visiting is to extend the trip to three days ... read more
From Huayna Pichu
Salt Flats Tour

'Infested', to me, always seemed a certainty to be an exagerration when describing waters home to crocodiles. Rats can infest a sewer or lice a head of hair, but how can something as large as a crocodile truly infest something? I thought- surely each crocodile- in my child's knowledge of zoology ranking alongside a lion or a tiger- needs a similarly large area? . That was until I visited the Pampas here in Bolivia. We took a three day tour which mostly revolves around going up and down the river spotting wildlife. Spotting implies some sort of difficulty, which there wasn't. Every 50m will be about 3 or 4 crocodiles (or alligators I never know them apart) basking in the sun and they really do look like logs. That was something I also used to think- ... read more
River Turtles
Rather Close for Comfort
Sunset on Pampas

South America » Bolivia » Potosí Department » Potosi June 16th 2010

I'm now in Potosi in Bolivia- it's not been 'fun' per se since Tilcara, but worthwhile. From Tilcara we headed north to the border with Bolivia- a pastiche of an inefficient Latin American frontier; the booths to get both entry and exit stamps were next to one another in a room about as big as my living room, with only one door and of course no signs to tell you what was where or who was queuing for what, not that the instinct to queue here is strong, indeed, quite the opposite. Nevertheless we (about 6 gringos struggling together with the sheer stupidity of it) got over after about 2 hours and boarded a train, or rather the train- there are only 4 a week- which took us the 10 hours to Uyuni, where we stayed ... read more

South America » Argentina » Salta » Salta June 11th 2010

Hello all, I left the tango, clubs and sophistication of Buenos Aires behind and have headed up country, first to Iguazu Falls, thence to Salta. I was a little sad to leave, having made some great friends, none of whom, sadly were coming this way, but also excited to hit the road again. It's been wonderful so far, it feels like I've only just arrived I'm so excited by everything. You may not have heard of Iguazu Falls, but I don't know how they aren't more famous. Higher than Niagara they aren't one cascade but 150 stretched across nearly 3 kilometres of sub-tropical rainforest, divided by small islands, with trees hanging precariously onto the edges. They are beautiful, but also tremendous- easily the most awesome thing I've ever seen. There are walkways to allow you into ... read more
Alemania Valley

South America » Argentina June 2nd 2010

Before grammar people (as I normally am) get on my back I dont know how to make apostrophes so everything will look a bit wrong. Im currently in a weird travelling hiatus. In Asia it was three nights somewhere, hop on a bus, two somewhere else, more travelling. Ive been in BA for nearly ten days now, learning Spanish. Its been amazing not to have to pack my bloody rucksack every two days and I actually hung up an item of clothing (!). The flight was, again, empty, so once again I was pampered by Qantas, who I now love, for twelve hours as I watched amazing films- I really never thought Id actually enjoy flying. The downside was the jet lag. I pretty much didnt have a body clock when I arrived- I took off ... read more

Oceania » Australia » New South Wales » Sydney » Kings Cross May 21st 2010

Wider still and wider shall the gaps between blogs grow apparently. As you can see I'm now in Sydney for a brief sojourn of a few days before heading East to the Western Hemisphere and Buenos Aires. I left off in Luang Prabang if I remember correctly. There I met up with Chris and Paul and two Welsh guys, Christian and Alex, whom they picked up along the way. I had to wait a day for them, in which time I visited some waterfalls with a Greek woman and two Spanish men, one of whom looked like Jesus. At first, not that I don't like waterfalls I was expecting more of the very nice but standard issue waterfalls that any self-respecting backpacker stop boasts, I was quite wrong. I didn't know that places actually existed that ... read more

Asia » Laos » West » Luang Prabang May 8th 2010

Since my last blog I've done rather a lot so I won't even try to describe all of it. In short I've been to Halong Bay, done some trekking in Sapa and come into Laos, making my way to the former capital of Luang Prabang. Sapa was very good, we were drinking on the last night with some local people, who were great fun, although one girl, who was a bit drunk, was playfighting with us, which was fine at first, but eventually quite painful, she sort of rugby tackled me at one point and started tickling me with these great long nails like needles, but I laugh/grimaced it off. I was quite relieved when i got to bed. The trip into Laos was something I will never forget- it has been branded indelibly onto my ... read more

Asia April 27th 2010

Had a bit of a dash up the coast, something like 750 miles in 5 days, 2 spent on buses! The first was fine, I slept most of the way. The second, after a cock-up by the ticket office ended up being a sitting-up bus with no toilet, full of Vietnamese people. It could, I suppose, have been worse; the film, an ersatz Jackie Chan affair, was played at a considerate volume, people didn't play music and there was one other English-speaker (an Austrian) for me to talk to. I even managed to sleep and to top it all, it was a mere 14 hours, rather than the advertised 19 so not so bad. Perhaps more interesting than the minutae of my bus journeys, my destinations are a touch more interesting. The main sites in Central ... read more

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