Purple Haze

Purple Haze

Purple Haze

I love to travel and am an amateur photographer. This blog is designed to record Mojo's and my trip around South America. Keeping friends in the loop, and allaying the fears of our parents.

Purple Haze, is not some reference to an existential drug related experience, but some form of homage to my favourite musician, whose song this blog is named after, it was about a dream.

We are living the dream...

South America » Argentina » Misiones » Iguazú National Park November 28th 2013

Sorry folks, lots of waterfall pics here.... We have seen some amazing sights on this trip, but Iguazu Falls is way up there on the list, and a fantastic last spectacle to make a journey out to see, as we only have one week left on this magical trip. Like Machu Pichu, and the other big tourist draw cards in Latin America, it has a wide gamut of people visiting the place, but is well spaced out, and managed efficiently that it is quite a pleasant place to stroll around. However, at this time of year it is damn hot. I thought that 4 months of central american heat would put us in good stead, but, wow it is steaming out this way. I knew the falls would be spectacular, but did not know what to ... read more
Getting wet at the Devils Throat
The Devils Throat
View up the Devils Throat

The San Blas islands are an archipelago located in the Kuna Yala district in the Caribbean sea off Panama, however they do stretch all the way down to Colombia. Only around 15% are inhabited, with the rest comprising of a small piece of sand and some coconut trees, just above sea level. They represent to me the typical picture post card snapshot that you have in your head of the Caribbean, with aquamarine water, eye-burning bright white sand and the green of coconut palms. Underneath the water lies the world's third largest reef. On our first stay in Panama City a few months back, we had found a good company to do a trip with out to the islands, and it made it easy for us to arrange as we burnt our way down south from ... read more
Isla Achutupo
Mojo enjoying the sun at Isla Achutupo
One of the many small islands

The main tip when trekking in Corcovado National Park is to pack light, meaning that clothes need to be re-worn over multiple days. By the second day of our trek, we could not determine if the terrible smell was from rotting carcases, schools of Peccaries, poo being thrown at us by Spider Monkeys, or just ourselves. By the end of the trek, our clothes smelt so bad that it was gut churning, and some of them had to be thrown out, as they were not salvageable. In fact they probably could have thrown themselves in the bin... Corcovado is rated by National Geographic as the world's third best National Park, and the most biologically intense place in the world. It is one of the few remaining areas of lowland tropical rainforest left, and due to its ... read more
Crocodile coming in from the sea into Sirena River
Scarlet Macaw
Chestnut-Mandibled Toucan

On a map, it looks like it is a relatively short distance to get from San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua, to the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica on the far south west coast. It took us 3 solid days of travelling, totalling 31 hours of travel time, utilising 10 buses in the process. We had given ourselves 6 days to make the journey south, with a few days allowance to break up the fairly torturous travelling. Before we left San Juan del Sur, we spent another 6 fabulous days there before the hordes started rolling in, and the dynamic and energy of the place changed. We spent 16 days there in total, over 2 different stretches, and saw the place change from a quiet little town, to gringo ground zero with the restaurants and bars ... read more
Ice cream time in San Juan del Sur
Lunch drinks
Average lunch for $2.50

We ended up staying another two nights in San Juan del Sur, and find ourselves back here after visiting Isla de Ometepe for 5 nights. Ometepe is an island made up of two impressive volcano's in the middle of lake Nicaragua, Concepcion and Maderas, the later which we climbed. The journey to get there involved our first chicken bus ride, a taxi, a ferry, another chicken bus and finally one more taxi. The chicken buses are so called because sometimes you could find yourself sitting next to someone carrying a chicken. They are old 1950's and 60's American school buses, and are usually done up with crazy graffiti and flashing lights on the outside, and decked out with a good sound system on the inside. Most have extra large mufflers attached and the sound of the ... read more
Ferry ride to Isla Ometepe
Hummingbird loving a plantain flower
The jungle on Volcan Maderas

Flor de Caña is Nicaragua's, and Latin America's finest rum, and over the last week a group of us have drunk enough to keep the company afloat for many years to come.The border crossing from Costa Rica into Nicaragua was quite a hectic one, with full luggage searches and the buses fumigated inside and out as we stood under a big open outdoor roof area sweating away and politely shooing away the numerous money exchangers and spruikers selling all sorts of wares, from hammocks to chewing gum. Departing the bus at Rivas ... read more
Sunset at Playa Maderas
Expecting to see a pirate ship sail past
Shane and Daina preparing the fish

After a two hour boat ride and a four hour bus ride interspersed with two breakdowns in the middle of nowhere due to break failures, we arrived ragged and tired in La Fortuna. Checking into our hostel, we found out that we were the only people staying there. The tourist town usually a hive of activity during peak season was now empty, with just a splattering of gringo's and locals wandering around. Most people come here to view the active Volcan Arenal that towers over the town, and to enjoy the hot springs that stream out of the volcano. There are numerous fancy hotels, including a 5 star place, that have been built next to the hot springs and charge a ridiculous amount of money to visit the springs. However, there is a free one that ... read more
Keeled Bill Toucans
Emerald Hummingbird
Green Viper

It is an impressive sight seeing a large Caribbean Green Turtle lay over a hundred eggs to the point of exhaustion, and then expending whatever remaining energy on faultlessly covering in the nest. We were privileged to witness this on our one night in Tortuguero, near the border with Nicaragua on the Caribbean coast. She was a big creature, well over 1m in length and the eggs were the size of ping pong balls, strategically placed in the deep nest like one of the clown machines that you always seem to lose money on at a local fare. Unfortunately we did not get to see her haul herself out of, or back into the ocean, as the whole process takes a very long time, but what a surreal experience, standing in the middle of nowhere watching ... read more
Canoeing through Tortuguero National Park
Green Heron

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Limón » Cahuita September 30th 2013

After an easy border crossing, we found ourselves in Costa Rica. The original intention was to go Puerto Viejo, but instead we have stumbled across a great, sleepy little town called Cahuita, about 30 minutes north, which borders a beautiful coastline national park. We have scored well here too, finding really cheap accommodation in a private cabin next to the beach. The cabin is rustic, but to have our own little private space, including a kitchen, is gold. For one week we will not have to time our cooking as to when there is a hot plate or bench space available. We even have our own fridge, it may not sound like much, but after 7 months of trying to find some space in a common, and usually bacteria infected fridge, it is a nice home ... read more
Dragonfly in Cahuita National Park
Sloth in Cahuita National Park
This little guy eats almonds while we eat breakfast

Who would have thought that a 10 minute boat ride would bring you to such a different place, but Isla Bastementos is very unique. The thumping sounds of reggaeton at night heard back on Isla Colon, are replaced here with roaring howler monkeys, deafening frogs and thousands of birds. Everyone is super laid back, dozing in hammocks while listening to Bob Marley and speaking Gali Gali, a Creole language that combines Afro-Antillean English, Spanish and Ngöbe-Buglé. Crazy characters are abound, and when combined with the natural beauty of the place, it really does feel like a totally different world to the one we have been travelling through. Shane said the place has a touch of Looney Tunes about it, and it is a perfect analogy. We stayed in Isla Colon until the Sunday in order to ... read more
Red Frog
Beach south of Red Frog
Boat back from Red Frog

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