Sarah BG and John G

The John and Sarah Show

Sarah BG and John G

We are South American nomads loving our lives.

So like we said, there is no road between Colombia and Panama. Also the flights are outrageously expensive. We decided to make our way across the Caribbean to Panama at a more leisurely pace--about 5 MPH to be exact. We originally planned on carefully selecting our captain and vessle for the trip but it didn´t quite work out that way. The reality is that the sailboats leave very irregularly and you must work around their schedules and demand for spots on the boats. For the dates we needed to leave Cartagena, we had one choice: Remi. Glorious Captain Remi. Remi´s reputation proceded him. We had heard many things about this crusty French captain, but one thing was consistent: his taste for cheap rum. He was impossible to communicate with, speaking in a strange mix of unconjugated ... read more
He really is a monkey
San Blas sunset
Palm trees everywhere

South America » Colombia » Bogota April 22nd 2008

Our expectations surpassed ten-fold, we ended our three week journey through Ecuador with an overland border crossing to Colombia. Yes Mom, Colombia. Colombia is a country that was not even on our radar when left the States last September, but conversations with fellow backpackers convinced us that we had to see Colombia. To most Americans ( who, let´s face it, are not the most adventurous people), Colombia is a place to avoid. But why? I guess most people think of cocaine cartels and FARC guerillas, both of which are not nearly as prominent as they were 20 years ago. Apparently President Uribe has made Colombia much safer. That said, a lot of Colombians (those who aren´t rich) still hate his guts. As we write this blog, Colombia has been in negotiations with the U.S. to work ... read more
The Pilgrimage
Museo de Oro (Gold Museum)
Kissing Ass

South America » Ecuador April 6th 2008

We officially nominate Ecuador as the most underrated country in South America. We are actually doing it a huge unjustice by only writing one blog for the entire time we spent there, but we are now finally caught up (so you are reading this in real time). You have to know we really liked it, because despite an armed robbery, a brush with tetanus and some of the worst altitude-enduced hangovers imaginable (we spent the better part of our 3 weeks here in the highlands, at an elevation of 9000 ft.), it still managed to be one of our favorite countries. Usually John and I alternate writing each blog entry, but this week we're sharing. Just so you know. We crossed into Ecuador at the Rio Verde border, allegedly the "sketchiest border crossing in South America," ... read more
Alberto Pulla, master of the Panama hat
Random Architechure
What says easter more?

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Miraflores March 18th 2008

After about a week in the Sacred Valley, our oxygen-starved bodies returned to Lima, the coast, sea-level, 0 feet! The oxygen filled air, however polluted, was abundant and never tasted so sweet. For whatever reason, we never realized the 8 million of people of Lima lived right on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. I guess that, on some level, we imagined that all of Peru was situated in the mountains and only indigenous cultures existed. Not true. While the majority of Lima can described as slums, the area of the city we visited was quite Westernized. Miraflores, the upscale neighborhood of Lima, sandwiched between the coast and the historical center, could have been any coastal city in the United States or elsewhere. Full of American restaurants, Las Vegas-style casinos and shopping malls, Miraflores was a ... read more
Unknown church at dusk

South America » Peru » Cusco » Cusco March 11th 2008

We had been worried that after so many months of build-up, of seeing other people´s photos and hearing over and over again how incredible Machu Picchu is, that the reality could be a little bit of a letdown, that we would feel like we should be more excited than we actually would feel upon seeing the world´s most famous pile of stones for ourselves. We had nothing to worry about. The reality of Machu Picchu was so much more incredible than we could ever have imagined. The geographical setting is absolutely mindblowing, with the "Lost City of the Incas" nestled in between two huge green mountains, with a awe-inspiring view down two valleys...what a location they picked for themselves. And the city itself is unbelievably impressive and still very much intact for a structure built over ... read more
Machu Picchu
From the entrance
The main square

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Ilha Grande March 6th 2008

We know we already claimed we found Paradise two blogs ago, and we hate to sound like brats, but we are pretty sure this time, we found Paradise. For real. The final leg of our Brazil trip was spent on the famed Costa Verde, the coastline between Rio de Janeiro and the Sao Paulo state. The Costa Verde can be described as hundreds of miles of tropical coastline and islands with one perfect beach after another. After a 2 hour drive south from Rio down the Costa Verde and a 1.5 hour boat ride, we arrived at the lush and laid back Ilha Grande. We stayed in the small port town of Abraao, the only major settlement on the entire island. The port town has lots of boats and dessert carts, but not a single automobile ... read more
Deserted cobblestone streets

South America » Brazil » Rio de Janeiro » Rio de Janeiro » Ipanema February 27th 2008

La "Ciudad Maravillosa," the Marvelous City. That´s what Rio de Janeiro is known as, and we have to is pretty spectacular. It´s hard to argue for a more impressive geographical setting for a city. Long stretches of soft sand beaches framed by huge green mountains jutting out of the sea line the city on one side, while the rest of the city wraps itself around Parque Nacional da Tijuca, the largest urban park in the world. Seen as a whole--which we had the opportunity to do from two of Rio's most famous landmarks, Sugarloaf (1325 ft high) and Corcovado Mountain (2800 ft)--Rio really is breathtaking. Every day we would wake up from the top of our three-story bunkbeds and immediately go outside to see if we could find Jesus. But every day, the enormous Christ ... read more
Flamengo fans

South America » Brazil » Santa Catarina » Florianópolis February 19th 2008

Imagine this...a huge tropical island off the Southern coast of Brazil. This island is encircled by massive, green mountains full of exotic flora and fauna. Surrounding the island are 42 beautiful beaches, one for every person´s taste. On the east side of the island is a crystal clear lake, big enough for every kind of watersport imaginable, or for just relaxing in the knee deep water that seems to go on forever. The only things separating this lake from the Atlantic Ocean are huge rolling sand dunes with warm, oasis-like pools and lush pine trees. This is Florianopolis. More accurately Ilha Santa Catarina and most people head straight to the paradisical town of Lagoa, so named because it surrounds the lake that I just described. We stayed at a wonderful hostel (Tucano House if you´re heading ... read more
I can fly!
Sweating balls

South America » Argentina » Entre Ríos » Gualeguaychú February 9th 2008

Elaborate costumes. Sensual dancing. Colorful floats. Exuberent music. Body glitter. Plastic breasts covered with bejewelled pasties. Carnaval. The biggest, craziest celebration in South America. We had arrived. Everyone knows about Brazil's famous Carnaval celebrations, but most people probably don't know that pretty much every country in Latin America has their own unique way of celebrating. Since these are all officially Catholic countries, they use this opportunity to go wild before Lent and its fasting begins. While Brazil's celebrations may be the most elaborate, it is also extremely expensive to attend and isn't necessarily the safest environment. We decided to experience Carnaval Argentina-style. We had flown back to BsAs from Patagonia to take care of some business (obtaining our Brazilian visas, changing our plane tickets, etc.) and bid farewell to our friend... read more
Photo 2
Photo 12
Photo 19

After 46 hours of busing in 3.5 days, we finally arrived. The southernmost point of our adventure: El Calafate and El Chalten, both situated in Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. These glaciers are another example of Argentina´s national wonders that we had no idea even existed until we got down here. That's one of the coolest things about traveling, you get to see and experience amazing things that you had no idea even existed. Sure, everyone knows about Maccu Pichu, The Great Wall, Mount Everest, etc. but for every one of those places, there are 10 more just waiting to be discovered. Things were about to get hardcore. As Californians, these glaciers and the icebergs that come crashing off of them were a rare and special sight (though honestly, seeing these has got to be a pretty ... read more
Blue Tunnel
Upsalla Glacier
There it is!

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