Freddie Schwest


Freddie Schwest

I'm currently planning, or attempting to plan, a trip walking the Camino de Santiago in either May or June 2011. I'm buzzing with excitement to the point where I can't really plan very well, or study for the exams and essays I have to do before then, but who cares, it's an adventure!

Apart from that, I'm a 24-year-old journalism student from England, currently living in Stoke-on-Trent, who is suffering serious withdrawal symptoms from not having ventured out into the big wide world (globally - I'm not a shut in) since Mexico 2009.

Europe » Spain » Galicia » Cape Finisterre July 14th 2011

Well, this is it. The end of the line. After six weeks of walking I've run out of land. I'm writing this from Cape Finisterre, which until Columbus(?) was the end of the known world, the edge of something that no one at that time, and probably today as well, could really grasp at convincingly. Grandiose words I know. I can already hear the 'pretentious siren' sounding around town. Any moment now a crew of Spanish rednecks are going to crash through the windows of this net-cafe and beat me into a gibbering, ignorant wreck. But until that happens, you're going to have to put up with needlessly extravagant descriptions of otherwise unnoteworthy feelings or places. Having said that, all self-indulgence aside, this place really has something special about it. Yesterday, upon arriving, I walked to ... read more
Cape Finisterre
The End of the World

Europe » Spain » Castile & León » Castrojeriz June 15th 2011

There are many ways you can tell that the night before crossed some kind of line in terms of decency. People may glance at you with newfound suspicion. An earthy, vaguely unnatural smell may fill the air. Or, in my case, you may be awoken half an hour after the official check out time by an old Spanish man repeatedly smacking you in the face with a walking stick. If you ever experience this particular reintroduction to real life, you should definitly assume the worst. I'm not sure exactly which of my or my accomplices crimes warranted such viscious action by this bastard of a Spaniard, but it can't have been good. The night started innocently enough. A simple meal with a few fellow pilgrims oiled with quality red wine. Then a move to another bar ... read more
La Meseta
Burgos Cathedral

Firstly, I feel a sincere need to apologise for not updating this earlier. Post-Tetris technology seems ridiculously rare in northern Spain which, combined with a torturous lack of energy and a spiralling addiction to red wine has conspired to make typing near impossible. My present situation highlights this pretty well, sitting in some dark, cold computer room in the middle of nowhere, having slugged through rain and mud for six hours to reach here, grasping a beer and struggling to stay awake. Thinking about it, it's a ludicrous thing to voluntarily put yourself through, but todays shitty weather has been the only downside of a so far outrageously awesome, yet truly bizarre trip. Well, I guess I'll start at the beginning, as trying to chop up time into some form of ludicrously complex written entertainment is ... read more
Extreme Sunburn Protection
One of the Many Spanish Towns So Far Stumbled Through
Logroño Church

North America » Mexico » Oaxaca » Puerto Escondido December 2nd 2009

One of the best things about hopping around countries like some drunk fugitive is occasionally you arrive somewhere you only heard of the day before, and it turns out to be fantastic. Cuidad Valles is like that. I only stepped off the bus there as it seemed relatively near to Xilitla (pronounced Hi Hitler), which I'd read about in the guide, but what I found was an epicentre of extreme sports. Valles itself isn't particularly impressive. It hasn't got much of a nightlife, and can't really claim a ruin to put itself on the map. But it is situated 10 minutes driving distance from some of the best kayaking and white water rafting rivers in Mexico. That, coupled with zip lines, rockclimbing, canyoning (the art of jumping off cliffs into big pools of water) and pretty ... read more
El Tajín
Monte Alban

North America » Mexico » Nuevo Leon » Monterrey November 17th 2009

So, I've got about a month left now. I'm currently in Monterocco Hostel in Monterrey, spending an afternoon typing infront of a screen in the dark, as I've spent the last few days walking through the parks and city streets of this place, and I'm knackered. Monterrey is definitely one of the better places I've stayed in recently. I remember in Mexico City some yank questioning me with a perplexed look on his face as to why I wanted to travel north. I replied that I wanted to see all of Mexico, but with hinesight I can see what he meant. There are some awesome mountains and canyons in the north, which I'll get to, but everything else just seems to be industry. The fact that more people have died since 2008 in drug related violence ... read more
Barranca del Cobre
The River

North America » Mexico » Sinaloa » Mazatlan November 3rd 2009

I'm one of them people that buzzes off thunderstorms in Britain. There about as dramatic as our weather gets, apart from that bit of snow last New Year which caused central London to completely close down for a month. I always thought thunder and lightning were pretty entertaining, so when someone told me of a tropical storm brewing in the Pacific I was naively excited. That was untill the thing seemed to make landfall on the exact same street as my hotel. In hinesight it was entertaining, the thunder, lightning, intermittent breaks in the power supply. But when you have to barricade yourself inside your room using a desk and your 90kg rucksack, you can't help but think that things have gone a bit far. The door to my room was on the first floor, facing ... read more
Day of the Dead
El Catrina

North America » Mexico » Jalisco » Puerto Vallarta October 9th 2009

As you've all probably read, the trip up untill this point has been abit of a booze fuelled jaunt around Central America. So, in a faint detox effort, and to learn some much needed Spanish, I've gone back to school :S. I'm in Puerto Vallarta at the moment, a tropical tourist trap on the Pacific coast, packed with pubs, clubs, Spanish schools and the occasional American expat. For the last week I've just been going to classes (Christ, how mature) in the mornings and lazing around on the beach in the afternoons. Someone's got to do it. Apart from an unfortunate incident with the police in which I ended up losing $500 (about 20 pound) and a watch, hence the blog title telling local law enforcement where to stick it, it's been a pretty chilled week. ... read more
Volcan Paracutin
Salulita, near Puerto Vallarta
Spanish school..

North America » Mexico » Guanajuato » Guanajuato September 22nd 2009

I'm in Guanajuato. It's fucking amazing. You will never see me ever again. Some other cool things happenned in Mexico City, which I'll get to in a sec, but the sheer brilliance of a Mexican university town with 20,000 students and no rules cannot be emphasized enough. 'To party' is a verb and an occupation. It's a business. You can party with anyone in Guanajuato. It's like saying you work with someone. And it might just be the death of me. Mexican Independence Day is on September 15th. I'd heard rumblings that this was something not to be missed, but nothing could have prepared me for the violent explosion of patriotism that engulfed the main plaza of Mexico City. Traditionally, the President of Mexico recites the call to arms of Miguel Hedalgo, the priest who sparked ... read more
Universidad de Guanajuato
Street Art

Right, sorry about the brashness of this but I've got about twenty minutes on this thing that the hostal claim is a computer to upload some photo's and write something. Right. Where to start. Mexico City has to be the most of it's tits place on planet Earth. Strong words are needed to describe this place so if you're offended by swearing just look at the pictures. My hostal, the Hostal Joven Catedral, is about thirty seconds waklk from the Plaza de la Constitucion, a massive square in the middle of the city bordered on two sides by the cathedral and the main government offices. So as you can imagine, it's pretty much the centre of everything. I've been lucky to get five hours sleep since I got here. Not that I'm complaining... So, day one. ... read more
Outside the Estadio Azteca
90,000 Screaming Mexicans
The Temple of Quatzcoatl

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