Another Continent that seems to be a firm favourite among backpackers due to its diversity and value for money.Argentina is one country in particularly where you can dine out on a massive steak and potatoes every day with a gorgeous bottle of Malbec cheaply. Enjoy the regular people and wander on Ipanema beach in Rio De Janeiro.
Editors note you should first add cold water and leave it 2-3mins to swell the mate. This prevents the pipe getting blocked and also stops you getting boiling tea burns! You add boiling water after that and leave again 2-3 mins.
It has been a tough morning ! But only because the metro doesnt go close by Recoletta. I'm having lunch while typing at la poesia on Chile in Buenos Aires.
Had a slight delay at Heathrow, which meant I missed my connecting flight to Buenos Aires (BA) and so was stuck in Sao Paulo for 5 hours.. not to much of a problem as I sat in the Business lounge.. who said this backpacking stuff was supposed to be bad?
Well its been ages since I have updated the journal, I guess keeping in touch is hard whether your traveling or working…anyway, I have to apologize for keeping it brief, I don’t want to bore any of you..
After leaving the jungle covered in bites, tried to leave La Paz for Cocacabana (not the one in Rio) with the aim of seeing Lake Titicaca, and some of the islands. I say tried to leave as Bolivia was in the middle of political unrest, and so there were endless roadblocks, riots etc. However, I had a window of opportunity, as there was a big fiesta on, and so the roadblocks ceased so that they can get people in and out for the weekend.. However, it wasn’t all plain sailing – I was suppose to catch my bus (which I got the ticket for free after some smooth talking) to Cocacabana at 10am, but the night before I got back to the hostel and got a message so say that we now leaving at 4am to avoid any potential road blocks.. not the thing you want to hear at 1am. So I sit there in the reception at 4am, a bit worse for wear.. and I don’t get picked up till 9.30am.. not a happy camper, but this is south America and so you things happen when they happen. Got to the lake in the end, a lovely little town, and the following morning took a boat at to Isla de Sol for a half day trek.. the following day headed to Puno, which is on the Peruvian side of the lake..
I know I haven't updated what I have done for a few weeks, but I have to update you on my most recent experience in South America... “Tinkuy Ritual Fighting”
In Machu, which is north of Potosi, they carry out annually the “Festival of the Cross”, whose origins date back to the pre-Inca times. In this festival they give thanks to the Cross and Christ, as well as Andean Gods and Mother Earth to celebrate the annual harvest.
Seeing that I was in South America, it was time to head to the Amazon.. the jungle, and not the River. The staring point for trips to the Amazon Basin in Bolivia is Rurrenbaque (Rurre) you have two ways to get there.. and awful and painstaking 16hr+ bus ride, or a flight for less than an hour.. so being lazy, I took the flight! As soon as landing in Rurre, I was off to start a 3 day Pampas Trip (basically being taken around by motorized canoe along the river) and a 2 day Jungle trip (mainly walking around the jungle). In the office, I was joined by the rest of my group, luckily enough for me 4 girls â€“ much to the envy of all the other groups! To get the canoe, involved a rather dull 3 hour drive, but it least it gives you an opportunity to know the people you're spending the next few days with.
Rio de Janeiro is a vast and exciting city. You should certainly plan ahead for where to stay and what you might like to see. With something for all tastes the city could be the most attractive travel hub for other parts of Brazil and may well be your entry point with many options for flights into the country.
In the north of Brazil is Bahia and Itacarè where you will find a very real Brazil and its a great backpacking destination it's especially popular as a place where you can learn to surf or even try it as the waves are nicely tame and predictable. The region is rich in culture for others and you might like to take some time to explore towns and beaches nearby. Salvador would be such a town and deserves a separate mention.
Notable Locations: National Park Old Providence McBean Lagoon and Crab Cay (Cayo Cangrejo)
The locals claim that Providencia’s 32km long double barrier reef is the second largest in the Caribbean (after Belize’s reef). But scuba diving is not the only reason to visit Colombia’s Providencia Island.
The perfect place to get on a horse. During your 3 hour ride surrounded by mountain peaks- those of the Andes adds to the experience. The Cocora valley was named a wildlife sanctuary in 1985 to help protect Colombia's national tree the Wax Palm. Located in the Quindio district itself belonging to the Parque Nacional de los Nevados. You can also take 1 of 3 Hiking trails to enjoy the valley.
The Wax Palm stands at 60m almost 200ft high!
Only had 10 days here, so couldn’t do the country justice. One thing I have to say, I felt safer walking around Bogotá, then I did in La Paz. In a nutshell.. 2 days in Bogotá exploring the city.. 4 days in a town called Medellin.. partying.. the women here are the best in the world.. then finished off Columbia spending the last few days on the Caribbean coast.. playing volleyball, and more partying. Short and sweet, but really didn’t do too much.
Residents of Quito, Ecuador sometimes refer to their hometown as ciudad de los campanarios: “city of bell towers.” It’s not hard to see why.
With over 80 churches inside the city limits, Quito’s skyline is crowded with domes and soaring spires, giving the world’s second-highest capital a luminous, transcendent quality unlike any other in Latin America. Other quiteño nicknames for the city are equally celestial: “city of swallows,” “eternal city,” “little face of God.”
The young man in the red bandana passed me three times in the tight confines of Cusco’s “Gringo Alley”, each time repeating his pitch, “Marijuana, cocaine, and Ayahuasca.”I wasn’t interested in the drugs, but I was curious. Everyone knows marijuana and cocaine but I wondered what the third one was. Ayahuasca, he told me was a drug with ancient and divine meaning to Andean people. He offered to be my guide into the spirit world; a trip that would give me enlightenment and wisdom. He claimed to be an Inca shaman. I declined this dubious offer of enlightenment, but became intrigued by Andean psychedelic shamanism.
Lima was a culturally important territory for both the pre-Columbian inhabitants of Peru and those who arrived to the coastal region with the destructive Spanish Conquest. Today, the country’s history and culture can be explored through a number of nationally significant museums in the Central district of the capital.
By Naomi C. Kumar
The Amazon is hailed as the most biodiverse place on Earth – hundreds of birds, mammals and insects call this tropical rainforest home. After Brazil, Peru contains most of the deep jungle. In fact, more than half of Peru is the Amazon! Travelers here often want to see the coastlines of Lima, the mountains of Cusco or the lake of Puno, but many miss this not-so-hidden treasure.
If you like the comforts of hotel life, or even indoor life, the rainforest is not for you. This may seem an unnecessary disclaimer, buts many people think they’d like to spend some time in the great outdoors only to find themselves in sincere withdrawal from the modern world.
From Puno, was my intention to see the Floating Islands on Lake Titicaca, but as was now becoming apparent.. the south Americans will strike over anything, and at anytime. As was my luck, I picked the day to do the islands when the islanders were striking against the government and so but a blockade of boats on the lake to stop any tourists going out to see the floating Islands (also known as Reed Islands).. however, the cheeky gits actually got us on the boat and attempted to go… which made for amusements, as they all had guns, and so the police had to be called out to clear the blockade, after some standoff the police told us to come back to land.