Travel

28
Dec
2005
James

The Haitian side of things

!77240488[small][alignright] yeah, haiti. i didnt make it inside because i left my passport with the motorcycle rental company. a mistake, because i really did want to cross the border and see what it was like there. there are plenty of hatians here in the DR and from what i can gather from other travelers and locals is that its not really as dangerous as everyone (eg, media in the US) makes it out to be.

29
Oct
2005
James

Consumer downsizing

Today was an exercise in life simplification. The routine equaled any other saturday spent grounded in the city; slept in late… struggled through a midday capoeira workout… enduring the dreary ride back home across the city… and so it continued, but with one subtle difference. Today I began what is probably considered one of the more difficult tasks of preparing for liftoff: reducing clutter.

Travel Checklist

Globetrekking takes guts and a little bit of planning. Here’s my personal check list of items not to leave at home. a special thanks to sol whose personal packing list is where I found much of the items listed here.

I’ve chosen to keep brand names down to a minimum with the hopes that people will make their own informed decisions on products to purchase. exceptions were made for brands that “define” a product, e.g. Band-Aid or Zip-Lock

01
Aug
2004
James

travel bug

Near the end of my trip (actually the day I was supposed to be back in the USA – ah the irony) I caught the south american travel bug after eating a seafood burrito. It was the most expensive thing on the menu and at US$4.50, I even found myself complaining about the price! (Almost as much as one night stay at my penthouse suite in the little beach town of Montanita Ecuador). It was a delicious plate, but it effectively ruined the next few days of my life in what was supposed to be a relaxing time at the beach with Carolina and her family.

08
Jun
2004
James

Asuncion Paraguay

The brilliant Rio Paraguay divides the country for which it is named into two distinct regions: the eastern plateau has well nourished grasslands and subtropical forests and the western Gran Chaco region offers a dry expanse of inhospitable plain, much the same as our american midwest. We found Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, to be less than thrilling. Although it sits on the banks of the beautiful river, it offers no malecon (boardwalk) nor many views at all from city center.

07
Jun
2004
James

shades of green

!1384256[small][alignright]We crossed the Iguazú river into the town of Foz Do Iguaçu in Brazil first thing in the morning. This city was considerably larger than its Argentinean counterpart, Puerto Iguazú and passing through there was somewhat like stepping back into Ecuador, vendors on the streets jumping on and off busses selling their goods to the passengers… more akin to the pace of other third world frontier cities we had been through near the beginning of our trip.

06
Jun
2004
James

Into the Heart of Darkness

Iguazu Falls, from GreatestPlaces.orgThe two day journey from Colonia Uruguay to our inland destination of Iguazú Falls up the Rio Paraná wasnt exactly a trip into the heart of darkness, however it was rather boring and slow, just like the book. I guess also like the book the climax hit once we reached our final destination.

06
Jun
2004
James

garganta del diablo

The city bus picked us up at the same station where we arrived earlier that morning and hauled us and the handful of other tourists out of town about 8 km to the National Park. I was completely baffled at how few gringos there were aboard, as well as in the park. Most everyone around us were actually speaking Spanish or some indigenous dialect. There were many indigenous people in the park selling their carved crafts and jewelry spread out on small blankets, the same they use to wrap up their goods and carry on their back.

04
Jun
2004
James

Smuggling Contraband through Uruguay

So we’ve got about a month left to make it back to Ecuador, on the other side of this continent, with such a variety of things to see between here and there, we were feeling the rush of our trip coming slowing to an end. In montevideo we had to figure out how we could make it up to Iguazú falls some 1000 kilometers away. It would clearly require us to travel back into Argentina, but the problem was there was no direct bus from Montevideo. We decided that it would be worthwhile before leaving Uruguay (after a stay of only2 days!) to visit the small port city of Colonia de Sacramento.

03
Jun
2004
James

Mate in Montevideo

We spent Thursday walking around the Uruguayan capital city, of which I cant really think of anything for which it might be famous. This city and perhaps all of Uruguay in general have a distinct aire. I believe that the warmth of the people and their interesting cultural and social habits, mixed with the exceptionally calm temperate climate creates what I’m experiencing here as an overall buena onda.

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