February 11, 2004

Freakin Hot

So Sarah and I arrived in Salvador, Brazil yesterday after about 27 hours of traveling, including a 7 hour lay over in Houston and a 9 hour flight from Houston to Sao Paulo. Sao Paulo didn┤t seem too hot but Salvador is quite steamy. I think it is about 30 degrees and about 100% humidity. We shelled out 70 reals for our own room last night so we could get some sleep, which was kind of hard to do because there was a band playing in the street right next to where we were staying. But in the end the noise didn┤t stop us from getting a good amount of sleep. Now we are just wandering around, looking for cheap bottled water and trying to figure out what to do next. I think that we might go inland for a few days before coming back for carnaval.

If anyone out there has a brain module for Portugese we could reall use one :) We tried reading over the phrase book on our flights but I don┤t think much sunk in and very few people here speak English. But we hope that since we are staying in a more popular hostel tonight that we will meet a lot more travellers and have some people to talk to.

A big thanks to Ritchie and Chris for letting us crash at their place before we left. I miss your chilly living room already :) We will post some pictures soon but this computer seems to have blocked most ports, including ssh, so I can┤t send a zip file of picts to antiflux and I don┤t want to use the web upload feature of gallery, so you┤ll have to wait for pictures.

Posted by bforsyth at 05:28 AM | Comments (9)

February 18, 2004

Lenšois

Today Sarah and I got back from a town inland from Salvador by 400km called Lenšois. On the 12th of February we took a 6 hour bus ride from Salvador to Lenšois, not knowing where we were going to stay that night. On the bus we met Deiter, a Belgian, who is travelling by himself around South America as well. We chatted on the bus for a while and napped for another while and after a stretch of more pot holes than road we ended up in Lenšois, in the dark, without a place to stay. We were bombarded by people trying to get us to stay at their Pousada (bed and breakfast) or trying to get us to go on a trek with them the next day in the National park nearby, Chapada Diamantina. We were heading to a Pousada that was recomended in our guide book, Pousada dos Duendes, and asked around how to get there since we didn┤t have a map of the town. Once we found it we were told they were full but a guide that works for them runs his own Pousada and we could stay there for the night and come back to Duendes the next night. We contimplated this for a while and decided that we would go with this guy. It turns out that his pousada is his house too and he rents out rooms to help pay for the rent. It was empty except for Sarah, Deiter and I, which was kind of nice.

We slept well that night but we were awoken at 5:30am to the sound of the local roosters. The roof┤s aren┤t really sealed to the walls so sound gets in everywhere, it sounded like the roosters were in our room. Lucio, who runs the pousada had left for a 5 day trek, he is a guide, so a woman that lives downstairs made us a delicous breakfast. After breakfast we walked over to Duendes and checked into our room. We read about a waterfall not too far away from the town that you could slide down so we decided to walk to it. After a 45 minute hike we made it to the waterfall, went for a dip and slid down the falls, which looks more painful than it is. After lounging around in the sun for a while Sarah and I headed back to town while Deiter had a siesta on a rock at the falls. We had a siesta ourself in our room, Sarah in the hammock on the patio of our room, me in the bed in the room. We had a very tasty dinner at the Pousada with the other guests for only 7 Reais each, about $3.50 Canadian. After dinner we talked to the manager of the Pousada about going on a hike the next day. We decided to do a 3 day hike through the national park that would take us to some caves and waterfalls. We went to bed early to be well rested for the hike which we were told was challenging.

We started the hike at about 9am on Saturday the 14th. We stopped at the top of the slide waterfall to take a dip and get some water since we would be going up hill for the next few hours with little to no shade. We were somewhat dubious about the water since it is a brown, tea like colour but the guide said that it was fine. It was a long, hot hike until lunch, I could have really used some trail mix. After lunch we went to a really nice waterfall that we have a good picture of but can┤t upload quite yet so be patient. After a refreshing dip at this waterfall we hiked for another hour to the first campsite near another waterfall. There were 8 of us in our group along with 2 guides, and by the time we got to the campsite another couple of groups were already there. So the campsite was pretty full and Sarah and I ended up sleeping on a large rock with a bit of a slope. The guides made us a dinner of pasta and meat sauce and then we went to sleep under the stars. We were awoken around 2am by rain hitting our faces. Everyone else was scrambling to get in the cover of some over hanging rock that we didn┤t sleep under in the first place because it was pretty nasty. Sarah and I toughed it out and the rain never got too heavy and only lasted about 5 minutes. We woke up with the sun, had a breakfast of porridge and melba toast and started onto the second campsite.

The second campsite was only about 2 hours away along the river bed. It was more of a real cave than the first campsite but even more nasty. Before setting up our sleeping area we went on a hike to the bottom of the Cachoeira da Fumaša or the smoke waterfall. We hiked without our bags since this was a side hike. It took about 2 hours to walk through the jungly forest where we saw a monkey to get to the bottom of the falls. The falls are 384m high, the second highest in Brazil. The wind at the falls blows the water around making it look like smoke, hence the name. After another refreshing swim in the pool at the bottom of the falls and lunch we hiked back to camp for another swim and dinner. We decided that the cave was too crowded and stinky (it seems that anywhere was considered a good place to go to the bathroom by previous hikers) so we slept outside on a rock again. As we were falling asleep we saw the flashes of distant lightening but it was clear out so we thought we were safe. Well, we were wrong. At 11:30pm we were awoken by rain, we thought we could tough it out again but we were wrong. It got heavier and we got progressively more wet. We decided to look for a spot in the cave but it was too full. By the time I got back from looking for a spot in the cave the rain had subsided so we foolishly decided to stay where we were. It wasn┤t an hour later when we were awoken by rain again so we moved to a rock under a tree near the cave that looked relatively dry. We managed to sleep until 3am when the rain made it through the tree and woke us up again. I put on my jacket and tried to sleep through it (the inside of our sleeping bag never got wet). We slept on and off until the sun came up at around 5:30 which is when we got up too.

Breakfast took a while because the guides were sleeping under cover and managed to sleep in an hour or so longer than us. After breakfast we started day 3, which was billed as the most difficult day. It didn┤t dissapoint. We climbed basically straight up for about 2 hours with only a few stops along the way. My legs were burning but it definately was not as difficult as the Elsay lake hike Ritchie, Amir and I did up Grouse mountain last summer. After all the major ascending was done we stopped for a swim and lunch at a nice little waterfall and pool. From here we walked to the top of the smoke waterfall, and along the way we aparently crossed paths with a Cobra that freaked out Sarah even though she didn┤t see it herself.

The top of the smoke waterfall is an impressive sight, similar to the view from the top of the Chief but with water and in a horseshoe shape. You had crawl on your stomach to the edge of the cliff for a view, which was pretty scary. After baking in the sun at the top of the waterfall (pictures coming, hold your horses) we started the walk across the top of the plateau to the town where we would catch a ride back to Lenšois. I found this part of the hike more difficult than the climbing because it was so hot, there was no shade and Sarah and I were both a little sun burnt.

Eventually we made it to the town, had a beer and cooled down before the ride back to Lenšois. The hike was only 30km but the car ride is 70km because of the terrain. Our ride was a big toyota land cruiser with bench seats for 10 people in the open back of the truck. The first half hour was pot hole filled but it was smooth sailing after that. Back in Lenšcois we cleaned up, had dinner, a few beers and crashed. The next day was spent in a hammock reading and waiting for the 11:30pm bus to Salvador. The bus trip is a whole other story and will be posted soon.

Posted by bforsyth at 07:19 AM | Comments (0)

February 23, 2004

Salvador - Carnival

Thursday Night - February 19
Carnival has begun! On Thursday night, the first official night of carnival, Ben, Dieter ( Belgian friend ) and I walked from Pelhurino, the old center of Salvador, to Campo Grande, the start of the Curcuito Osmar carnival route. We were a little concerned about safety because we had heard many stories about crime during carnival so we left our digital camera at home and just took some small bills with us. The first bloco was an afro performing group that danced to an infectious drum beat and were dressed in tribal garb. The second group had an egyptian theme with drums and horns. They were at last 300 people and carried out the king of the carnival dressed as a pharoah. There was alot of ceremony including flower petal and confetti throwing and lots of dancing as the king kicked off the first night. They moved on at a snails pace and were followed by a group of young kids doing coreographed dances. We watched a few more groups go by including a group of at leased 100 men dressed as fairies in pink tube tops and tutus. They were a riot and had the crowd howling. We started the walk bak to Pelhurino after this as we were a little beat and knew that Friday and Saturday were bigger carnival nights.

Friday Night - February 20
Ben and I bought tickets for a bloco called Timbalada that was recommended to us by our guidebook and also by our friendly english speaking ticket seller. Tickets were about $50 CAN each and included a cheesy white and florescent orange tank top with a cartoon cupid on the front. We wore the shirts and headed out to meet our bloco at the Barra-Olinda carnival circuit. This circuit runs along the beach and is more popular that the original circuit. When we arrived we found at least 3000 others wearing the same tanks. The Timbalada en Voce bloco consisted of 2 huge semis, both covered in speakers. The first had the band set up on top, and the second had fans on top with bathrooms and beer below. The Timbalada en Voce trio featured three performers, a male, and then a female opening act and then the star Timbalada. They played in rotation for the duration of the route. We started off around 6 and reached the end of the route at midnight. The truck moved very slowly, especially when the performers were in front of TV cameras or camaroches ( viewing areas fans had paid to attend ). The two trucks and all of the thousands in the orange and white t┤s were surrounded by private security guards stretching out on either side of the road. The guards pulled out on a huge rope that encircled the trucks and all the members of the bloco. This rope kept onlookers out and provided us inside the bloco with lots of dancing room. Beer and water vender kept sneaking in to sell to us at the front of the bloco. Drinks were available in the second semi but it was so crowded that it wasnt worth going all the way back there so business was good for the venders. ═t was humerous watching these guys sneak in, get kicked out and then repeat. The music of the 3 performers was fantastic. The crowd seemed to know every song and most songs seems to have a dance associated with it that the crowd all knew. The only song that Ben and I recognized was Redemption Song by Bob Marley. By the end of the route, we knew all of the songs because they repeated then 3 or 4 times. As we progressed, people became increaingly drunk and rowdy. The enthusiasm and energy in the crowd was overwhelming. There were mosh pits and sometimes a line of people in the middle of the bloco would stand still, while people ahead of them continued moving and created a space. When enough space had been formed they would run full tilt and throw themselves at the crowd ahead of them. That was scary, a bit like a stampede!

By the time we reached the end of the route, my back and feet were aching and we were hungry for dinner. We pushed our way through thick crowd towards the bus stop. Ben was being sandwiched between two guys, while walking through the crowd as they attempted to pickpocket him. He realized what was going on and pushed them out of the way. We walked to a nearby bus stop and looked for a bus that would take us to our hotel in Pelhurino. We jumped on a bus to the neighbourhood of Lapa, bordering Pelhurino because Pelhurino buses were not running during carnival. The bust first took a 20 minute detour to a carnival pickup point and then started off in the opposite direction we wanted to go. Frantic, I confirmed with the bus attendant that this bus did in fact go to Lapa. We continued further and further away from Lapa and I started to get frustrated. I returned to the attendant, suspecting that this bus actually went to the airport and my guess was right, event though it said Lapa on the front. This is about 45 minutes each way from town, so we jumped off and seeing no buses, caught a taxi home.

Posted by bforsyth at 12:11 PM | Comments (2)

Food in Brasil

Ben and I try to eat cheaply for all of our meals. Generally, that means avoiding touristy restaurants and looking for places where locals eat. Brazil has alot of "pay by weight" restaurants that are cheap. These places have lots of selection and we can eat well there for less than $10 CAN combined. In other restaurants, we will order one entree or one appetizer and share. Portions are huge and sometimes we will have leftovers which will be a surprise for anyone who is familiar with Ben┤s appetite. We usually eat rice, beans and meat with some combination of tomato, green pepper, cucumber and onion. The meat is generally breaded or salted beef or chicken but we have also had a fish dish. The beef seems to be the safest choice as we have had some questionable chicken and fish. Local beers are less that $0.50 CAN, often cheaper than water. All of our breakfasts thus far have been provided by the Pousadas we stay at. They generally consist of coffe or tea, fresh squeezed juice, piece of fruit, bread with jam, cheese and butter and a piece of cake. Some are better than others. A couple of the Pousada┤s have had freshly deep fried bananas in the morning. Mmmm, tasty.

Ben hasnt had any stomach trouble, but I┤ve felt a little ill on more than one occasion.

Posted by bforsyth at 12:27 PM | Comments (5)

March 02, 2004

Arrial d'Ajuda

A quick update. Sarah and I are currently in Arrial d'Ajuda, a quiet little town near Porto Seguro, which is a holliday place for Brazillians. We came here from Morro de Sao Paulo, which we mistakenly went to right after carnaval, which is when everyone else from Salvador goes there, and they all have more money than us. This meant that we ended up paying a lot more for a room than we would have liked, but at least it had A/C. We had to pay 350 Reais, about $175 Canadian, for 3 nights. We went to other places that wanted 300 Reais per night, a little more than we can afford.

From Morro we boated to Valenca and then bussed to Porto Seguro, which took approximately 9 hours along windy roads. So windy infact a little girl vomited out the window. Thankfully she was on the other side of the bus. This was unfortunate for the Aussie sitting across from me on the other side of the bus who had his window open for fresh air, and a little puke as well. It was kind of ironic since I had just told him my story about throwing up on people on a plane once and he said he was glad that he wasn't sitting infront of me.

Well, our free half hour is up at this internet place. Now we will go and get ready for our 18 hour bus ride to Rio!

Posted by bforsyth at 06:33 AM | Comments (0)

March 07, 2004

Rio de Janeiro

Brief summary for those of you that don't read long log posts:

We are in Curitiba after 3 nights in Rio. Saw the main sights, Sugar Loaf, Christo Redentor, Copacabana beach (didn't see Ipanema). Met 4 other Canadians, 3 from Regina 1 from Abbotsford. Now on our way to Iguazu falls. No new pictures up yet, too expensive here, be patient.

And incase you didn't notice, there is a link just below this that you can click on to read the more verbose version of this post.

Continue reading "Rio de Janeiro"
Posted by bforsyth at 11:18 AM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2004

Iquazu Falls - Foz do Iguašu

The latest scoop since our last log. We have been to Curitiba, Morretes, Iguazu falls and Florianopolis. Click below to read more.

Continue reading "Iquazu Falls - Foz do Iguašu"
Posted by bforsyth at 07:13 AM | Comments (1)

March 21, 2004

Goodbye Brazil

Sarah and I left Brazil (at 3am) on Friday. We left Porto Alegre on Thursday night after speding a couple of days there and meeting Marcelo Walter, who did his PhD in the Imager lab at UBC where I am doing my Masters. We had a good visit with him at his University where he is a proffesor in Computer Science. He took us out to a rodizio that night and once again I ate meat until I could eat no more. It seems to be a recurring thing the further we head south. This rodizio also had some good live entertainment. Some traditional gaucho dancing, which can get pretty hectic. Well, mostly when they spin these ropes with balls at the end and bounce the balls off the floor to make a sound. They do this very quickly and get the balls pretty close to the crowd. Then they brought up a girl that was visiting from Germany and spun the ball-rope things all around her, nicking her hair. She was pretty scared but held still.

Before we got to Porto Alegre we were in Florianopolis. It did clear up the second day we were there and we managed to spend some quality time on the beach there. Too much time infact as we both got a little burnt. Right now we are in Montevideo, Uruguay. We came here from Punta del Este which is supposed to be the most expensive resort town in Latin America. It is full of grey haired Urguayians and Agrentinians. We got there at 6am and had a difficult time finding the hostel because the one listed in our book didn't exist anymore. We eventually found it and promptly took a nap. This was followed by more beach time. It is a 2 hour bus ride from Punta del Este to Montevideo.

Montevideo is an interesting city. It has the most European architecture that I have seen on our trip so far. Today we went to a huge market that was a little over the top if you ask me. Stalls streched for as far as you could see. After having a lunch of more meat than I could eat once again we walked to a museum of ceramic tiles. Thats right, decorative ceramic tiles. Around 2400 of them. Then we went to the old city for drinks, and I couldn't help but have the Dulce de Leche pancakes, which I really didn't need. I had a sugar high for the next 2 hours.

Well this entry is getting a bit long, Davepop will be getting tired of reading so much if he even made it this far. I expect our next entry will be from Buenos Aires, our next destination.

Happy birthday Mom!

Posted by bforsyth at 07:21 PM | Comments (2)

March 30, 2004

Don┤t Cry For Me Argentina

Not that there is really a reason for Argentina to cry for me at all, but whenever I think of Argentina that song goes through my head. As you may have guessed Sarah and I are in Argentina now. You are probably wondering where the new pictures are that I have been promising once we got to Argentina, well you are going to have to wait a few more days. Click below to read my good excuses for this and what we have been doing since we last wrote.

Continue reading "Don┤t Cry For Me Argentina"
Posted by bforsyth at 01:15 PM | Comments (4)

April 08, 2004

Fall

Yesterday Sarah and I arrived in Bariloche, Argentina after 19 hours on a reasonably comfortable bus from Mendoza. Upon arriving in Bariloche we were greeted with light rain and fairly cool temperature (around 10 degrees I┤d say). We were considering heading further south to El Calafate but considering how cold it is here and how little warm clothing we brought with us we are now planning on staying here for a while and taking a week of Spanish courses. Sarah said she heard Bariloche compared to whistler and it is a fair comparison. It is quite a bit cheaper than whistler but it is a nice ski town on a lake and known for its chocolate. We plan on doing a 3 day hike here as well as long as the weather doesn't get too bad.

We had a good time in Mendoza. We stayed with a friend we met in Salvador, Dieter, who is staying in Mendoza until June and has rented an apartment which he gratefully let us stay at and even gave us the room with the double bed which he usually sleeps in. We had a pretty lazy time in Mendoza, sleeping in and just walking around the city. We did go on a Bodega (winery) tour where we got to see two Bodegas and sample some wine. We also spent quite a bit of time uploading all of our pictures. Dieter had a house warming party on Friday night that was fun but probably would have been better for us if we spoke more Spanish (or any Spanish for that matter :)

Not much else to say right now. We are staying at a very cozy hostel a few km out of town on the side of a mountain with amazing views. Almost forgot to say that there is a guy from Roberts Creek staying at the same hostel! For those of you that don't know I'm from Gibsons and Roberts Creek is about 15 minutes north of Gibsons. Pretty weird running into someone from home when you are so far away from home.

Posted by bforsyth at 09:56 AM | Comments (2)

April 13, 2004

weather

Just so you don't think that south america is all sunshine and beaches here is the current weather in the town we will be in for the next week:

http://weather.cnn.com/weather/forecast.jsp?locCode=SAZS

Although the weather isn't that much of a problem when you are staying in a nice place like this.

And here are some webcams in Bariloche.

Posted by bforsyth at 01:44 PM | Comments (2)

April 25, 2004

Not too chilly in Chile

Sarah and I entered Chile last Monday, April 19th. We had spent close to a month in Argentina and it was hard to see it go, especially the last hostel we were staying at. The last town we stayed at in Argentina was Bariloche, we like it and the hostel so much that we stayed there for 12 days. We had originally planned to go south from Bariloche to El Calafate to see the glacier there. However it was cold enough in Bariloche to convince us that we wouldn't be heading any further south given the clothes we packed (I, for instance, only have one pair of pants and 3 pairs of shorts).

Instead of going to El Calafate we decided that it might be a good idea to do a week's worth of spanish lessons. We did a week (well 5 days technically) at the Britannia school of English (they also offer spanish lessons) at 4 hours a day. We had really good teachers and we were in a group of 3 initially that grew to 4 on the third day. I think that the course really helped me since I knew absolutely no spanish before, and it was a good refresher for sarah who has done 2 weeks of 1 on 1 spanish about 5 years ago. One interesting note is that since we were learing in Argentina we learned the Argentinian accent, which has a different sound for y's and double l's. I kind of like the accent, but now we are in Chile and it is totally different and quite a bit harder to understand (not that I would understand that much in Argentia either, but they do speak a little slower and ennunciate entire words, unlike most Chileans).

Getting to the spanish lessons was a bit of a hassle. La Morada (our hostel) is half way up a small mountain and the only transportation into town is via a 4x4 (the excellent Land Rover Defender), and the first ride into town is around 10:30 am, class starts at 8:30am. So we had to walk down the hill at 10 to 8 in the morning which required getting up at 7am. The walk is 15 minutes and later we realized that we were just missing the 8am bus (we didn't know that there was an actual schedule, our previous experiences with the busses in Bariloche indicated otherwise). So for the last two days we hitched in rather than wait for the bus and be late. The first day we hitched we got picked up right away by a nice guy. The next day it took a bit longer to be picked up, but when somebody did stop it was the same guy as the day before. We used some of our recently learned spanish to try to have a conversation with him and found out that he lived just down the road and he has an Aunt in Quebec.

The school (well one guy at the school, Luis) organized afternoon activities for us. One of these was a trip to a local public elementary school where we bring the class a book and try to converse with them a bit. We went to a grad 6 class and talked about our respective countries and what we thought of argentina and bariloche. It was a pretty interesting experience. All the public school kids have to wear these white smocks that are historical and are supposed to eliminate perceived class differences by having everyone dressed the same way. We had three very un-shy boys sing us a song they were learning much to the embarassment of the rest of the class. And at the end of the class they sang happy birthday in spanish for sarah since it was her birthday a few days earlier.

We spent the last few days in Bariloche lounging at our hostel infront of a nice fire and enjoying cheap but tasty wine. Except for one day where we decided that it would be nice to do a 4 hour horse ride. Sarah was a little nervous because she has had some bad experience with horses but it started off with no problems and Sarah became less nervous. That changed when for some reason , possibly hers but she doesn't really remember, the horse she was on reared its head and head butted her. This opened up a small cut across the bridge of her nose which bled quite a bit for the size of the cut. The guide was worried that Sarah wouldn't want to do the rest of the ride but she said it didn't hurt and after a few minutes the blood stopped gushing. We have some nice pictures but we need to find a good place to upload pictures. That should be soon. There weren't anymore incidents on the ride after that and we had some very nice views of the area around Bariloche although it was really cold and my hands got quite numb.

Most of the time we were in Bariloche it was raining or at least cloudy. The day we left it was a perfectly clear day and made it that much harder to leave, but we did. At the border with Chile they are pretty uptight about not letting in any foreign fruit or veggies or meat, so they X-ray all the bags and have a dog go through the luggage compartment and the passenger area of the bus. And in the immigration office where we get our passports stamped there was one guy to handle a whole bus load of people while there were 3 people handling people leaving Chile, which was not many people while we were there so two of the three were playing starcraft most of the time.

We eventually ended up in Pucon which is on a nice lake and towered over by a large volcano. Most people go to Pucon to climb the valcano, but you can only climb it with a tour and they only let tours start if the weather is nice. When we arrived we couldn't even see the volcano. People at our hostal kicked around for 3 days waiting for a nice day to climb it. Of course the nice day was the day we left, but we weren't planing on climbing the volcano anyways so it wasn't a big deal.

We had an 11 hour bus ride from Pucon to Santiago which was pretty painless. A crying baby for the first couple of hours on and off but the ipod drowned out that noise pretty effectively. There were qutie a few impressive looking volcanoes on the way out of Pucon but after these went away the scenery wasn't very exciting and we slept quite a bit. Upon arrival in Santiago we got on the subway and went to the HI in town. It is pretty expensive compared to other hostels we have stayed in and doesn't even include breakfast or have a kitchen we can use. We have been in Santiago for two days now and are leaving tomorrow for La Serena and eventually San Pedro de Atacama in the desert up north. Santiago is pretty nice as far as big cities go but nothing compared to Buenos Aires or Rio and quite a bit more expensive. We are looking forward to seeing the Pacific again tomorrow after being away from it for the last 2.5 months.

Well this is probably getting a little long for Dave again so I'll leave it at that.

Posted by bforsyth at 06:18 PM | Comments (3)

May 01, 2004

Adios Chile

Tomorrow we leave Chile for a 3 day jeep tour across the salt flats of southern Boliva, all at >4000m (well at least some of it is). We have spent the last few days in San Pedro de Atacama, gringo central. We have heard lots of good things about Boliva and we hope that there isn't another general strike like there was in October. I have registered with the embassy in La Paz to be on the safe side. There probably won't be any new pictures until we get to La Paz or possibly even Peru.

Posted by bforsyth at 10:07 AM | Comments (1)

May 07, 2004

Travel log website

Mark, who we met in Bariloche and happend to be from Roberts Creek, introduced me to this website while we were in Bariloche but I had forgotten about it until today, Continento. It seems like a pretty useful site for people that don't have access to something like what I have here at antiflux. It even has some features that aren't available with gallery and/or moveabletype, such as allowing you to enter towns you've been too and adding log entries and photos to these towns. You can then look at someone's trip on a map and click on towns and get their photos and log entries. Pretty cool.

Posted by bforsyth at 03:26 PM | Comments (0)

May 08, 2004

The rest of Chile

From Santiago we headed north stopping at two more towns, La Serena and San Pedro de Atacama. This log entry talks about what we did in La Serena and the surrounding area. Click below to read the full entry.

Continue reading "The rest of Chile"
Posted by bforsyth at 07:20 AM | Comments (0)

The desert

Our last stop in Chile was San Pedro de Atacama. The Atacama desert seemed to stretch on and on while we cruised by on our bus north. We had a short stay in San Pedro before continuing on to southwestern Bolivia. Click below to read more.

Continue reading "The desert"
Posted by bforsyth at 02:51 PM | Comments (1)

May 16, 2004

Potosi, Bolivia

From Uyuni we ventured to Potosi, once upon a time it was the second largest city in the world with over 200,000 inhabitants. At that time it was one of the ritchest cities in the world as well thanks to the large amounts of silver in Cerro Rico (rich mountain). Click below to read what we got up to in Potosi.

Continue reading "Potosi, Bolivia"
Posted by bforsyth at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

Sucre, Bolivia

From Potosi we took a 3 hour bus ride to the official captical of Bolivia (or so I think, it is pretty confusing). Also known as Ciudad Blanca or white city since many of the buildings in town maintain the colonial white paint job. We arrived on a saturday night and found that everything we wanted to do was closed on Sunday. So we just kicked around town, eating now and then at the Joy Ride Cafe, which was very good. I restrained myself and didn't shell out the 23 bolivianos for the Erdinger beer though, that was two capirinahs after all. We met Barbara, a Canadian photo-journalist, here for the second time. We (well I) met her for the first time on the bus from Potosi to Sucre. Sarah recognized her from somewhere and it turns out that she had met her before in Guatemala in 1999, a small world after all.

After having a relaxing and warm Sunday we did everything we wanted to do in Sucre on Monday. The first thing we did was go to the Textile museum. This museum has many interesting displays of various indigenous textiles and has a weaver's gallery where you can watch indigenous people weave. It looks incredibly difficult to do well. The museum is trying to get native people to start doing high quality weavings again by selling their stuff in the museum's shop. They have lots of very very nice weavings in the shop and we did our part by buying 3 different things, one for our selves and two for other people.

We spent so long in the shop that we missed the noon dino truck. So we killed some more time until the 2:30 dino truck which was cutting it close to our 5:30 bus to La Paz. The dino truck takes you to a dinosaur footprint wall, the largest in the world. Tectonics have pushed a long ago beach almost vertical, and on this beach there are lots and lots of dino footprints. Sarah was a bit of a keener, answering all the guides questions about the various foot prints, aparently she likes Dinosaurs. The footprints are on a cement factory's land and were only discovered a few years ago as the cement factory removed all the usable lime from infront of the footprints. Luckily the soil that the footprints are on is of no interest to the cement factory.

Then it was back to the hostel to get our stuff and get on the bus to La Paz, which was supposed to take about 13-15 hours. We had one small problem with the axel which I helped with by providing some bright LED light but other than that no problems than traffic near La Paz and freezing cold temperatures in the middle of the night.

Posted by bforsyth at 03:44 PM | Comments (0)

May 25, 2004

Welcome to Peru, we have no change

So what have we been up to since our last log entry. Well we have been to La Paz, capital of Bolivia, mountain biked down the "most dangerous" road in the world, visited the island where the Inca empire started, made it to Puno, Peru before a massive roadblock/protest at Llave, Peru, and finally gone from Puno to Arequipa from which we toured the Colca Canyon for 2 days. Click below to read more about this.

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Posted by bforsyth at 12:57 PM | Comments (2)

June 04, 2004

Walk like an Inca

Since we last wrote we have travelled to Cusco and hiked the Inka trail to Macchu Picchu. We heard that the inka trail had a waiting list that was getting longer everyday while we were in Copacabana, Bolivia. We called around and found that there was at least a 2-3 week wait. We ended up booking a tour from Copacabana for May 31st which was about 2 weeks away at the time. We had excellent weather and a good group for the 4 day/3 night hike. Click below to read more....

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Posted by bforsyth at 04:44 PM | Comments (1)

June 10, 2004

Tarzan, King of Jungle!

After hiking the Inka trail Sarah and I decided that we had better go to the Jungle at least once on our trip. So we had a day of rest in Cusco before heading to Puerto Maldanado and then to the Ecoamazonia jungle lodge for a "4 day/3 night" jungle tour.

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Posted by bforsyth at 06:46 PM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2004

No Vote

Since the Federal Canadian election will happen while we are still traveling have spent some time trying to figure out how to vote while on the road and have found that it won't be possible for us to vote in this election, which kind of sucks. I thought that we might be able to just go to the embassy in Lima and vote there which seemed kind of reasonable but probably unlikely. After looking at the elections Canada website we found that we had to fill out a registration form and then a ballot and send these in. Well I guess I read the website a little too quickly and you have to first send in your regestration and then they mail you a voting kit. We learned this at the embassy in Lima. This poses a problem for people that don't stay in one spot for more than 3 or 4 days at a time and figure out where they are going to be spending the night in a new town on the bus to said town. So no voting for us, booo. I suppose it is our own fault though.

Posted by bforsyth at 06:50 PM | Comments (1)

June 27, 2004

Huaraz, Peru

After spending a few days in the Jungle we flew to Lima. From Lima we headed to Huaraz which is a nice town in the middle of the Cordillera Blanca mountain range, the highest in Peru. We did a nice hike here before continuing north. Click below to read more.

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Posted by bforsyth at 10:56 AM | Comments (1)

June 30, 2004

Dinner is $3 but we don't actually serve dinner

Trujillo, Peru for some ruins, over the border to Ecuador, and visits to Vilcabamba, Cuenca and Ba˝os.

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Posted by bforsyth at 10:59 AM | Comments (1)

July 13, 2004

Homestretch

We have left Ecuador and have spent the last week or so in Cartagena Colombia. We have one week to go now and have mixed feelings about going home. One the one hand it will be nice to not have to catch a bus every 3 or 4 days and sleep in our own bed and see our friends again. On the other hand it has been a fun 5 and a bit months and it will be strange adjusting to life back at home. If you click on the read more link below I briefly explain what we have been up to for the last little while, it isn't too long because I'm getting devoured by mosquitos at this computer in our hotel.

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Posted by bforsyth at 08:45 PM | Comments (1)

August 14, 2004

Back home Eh.

Sarah and I have been back home for over 3 weeks now, but it feels like longer than that. I am still working on my thesis and Sarah is back at work and it is almost like we never left except the weather is way nicer and our apartment is a huge mess still. After our last log posting we spent some time on Colombian beaches and with the family of Sarah's Colombian co-worker before heading home on July 21st. More to read by clicking on the link below:

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Posted by bforsyth at 09:37 PM | Comments (0)