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- The Smiths, The Cure, The The, & of course the seminal Scritti Politti
- Any movie featuring a cop and dog is big news for me. K-9 and Turner & Hooch remain at the top of the list
- Scared Of
- Boss-eyed people and anyone lunging at me with a knife
- Happiest When
- It's a Keeley day.
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I left two things behind in Huacachina - a pair of blue elasticated boxer shorts and my twenties. I know I’ll miss the underwear, supportive and 100% cotton. I certainly didn’t imagine I’d spending my 30th birthday in a desert in Peru with a mixed bag of unwashed travelers. I can’t say I’d been looking forward to really, but after a colourful selection of shots courtesy of Lewis I found myself wheeling around the pool to Israeli folk songs before being pushed into it by two girls from Brizzle [sic]. I suggested skinny-dipping would be more in keeping of the occasion, but the girls insisted my clothes stayed on. When you reach a small (and very insignificant and unimportant) milestone in your life it’s only natural to question where your life is going, well to be honest I’m still not sure. But that night, I was more then happy to be retching on pisco sours and dirty pool water whilst chatting the worst kind of bollocks to anyone that would listen.
The next morning I dragged my 30yr old body out of bed at 7am to jump on a small Cessna plane to ‘marvel’ at the Nasca Lines – A good experience, but definitely not a recommended activity after an hour and half of sleep with tequila seeping from the pores. After this weekend excursion we bussed it back to our Peruvian home from home – The Loki Hostel in Cusco. The following night we went to their 3rd anniversary party. ‘Twisted Prom’ was the theme and I managed to cobble together a costume from a bag of lost property, I was imagining Magnum P.I. as I grabbed at some clothes, but the resulting mish-mash was more Peewee Herman/Ian Poulter (pictures to come) according to the partygoers. So the liver and the lugholes took another bashing as we ended up Mama Africa’s for some more reggaeton and white man’s overbite.
Trekking is basically rambling, (or tramping to our trans-atlantic cousins). It sounds more intrepid than it actually is - there was no crampons, frostbite or biscuit browns. We had an army of porters humping our gear up mountains, who would then dish up a 3-course meal when we finally arrived breathless at our campsite. I’ve always kind of sneered at ramblers, people decked head to toe in Millets gear with various badges sewn on their rucksacks indicating the various counties they have conquered by foot. But after completing the Lares trek which took us up to 4800m and ending up at Machu Picchu on the last day I can really see the appeal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to buy a collapsible walking stick and pencil in my May bank holiday for a weekend in Dartmoor .. but, the scenery, the air and the group was all fantastic. Machu Picchu although totally saturated by tourists still manages to retain an unexplainable majestic quality – Although I imagine it does help being there at dawn to see the sun rise, you wouldn’t want to tip up there in the afternoon expecting to blown away. There are large queues, and as we were leaving I saw German couple arguing, which ended up with her throwing her Cornetto at him and walking off. During this trip I’ve witnessed destitute families huddled in the streets of Bolivia, a dog being run over, but for some reason that couple arguing over the back drop of Machu Picchu remains the most unpleasant spectacle so far..
We now heading off to Quito in Ecuador via a Friday night in Lima, I’m looking forward to getting out of the mountains and heading into the tropics. Most of the people we’ve spoken to say that Lima is a bit of pit…we’ll see
2 Comments 253 weeks
In the end we waited three days for our flights out of Rurrenabaque, got hacked off so commandeered a jeep with an Irish couple. 14 hours and three cars later we arrived back in La Paz sweaty and demoralised. We made a beeline for the Adventure Brew Hostel, for some pancakes, hot showers and warm hospitality. While I’m on it – a massive thanks to Salomon, who really helped with uploading my videos, when Bolivia’s primitive internet network was probably at it’s worst. If anyone is planning a trip to Bolivia, this is definitely the place to stay. Unless of course you have money, then you should obviously check into somewhere where there is a bathrobe worth stealing.
So another 5-hour bus journey later we ended in Copacabana on the shores of lake Titicaca, I very much doubt Barry Manilow was crooning on about this place when penned his 70’s classic. ‘Music and passion’ weren’t exactly on offer in bucket loads here. At least not for me anyway, I made the very amateur mistake of buying a chicken sandwich at the bus station in La Paz, which seemed to liquify my insides almost instantly. The next morning after a muesli breakfast, I promptly yacked it up on the pavement in front of a group girls walking down to the waterfront. There’s nothing you can do to save face in a situation like that, I sought of gave them a casual nod, but when you’ve got yoghurty bile swinging from your chin, it just doesn’t look good.. So I spent the next 36 hours whimpering in bed..
When I felt able to eat again, we ventured out to have a proper look around - it didn’t take long. Copacabana has three streets, mainly consisting of elderly women selling their wares, hippies selling beads, and dogs, well - doing dogs. At one point Lewis and I witnessed a sought of dog orgy beside a drain. There were four of them – having the time of their lives. After that visual treat we decide to take in another – with a daytrip to the Isla del Sol on the lake. Think I preferred the dog action to be honest.
After a fairly non-eventful time in Copacabana we skipped the border into Peru, we’ve now ended up in Cusco which is fantastic, we’re staying in huge hostel called the Loki which looks like a fortress and a behaves like a nightclub. The town is gearing up for the Sun festival on the 24th and everyday the streets are full of various parades performing local dancing.. Although only a few miles over the border, Peru seems a world away from Bolivia. The two main bonuses so far are – It’s hot and you can get bacon here.. A good start.
Until the next one
0 Comments 255 weeks
The first thing I noticed when I got on the bus, was breasts..everywhere I looked - breasts. Unfortunately they weren’t the type of breasts you see packed into a bikini top of a 19 yr old Norwegian backpacker. This was the start of 19 hours of bus hell from La Paz to the Amazonian basin in Rurrenabaque, and all the aforementioned breasts were very much local & being suckled on by a multitude of babies. The aisle was filled with sacks of corn, some tyres, various mixed detritus and a small boy with a milky eye who starred at me for at least 17 of the 19 hours - even when I was sleeping. The woman sitting next to me had bag of puppies that yelped the whole journey, and at one point at about 3:00am she kindly changed her daughters nappy on my lap.. I’m not joking, I still have some evidence on my jeans, which reminds me – need to do some laundry. The whole experience made the Megabus look like a f*ing leer jet..
It was well worth the journey though, when we finally arrived, we experienced heat for the first time on this trip, and oxygen too – a nice touch. We booked ourselves on a three day, two night pampus tour which turned out to be fantastic. I have always found the idea of swimming with dolphins to be a little cringe worthy. It smacks of the type of sycophancy of when sick kid is wheeled out on a daytime chat show, and is awarded a ‘swimming with dolphins’ trip in a golden envelope – cue some fawning from Fern Britton, then move onto the makeover item.
I have to say though, wading shoulder deep through the murky water clutching my camera, surrounded by cayman, turtles and howler monkeys was amazing. Every so often the fresh water – or pink dolphins would inquisitively pop up to check you out. You hear them before you see them, as the noise of them exhaling through their blow holes sounds out their direction. I had no idea we would be seeing them on the tour, in fact the whole trip was pretty amazing, most of it was spent cruising along the narrow mangrove lined river admiring the wildlife. Both evenings finished with a beer and a game of football at the sunset bar, where the gringos (tourists) take on the locals at football. On the second night there was a couple of lads from Hertfordshire who took the game far too seriously, at one point this guy started squaring up to one of the tour guides and demanding a free kick… Unbelievable! I’m kind of glad in a way that we didn’t make it into the Euro’s it would have be an annoying distraction, particularly if I ended up in bars with people like that…anyway I’m glad to follow the Dutch, and enjoyed watching them stuffing the Poles, whilst doing my editing.
We were due to be back in La Paz early yesterday afternoon but due to torrential rainfalls, the airstrip in Rurrenabaque has turned into a quagmire, and as I’m writing this I can hear a woman from Wisconsin yacking on about how there might be no flights until Friday. This could disastrous, as I have about as much chance of finding Paul Gadd at a PTA meeting then getting Lewis back on that bus…we could be here for some time..
Right, that’s my cue to go – a bloke from France has just walked in with an acoustic guitar and a ridiculous amount of wooden beads around his neck, he may as well be wearing one of those orthopedic car seats on his chest...and it’s only a matter of time before he strums out Redemption Song..
I’ve heard the word fanny pack 3 times today
0 Comments 257 weeks