worldwide walkabout the tiniest bird takes a walk.

31Jul/130

end of journey, full passport

because i had such little time between planning my trip and my departure, i was unable to get more pages added to my passport.

when i had my passport issued i thought about getting (free) extra pages but back in 2009 it was free to add more pages later. i thought it would be "cool" to have a fully stamped passport. it wasn't until i was travelling and needed more pages that i found out that it now cost $82 to add pages.

upon my departure from ecuador, the woman at border control reprimanded me for not having space in my passport to print a (very ugy) departure message. see the second to last page. this was after waiting in line for over an hour to leave the country. i must say i much preferred the "welcome to colombia!" message...

ok government, you will soon get my $82.

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27Jul/130

playa blanca, colombia

i was lucky to meet norwegian stian and canadian antonio on the way to the beautiful playa blanca. this idyllic beach on isla de baru 20 km from cartagena was reached by boat. i was elated to get much anticipated snorkel time in. stian returned back to the sea with his snorkel after a short rest on the beach, stating that he was "like a child" and eager to play in the water. i followed, declaring "me too."

it wasn't until we headed to the boat to return to cartagena that i realized just how sunburned i was (the same thing happens every time i snorkel...). i had just begun malarone malaria antibiotics which makes one more sensitive to sunlight. my back and bum were red/white. my legs were just red red red. luckily i found aloe in the produce section of the supermarket. if it wasn't bedbugs it was mosquitoes. if it wasn't stress rash it was sunburn/peel. i just want to scratch off all of my skin and start over.

15Jul/130

i cheated and took a flight, colombia

after so many long hauls by bus i decided to spare my backside another long journey. from cali i took a flight connecting in bogota to cartagena on the caribbean coast. i got a nice view of the mountains of colombia, plus a neat view of cartagena upon landing. the first flight only lasted 45 minutes...i blinked twice and it was over. during the next flight i tallied how many hours i had spent on long distance buses so far and roughly came up with 134 hours. dang south america is huge and mountainous.

15Jul/130

banos, ecuador

it rained like hell in banos. from the time i arrived at 4 am (it was a rough bus journey) until after dinner it rained. was able to check out the famous hot spring pools and was reminded of the very different sensibilities depending on country; in ecuador they have giant concrete pools with murky hot spring water, a bazillion people in each pool, plastic shower caps are not optional, and screaming children splash about. i was pretty disappointed.

the next day it stopped raining so i rented a bike with the hopes of making it 60 km to puya in the amazonian jungle and visiting various waterfalls along the way. i find that riding bikes is such a nice way to see a place. i had a few surprises during bike trip, the first being that i was offered a zip line ride across a canyon for $11...i couldn't say no. after visiting the last waterfall i took the tunnel alternative which was a rocky road. i popped theĀ  tube on the back tire and had to hitch a ride back to banos in the back of a produce truck. they dropped me off way downhill from town but i made it back eventually (but not before being sexually harassed by a very old man who, i think, was also offering to fix my bike). geez.

9Jul/130

mancora, peru

mancora seemed to be the perfect location and genre for a miniature stop on the big push up north. it's a touristy little surf beach and one day here was just perfect. after spending so much time in the highlands i was happy to be at sea level and breathe without my heart hurting. now to get rid of this confounded indigestion (it's been weeks and weeks of it...not sure if it's also related to elevation).

9Jul/130

glacier nevado pastoruri, peru

i was happy to meet isabelle, a sweet and fun french lady while visiting the glacier. she and i had some good laughs in the coming days and i felt inspired to join her on the santa cruz trek.

first we saw the giant puya raimondii plants (up to 10 meters). some were flowering which is special because they can take up to 100 years to grow. after they flower they self-destruct; they appear as if they were torched by a flamethrower. curious plants.

because of the elevation at the glacier it took a moment to adjust while hiking up...despite being at high elevations for much of the trip i still find it difficult to breathe. the sun buggered off and it snowed a bit.

29Jun/132

humberstone ghost town with bunnies, chile

special thanks to bobby for your willingness to return to humberstone (not a simple feat), thank you also for the inspiration and collaboration.

round 2, we came prepared and ran around like lunatics:

29Jun/130

humberstone ghost town, chile

it's very uncommon that a ghost town is so well preserved; it seems even more uncommon for all of the grounds to be accessible for visit due to the nature of safety. i had the best time visiting this site, so much so that i needed to come back the next day with bunny masks and other photo props.

13Jun/131

in the spirit of adventure

after much time at home, i decided to take advantage of having so few responsibilities. i am in chile, perhaps argentina, perhaps peru for three weeks and then colombia for three weeks. i look forward to being on the road again, more soon.

12Oct/100

last stop! london, england

luckily i had pranav, eve and tom to bring cheer in london! i couldn't believe my journey was coming to a close!!!

pranav and i made it to an absolutely gorgeous opera show at the royal opera house and somehow got spoiled to seats in the royal box for the first act! (we arrived late) i was so impressed by the incredible costumes, sets, music, and voices! it was a grand night out. we also made it out to some great markets-loads of handmade crafts and trendies! thanks also to pranav cooked up lots of delicious food and let me crash at his place!

eve and i made it to the tower of london to see absolutely gigantic crown jewels (530 karat diamond?!!??) and lots of beefeaters, etc. dressed in their traditional outfits. our favorite moment was when some youngsters pointed out the bulbous privates of an armor...

i was also happy to meet tom, a funny guy who i had insane adventures with in laos several years ago. he had just arrived back from central america and moved to london-good timing! we made it to: the tate where we partook in a 3D project (which we later found was a class, oops), tea time, and thai food!

definitely ended the trip on a high note! thanks london and thanks friends!

thank you so much to everyone who made this trip a joyous one!!!

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