worldwide walkabout the tiniest bird takes a walk.


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:


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.


iquique, chile

with giant fruit shaped juice stands, facades like a giant movie set, ceramic ducks display in the park, tide pools brimming with life, beaches, pirate ship, fish market, casinos, flea markets, party stores (with animal face masks), and proximity to incredible ghost towns, iquique was full of weirdness which matched my sensibility nicely. actually, i could not get enough of this place...

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san pedro de atacama, chile

i was so excited to finally see the desert of san pedro. i love the desert and we found it to be filled with magical places such as laguna cejar, a saltwater lake where one can float dead-sea-style. we also saw the "eyes of the salar," two circular sinkholes with stunning reflections and a beautiful sunset at laguna tebinquiche. the next day we visited the geysers del tatio, the amazing geothermal range for sunrise. despite the freezing temperatures, we dipped into the thermal baths and marveled at the steaming geysers.

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santiago, chile

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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.


isla pasqua/rapa nui/easter island! chile

strange mysterious island for various reasons! the volcanic isla pasqua is famous for its gigantic stone moai carvings-many theories exist about the moai carvings and the purpose they served; however because histories were orally communicated, there exists no written explanation of why these sculptures were made, how they were made, who made them...mystery. also, isla pasqua is one of the most isolated inhabited islands on the planet and has an interesting history of civil war, colonialism, slave raids, and near deforestation.

we arrived on the island late in the evening so that i was surprised the next morning at sunrise (roosters crowing away at dawn!) by the gorgeous palm trees, flowers, and lots of green! i moved to a campsite in the morning-i had my big bag and the first truck that went by picked me up! so kind. i was so happy in my little tent on the coast, except when the rain leaked in...

mark and stephanie, my new french friends, and i rented a car to explore the island for two days. isla pasqua is tiny but just big enough to need transportation. i missed out on the quarry site: as luck would have it the ticket price changed for the first time in 20 years just 2 days before we visited! it was no longer $10 to was $60! mark had wanted to visit easter island since he was a small child and he was going to do so in style. while mark and stephanie were inside i took photos from the fence (sad muppet).

we also visited the beautiful white sand beach with palm trees, an enormous crater lake where we got blown the hell away by the insane wind, and perhaps my favorite-some amazing caves and lava tubes.

the last day i visited ahu tahai in the early morning and thought it'd be a quick stop at the bank to change money. i was running late and therefore jogging back to the campsite and another local on a scooter stopped to pick me up! so nice, until we got going and i could smell that he was completely hammered...considering the smell he drove very straight! we made it.

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stay at hostal vermont! osorno, chile

on the way back to santiago i had the intention of seeing some lakes, volcanoes, hot springs...but ended up relaxing with the cool cats of hostel vermont! i highly recommend this place!

the place is run by sirce and mike, a lovely and very welcoming chilean/american couple. also great company: their two cats lauchin and hazelnut, tiny dog juno, and also three super nice residents of the hostel! the first day i had a much needed nap before going thrifting and getting a haircut (seriously-half the places in osorno were either thrift stores or cheap barber shops...i was in absolute thrift heaven) and the second day mike and i visited the weekend market for lunch fixings. mike cooked up a yummy seafood pasta dish with tomatoes!

the city of osorno itself doesn't have many tourist attractions, however, i found the people here to be exceptionally kind. while walking to the bus station i dropped a mitten and one of the locals, judging by the shortness of her breath, probably ran a few blocks to return it to me! wow!

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torres del paine, chile

after many hours of bus and waiting for transfers (32 hours to be exact), i finally made it onto a bus to rio turbio. for several hours it felt like an absolute sauna! on the upside i was so happy to meet karina and mr. jakobsen, a delightful danish couple who were also going the same way. we spent two nights in puerto natales in a dive hostel danicar-the first night karina thought she found a bedbug in her bed. she said in a stern voice: Kill it. and it was true after all-i acquired my very own bedbug colony in my sleeping bag! no!

it was karina and mr. jakobsen's first big hike and we spent much time the next day searching for the perfect pair of waterproof hiking boots. they are now the proud owners of matching boots! since then they've done some hardcore ice climbing (ice picks, crampons, proper jackets) and it looks like they've made good use of their boots!

we spent the first day hiking together to the mirador of the torres (towers) and somehow we were blessed with absolutely beautiful weather. gorgeous scenery!!! they carried on for 2 more days of trekking and me-well, i couldn't afford the $40/night refugios so i headed back to puerto natales. i wished that i could have carried on hiking with karina and mr. jakobsen, they were a fun and funny bunch!


on keeping paranoia under raps

south america (or parts of) is known to be notoriously unsafe. in general i've felt pretty good about being here, although i have felt less inclined to have my cameras out and about: i've met way too many travelers who have had their cameras nicked. i think some guys tried to rob me on the bus in peru-they spilled water all over the floor and tried to store my bag in the overhead shelves behind me. having had the prior experience of being "helped" (and subsequently robbed) i declined. the guys got off the bus 5 minutes later and i think tried again to distract me.

recently two of my friends were robbed: one opportunistically in the bus station in valparaiso and the other at knife point while waiting for a pickup forĀ  the inca trail. in the early morning. both lost a camera (or cameras!) and passports. my heart goes out to them.

to increase paranoia even more, i watched a film on the way from santiago to mendoza about two young women who get kidnapped in paris by the evil albanian mafia. their mission is to drug-trap women into prostitution. luckily one girl's father is an ex-cia agent and manages to kill every albanian (sans personal injury despite the amount he was shot at) and rescue his daughter. unluckily, the other girl overdoses and is found dead. moral of the story: don't talk to handsome strangers because they may be involved in a plot to kidnap you. noted.

to top it all off, while we were in santiago and valparaiso, my new friend mike took it as his hobby to have me think there was a ferocious dog about to nip at my ankle again...thanks mike.

trying to keep paranoia at a minimum, vigilance at a maximum, and above all-trying to have a good time.