Tuesday, 4 September 2012


Where to start.

Ok, so after the San Pedro we had a couple of days to relax and prepare our bodies for another kicking. The first day I spent mainly sleeping and the second day, me and Maggie (the American girl) grabbed a taxi to these lakes near by and sat around chatting and looking at the cool views. There was this little girl and her mate that were out hurding sheep and the girl came over to chat with us. At first we figured she could speak spanish as she seemed to be able to answer all our questions. Then it seemed as though her answer to all the questions was always Si (yes) so I asked her in spanish if she knew barak obama and she said si. Turns out she didn't know spanish!

So the day of the ceremony we were alowed to eat breakfast, but no dairy products. At this stage all this dieting stuff was getting to be a bit of a bind, no caffine, drugs, alcohol, dairy, meat, Arrrgh! But checking my waist line today, I have lost a shit tonne of weight and I can actually see my abs again for the first time since the kung fu camp :-)

We met at Javiers house at 12 and discovered that there would be 8 of us on the course, the 4 from San Pedro plus a couple of first timers and a couple of girls who had done Ayawaska a few times. We spent the rest of the day until the ceremony relaxing, reading, listing to music, meditating and doing some breathing exersizes to relax our bodies and focus our minds (sound like yoda don't I?!).

Then we all headed to the temple which was essentially a circular room with glass ceiling with two toillets. It was purose built for these ceremonies as the floor was wooden for easy clear up. Without getting to graffic, your body sees Ayahuasca as a poisin and once you consume it your body tries to purge it out from the top and bottom. So everyone was armed with a bucket and everyone needed it. As with San Pedro, the cereomny started with Javier performing some chants and blessing us with tobacco smoke. Then we each took it in turns to put our intentions into the cup of medicene. My intentions, that San Pedro had raised, was not to be scared to love again for fear of rejection. So I drank the medicene and it tasted like a cross between fairy liquid and red wine. Disguisting! So everyone started taking their own journeys inside themselve and I laid there and physically felt the medicene land on my brain like a space ship then slowley slice open my chest and fill all my organs. Then after I was sick (along with the entire room in beautiful chorus!) I laid there and enjoyed the process. For me, I only had one message that came out, which was a premonition of holding my own baby in my arms with a loved one. I was really suprised to have that as the concept of having kids is the last thing on my to do list at the moment! But I suppose Ayahuasca is made to bring up deeply buried issues and desires to the for so I took it as a nice image. The rest of the process for me was spent seeing cool visuals and exploring strange lands.

One of the other guys, who's first time it was, had a really bad time processing the medicine. He was thrashing out, kicking walls, screaming and even bit the shamen when he tried to calm him down! All this commosion was really distracting and kind of sobered me up.

The following morning we all sat around and discussed all the messages and visions we'd seen and it was fascinating to find out what everyone else had experienced.

And now I feel great. Really fired up to head back to England with clear direction of what I want to do next. As for this blog, this is probably my penultimate entry as I only have a week left. My last entry will probably be a complete overview of the highlights from the year so watch this space fans.


Sunday, 2 September 2012

San Pedro

If you didn't know, San Pedro is a hallucinogenic cactus that grows in the jungle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echinopsis_pachanoi). It's been used as a medicinal drug for curing physical and phycological issues for centuries and recently it's becoming more and more popular for gringos travelling in South America to join in with the ceremonies. Now in preparation for this one must be abstinent from alcohol, recreational drugs, sex, caffeine and red meat for at least 3 days preferably more. So I'd been keeping to that  for 5 days then met with Javier, the Shaman who would conduct the ceremony. He's an immediately likable person who is very calm and seems trustworthy. Which is a necessity as you basically become a babbling stumbling idiot for 12 hours solid so it's important to have a good shaman. Basically the point of the shaman is they channel your thought process and get you to ask appropriate questions about yourself so that you can delve into your past and process all the bad experiences you've had in a positive way.

Ok, so the day of the ritual we met at 8am on an empty stomach. The other 3 people on the group were:

Maggie - A 29 year old girl from the states who was working and travelling in South America.
Laurie - A 45 year old woman from the states who had a lovely soft southern accent.
Brian - Laurie's husband. A 6.2 huge bloke who had a real gentle giant presence about him.

The important thing to note here is that all 4 of us were pretty run of the mill people, not hippies in the slightest way and no woolly lama fleece or shitty backpacker pyjama style trousers in site. the 4 of us and Javier walked for about 15 minutes to this spot by a river facing a big mountain. It was just outside of the tree line so that we would be in shade for most of the day and it was in a valley so that at certain points wind would gust through making the whole experience epic.

Ok, so I've been toying with how much detail to go into here as San Pedro makes you process all sorts of emotional issues you've had in the past. At the start of the ceremony you're asked to put your intentions into the cup before you drink the medicine. My intentions were to find clarity for what I wanted to do after I finish travelling as I have about 4/5 options for where I want to work. As it turns out, my intentions were answered in a different way than I expected. We all sat around in a circle facing Javier while he placed some objects around him and blew tobacco smoke over our head and hands. Then we took it in turns to drink the San Pedro, which tastes fucking gross! It was really cold as the sun hadn't passed the tree line so I headed up to the hill a bit to the dirt road to get some sun. Then while I was waiting for the stuff to kick in I decided to listen to a song on my ipod. Javier came over and asked what I was listening to (he had said before the ceremony that we should listen to music in moderation) so I told him Madonna, the power of goodbye. If you haven't hear the song its got a really nice melody and is kind of trippy for getting high to.I also told Javier that I was really cold so he suggested taking a walk for15 minutes then if I wanted to I could take more San Pedro if I wasn't feeling the effects.

After the walk I went back to my rug and was starting to feel the effects. I took a walk to the river and looked out to the other back where a Peruvian guy was moving some rocks around. Out of nowhere, Javier snuck up and said "they-re just rolling stones" at which point I started to giggle and I knew I was feeling the effects. So I laid down on my rug and started to think about things. He had said that usually peoples issues stem back to their parents so I started there. I thought about my dad and couldnt find any ill feeling there. Whatever there had been has clearly now all been sorted. Then I thought about my mum and it was nothing but positive feelings. Then I thought about my ex Hayley. I started to dwell on that, after all its because of her that I'm travelling. then I started to think of the good times we shared, particularly when we sat on a chair lift in Austria while skiing and singing billy Joel piano man together. Then I cried. I curled up into the fettle position and cried for about 5 minutes. Then I started to smell tobacco smoke and I knew that Javier was standing over me, kind of protecting me from myself. Then I realised that of all the moments we shared they were never truly perfect. And I found a lot of comfort in that.

Then I laid back, looked up and looked in front. Out of nowhere, there was a cow laying in front of me with a cactus stuck in its side. The irony of seeing a cactus stuck in a cow while I was high on cactus was hilarious to me. I started historically laughing! then I looked further up and there was a whole herd of cows on the distance, two of which were fucking. and I laughed for a while before realising that maybe the cactus was hurting the cow. Then Javier came over to have a chat and I told him about the cactus. He very calmly went over to the cow and took the cactus from its fur. like a boss. Then I looked up at the mountain and I could see leeshus (my puma) face looking at me which was nice. Then I had a bunch of other revelations mainly about my personality and love. And all of a sudden it became clear what I wanted to do next. But I wont go into details here in case the wrong people read this!

At sun set we all sat in a circle again around Javier and he performed the closing ceremony. This basically involved him singing a song and thanking all the plants, mountains, spirits etc for helping us today. Then we took a walk back to his house which was a lot of effort as the San Pedro was still in effect. Maggie was struggling a bit as she felt nauseous. I chatted a bit to the couple who said that they both took more medicine when they were offered. Brian, who was sick after taking the second batch, very much regretted that decision!

We all sat around and ate dinner at Javier's house, which is one of the coolest houses Ive ever been in. The building itself was in the shape of a bird and inside it was all open plan with crazy paintings, two disco balls and disco lights. It was kind of tribal meets art meets gay. But he had pulled it off well. So for dinner we had soup and carrot cake. Brian was really struggling with an upset stomach but the other three of us felt great. In fact, Laurie was fucking hilarious. The meal was like the mad hatters tea party, Javier was playing dad constantly asking us to concentrate and eat our soup, Laurie and Maggie were struggling with the effort of putting a spoon full of soup into their mouths and I was cramming bread into my mouth. Then Laurie made me laugh and I sprayed bread crumbs all over the table which Laurie said looked like confetti! After the soup we were offered carrot cake and I was the only person who was eating it. I have no idea why the others didn't want to eat it, it tasted lush and I knew that the sugar would help sober us up. Then sat and watched the disco ball make crazy shapes on the roof. Then after Javier had cleared up the table we went outside to look at the full moon light up the mountains and watch the stars. Then I saw a shooting star (I think the first Ive seen) which was cool. Then we went through to look at the temple which was essentially a building with a glass roof that acted like a green house so was really warm and cosy. We all then sat and asked questions about the up coming ayahuaska ceremony (Brian had taken himself to bed at this stage). Maggie and I slept in the temple and the following morning we all sat around and discussed our experiences.

So that was San Pedro for me. Apparently you can buy the stuff in the UK over the net but I certainly would not recommend or will be doing that as you really need a shaman with you too keep everything in check. For me, I think this will be a one off experience, however tomorrow I'm taking Ayawaska. Apparently its much stronger but lasts for much shorter time and the point of the Ayawaska is to face the issues that San Pedro brings up and to put them behind you.

Wish me luck....

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Matchu Pitchu

Trully one of the 7 wonders of the world. Stayed in Aguas Calliente (hot water) the night before having been given told about the hostel by a guy who works there who cycled past us on a bike. Just a quick overview of the costs involved in matchu Pitchu:

Option 1: Expensive and lazy (how most old people do it):
Bus from cuzco to Ollantaytambo = 5 Dollars
Train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas calliente = 60 dollars
Hotel booked in advance = 30 to 600 dollars
Gringo Meal = 10 dollars
Bus up the mountain = 9 dollars
Entry to Matchu Pitch = 58 dollars
Bus down the mountain = 9 dollars
Train from Aguas calliente to Ollantaytambo = 60 dollars
Bus from Ollantaytambo to cuzco = 5 Dollars
Total = 246 dollars

Option 2: Inca Trail
4 days hiking and camping, circa 450 dollars all in

Option 3: Jungle trail
 4 days  hiking and camping  150 - 200 dollars (depending on how good you bargain)
Optional extra of rafting and zip lining + 30 dollars

The way we did it in 3 days:
Bus from cuzco to Pino = 2 dollars
Menu del dia in Pino = 2 dollars
Bus from Pino to urubamba = 1 dollar
Taxi to Maras = 1 dollar (we snuck in the back way so didnt pay to get in!)
Taxi back to urubamba = 1 dollar
Bus to Ollantaytambo = 1 dollar
1 night in a budget but great dorm in Ollantaytambo = 5 dollars
AMAZING 2 course Menu Del dia in Ollantaytambo = 2 dollars
Return bus we booked in cuzco from Ollantaytambo to Aguas then from Aguas to Cuzco = 32 dollars
Walked next to the 15 dollar train tracks = free
1 night in Aguas = 5 dollars
Bus up the mountain (lazy, could have walked!) 9 dollars
Entry to Matchu Pitchu = 58 dollars
Bus down the mountain (lazy, could have walked!) 9 dollars
Walked next to the 15 dollar train tracks = free
Couple of meals on the way back = 4 dollars
Total = 132 dollars

So in the end we beat the system and had a cracking adventure on route. Oh you wanna know about Matchu Pitchu? have a look at my photos on facebook, although it doesnt entirely do it justice it is trully magnificent. Better than the Taj, better than Angkor Wat, better than the oprah house, better than most things Ive seen.

And while I was up Winna Pitchu (the mountain next to Matchu Pitchu that gives you a view from the other side) I managed to find a quiet little spot away from the crowds. I sat there with tiggs next to me and realised that this magnificent site marks an end to an epic years journey. And I sat there, for about 10 minutes, no photos, no talking and just soaked it in. And its moments like that one that define a trip like this. This was the view as I sat there:

Ok, so tiggs may have learnt how to photo bomb!

So just 2 weeks left folks, just Ayawaska and a weekend on the raz in Lima to go. This is probably one of the last entrys so thanks for reading and for all your feedback.

Wish me luck with this voodoo crap.....

The Sacred Valley

While the three of us (Nat Gareth and Me) were in cuzco we+d looked at loads of options for how to do Matchu Pitchu. Originally my plan was to do a jungle trek (4 days) which would have possibly been slightly more cost effective but not by a lot and I wouldnt have got to see the sacred valley as the whole time would have been spent walking with one day of cycling. I have also got to the stage now where organised tours are starting to get on my tits. So after much deliberation we decided to spend the first day making our own way to Pisac (which was good for me as thats where I needed to go next so I could drop off my big bag there). We arrived there and headed off to see my Shamen Javier. Unfortunately Javier wasnt there so Im meeting him later today. I really hope he isnt a total nutter, I just watched a video of an american guy who does Ayawaska in Cusco (for half the price) but he just looks like a spaced out wanker. A girl here at reception says that shes heard that Javier isnt a very good shamen but shes never been to him and as she rates this american nutter, having done ayawaska with him, im going to take the tour guide I met in La Paz opinion over hers. I dont know if I mentioned it yet but I got told by about this shamen from an Aussie guy called Mark who did my death road bike tour in La Paz. mark was in his late 30s and a really interesting charecter. He told me how his life in australia was really stressfull because he would get really frustrated with Australian polotics, specifically going to war with America, so he decided he needed a break, sold up everything has been travelling and working ever since. He said that since hes been away he hasnt had time, or hasnt wanted to, keep in touch with polotics and has disconected from media. I totally agree with this line of thought, whats the point of watching the news, you only get a twisted view of something you cant controll anyway. 

I digresss. So anyway, on arrival in Pisac I went to leave my bag at the place that is just down the road from Javiers ritual centre as Javier said on his website that it was a good place for budget travellers at 30 sols a night (4 sols to a pound). On arrival there the lady who worked there told me that those prices were 7 years out of date and it was now 59 sol a night. 15 fucking pounds for a room, no internet, no breakfast, nothing. The only USP she offered was that it was quite and out of town, which I saw a down point because it was 20 minutes walk to the shops! So I sacked her off and found a place for a meger 20 sols a night saving myself 40 pounds for my time in Pisac. Winner! Then we grabbed a bus to urabamba and from there took a taxi to see Maras, essentially a salt mine in the mountain. Ill get some photos put on FB when I figure out a good way to get them from my phone. As it stands I can only upload them one at a time to my mobile uploads folder and I want to have a specific peru folder. Heres something I nicked from google images:

So this salt mine was pretty cool and we met a couple who were cycling from Mexico to Argentina. They had been on the road for 3 months and had another 3 left. Pretty damn cool way of doing it I thought, but Id defo do it on a motorbike if it were me. 

We were kind of running out of time so couldnt see moray, but we met some german trainee doctors (I just keep bumping into german doctors!) who showed us some photos and it didnt look all that. Then we took a bus to Ollantaytambo (try saying that 10 times fast!) where we met a pretty cool lady who had a hostel in town. It was pretty new and shed done a crackingt job with the rooms and comunial area, and even had some genuine duvets! (duvets are a real rarety in South America so i get very excited when I get them in a hostel). She showed us the surrounding hills and pointed out all the inca ruins and honestely it looked really impressive. Yoink:

This lady was from hartfordshire and decided to sell up her house and hit the states. From there she met someone who she travelled to Peru with (who annoyed the tits off her so she ditched him) and is now shacked up with the hostel owner. So the hostel owners familly has some land that she is wanting to invest in so that she can build her own healing centre, which is what she did back in England. Shes sold her house back in England so has the money in the bank. Did I say land? I meant to say an entire fucking valley with the surrounding mountains and a river! This blew my mind, most people save up to buy a car or a flat, she was buying an entire valley! 

So unfortunately we only had one night in Ollantaytambo so we got up early to see some of the surrounding ruins but didnt get to see the Wall of the Six Monoliths which Id seen a documentary on and is basically 6 massive stones that some people think were made by aliens because there is no way that the Incas had the technology to move or cut these stones. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ollantaytambo_Monolithen.jpg

Such an informative blog entry this one. You can tell Ive been fillin up on culture and havent had a drop of alcohol since Friday! After seeing some sights we waited for our organised bus to pick us up. Do you know what, Im not going to rant for ages about the journey to and from Matchu Pithcu, basically they fully bodged the job and added a whole heap of stress and confusion to our journey. So today I went to the office and calmly articulated my dissatisfacyion with the tour, got compensation money for an additional taxi ride we had to get and walked away feeeling very pleased with myself. I hate complaining as I either cant be bothered with the agro or lose my shit and end up shouting and swearing but this time I felt I got my point across very well :-)

Right, off to get a menu del dia for a quid then Ill write about the mighty matchu pitchu.....

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


Right, cuzco is the balls. Seriously, such a great city, it's got a great buzz about it, the arcitecture is awsome and although there is people selling you stuff everywhere, the plus side is you can get whatever you need. I had a quiet first night in first night (after a 4 pound massage!) then the next day was a lot more fun filled.

Woke up and wondered off to grab a Peru sim card for my phone. then did a walking tour and met up with Julia, my puma partner from Bolivia and her two, fellow german mates. The walking tour was great, went to a chocolate factory, a few resteraunts for some samplers, a couple of musiems and a good spot to look down on the city for a good view. Then afer a cracking menu del dia (menu of the day - usualy constitutes soup for starter, chicken/meat/veg plus rice and potatoes for main and a juice all for a quid!) I had a quick power nap before my night of carnage. I met up with ze germans at Loki (THE party hostel) and had a few drinks at the bar and chatted to a couple of people while they got ready. Then we had a few more drinks and by this point I was getting on really well with the bar staff so they were giving me quadriples for the price of singles! Then we went to do the pub crawl that the walking tour guide suggested but it was more expensive than he'd agreed (standard South America shit) so we went back to Loki and continued to get smashed. It was all a bit messy and involved some dancing on the bar, but all in all it was a top night.

Next day was a day of luxury, Macdonalds for breakfast, two kebabs for lunch then KFC for dinner. A bit of footy and that was about it!

The following day (sunday) was to be my last meat day so I went to the local shop and bought 12 chicken wings and fried them up with some garlic, tommato, chillie and onion. It was fucking delicious! After that me gareth and Nat headed up to Saqse woma (sexy woman) which is a fort on top of Cuzco. On advice from the tour guide we took a horse ride instead of paying the silly buggers amount to go in as a tour guide then snuck in the back after the ticket gaurds had finished for the day. Horse ride was a bit off, they clearly under fed and miss treated the horses a bit so I wasn't too happy but as it was gareths first time riding, and he was enjoying it so much, I didn't say anything negative. Plus we got to see the inca fort for pennies so it was all good.

Next day we headed to Matchu Pitchu (two days ago), but I'm too tired to give that report justice now, check out some of the bad ass picks I put on FB though!


Show me the way to go home....

Ok, before I write about cuzco, which is awsome, I just wanna have a wee vent. So after 11 and a half months of travel I really am looking forward to home time. Less than 2 weeks to go now :-) Having done Matchu Pitch today there is no more sight seeing to do. So I've cut out alcohol, all forms of sex, meat, 'recreational drugs' and caffine from my diet for the last few days in preperation for an ayawaska weekend. On Friday I'm going to do a San Pedro ritual then on Monday Ayawaska. This is all on recomendation from an Aussie tour guide in La Paz who has done ayawaska a few times and says its amazing. Then after I've done that I'll just have one more sinfull weekend left which I'll spend in Lima with antti, my finish friend from Paraguay. Then it's off home. For the record, I have absolutely no money left, so I'll be going back to england with no money and no possesions which is slightly daunting. I've been thinking alot about what job(s) I want to do when I get back and wether or not to go for something temporary or perminant. Probably end up doing call centre work as it pays well and is commitment free.

So yeah, really can't wait to get back and see all my friends and family. Oh, and I'm sick of these fuckers ripping me off because I'm a gringo so I want to get away from this continent! One last 20 hour bus journey to take.... joy.


Lake Titicaca - Isla del Sol

After a quick hop skip and a jump from La Paz we arrived in Copacobana (via a sneaky little flight from Rurrenbaque to La Paz - I was NOT taking that bus again!). At this stage (and ever since) I've been travelling with Nat and Gareth, an english couple I'd worked with at the Puma Park. After getting skanked by the La Paz taxi driver who wouldn't take us to the right stop and charged more than we agreed we then got a super cheap bus journey so carma was resumed. We spent that night in Copa Cobana which is basically just a tourist town full of lama jacket clad gringos and people selling junk. Sorry, I really shouldn't be writting this blog now, I've been up for 17 hours to get up for Machu Pitchu so I'm a tad tired and grouchy! Anyway, nothing special to report other than finally seeing the end of my bed bugs having washed every item of clothes I owned!

The next morning we got up and headed off to the dock to grab a boat to the Isla del Sol. On arrival there we'd realised we'd slightly fucked up as we'd got off on the south side of the island and the 'thing to do' is to get off on the north then walk down to the south visiting the sights on route. So basically we had a choice of shelling out money to take a private boat to the north or trecking for 7 hours to the north and back. I opted for door number three, I just got hammered on rum and coke and looked out on the balcany at the amazing views all day! It was pro. Meanwhile gareth and Nat went off for a walk and returned back to find a slightly tipsey and very sun burnt pete. So we headed off to watch the sunset which was pretty damn pretty, grabbed an over priced pizza then headed to bed.

The next day we trecked down the steps (oh, the walk up was minging with big bags, steep steps and high altitude!) and grabbed a boat back to shore. Then we shelled out for a decent overnight bus to cuzco and spent the rest of the day in a cafe watching Reading lose to Chelsea (Torres was a mile offside for the record) and sipping coca tea.

Boom, Isla de sol done.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Back to civilization

So that's it for the puma park. Had my last working day yesterday and said my goodbyes to all the volunteers, the family that run the park and Lishu (my puma). I can honestly say that I'm really going to miss the park, mainly for the people there and the cats. There were things that drove me nuts, mainly the mosquitoes, sand flies and bed bugs and one volunteer who would not stop moaning and complaining the entire time. On the subject of bed bugs, you don't really know true and absolute irritation until your junk has been hammered by the little bastards. And I'm sorry to get graffic here, but I mean the whole meat and two veg covered with about 20 bites. But that's all the ranting I'm going to do because it was an incredible experience and I want to focus on the positives :-)

My last couple of weeks I was on full days with Lishu with a scouser guy called Alan. It was kind of sad to be parted from Dave as I got on with him really well but Alan was a brilliant replacement. Really funny guy, nice and chilled and a beird the size of forrest gumps when he runs across america (see my FB photos for evidence!). Lishu was a bit of a brat on full days, when I took him out just in the afternoons he was focused on just doing his walk and getting back for his meat but on full days he was always trying to turn around on the trail, go outside his parimiter and not go back to his cage for lunch. And each time he didn't get his way he'd throw massive bitch fit and try to pull on the leesh with his teeth until he eventually realised he wasn't getting anywhere. Then he'd grumble and growl for the rest of the day because he'd worked himself up. Then   as soon as he was back in his cage he'd be purring and licking my hand again. He was like jeckel and hyde, in the cage he was a loveable cute cat, then as soon as he got outside he put his game face on and hated the world!

Oh, so the park is situated between two towns, Santa Ann and San Bueno. Now the two towns are argueing over a new road which will (one town believes) diminish the amount of through traffic meaning they'll lose trade where as the other town will benifit from the new road. So while one town was protesting about this at the other towns plaza, they decided to put 3 protesting women in stocks (as in the medieval stocks) and kick the crap out of them. This is all whilst the police look on and do nothing to stop it. I didn't actually wittness this but I was told about it by one of the towns doctors. So if you thought bolivia was developed and civilized, think again!

So special mention has to go to Molly and Dave, my favorite people at the camp. If anyone is thinking of doing volunteer work in boilivia I would definatly recomend Inti Wari Yassi (http://www.intiwarayassi.org/) as a brilliant organisation and a great experience. Gotta catch a flight to La Paz soon then I'm off to Cuzco in Peru. Really looking forward to going home now but I'm going to try and focus on enjoying the final few weeks of travelling, especially Machu Pitchu which I'm pretty sure will be the balls.

Peace out.


Tuesday, 31 July 2012

week 2 of pumas

So a wee bit more detail on what I'm doing day to day. 

First of all if you wanna find out about the place itself here is the website:


So I'm working with two cats, Luna in the morning and Leeshu in the afternoons. Luna is a 2 year old bi-polar nut bar that rugby tacles any gringo at every opertunity. She's cool, but her mood swings kind of anoy me. Leeshu is a 6 year old dude who knows esactly what he wants and doesn't beat round the bush (no pun intended!). He's massive, about 15kgs more than Luna and 58kgs total. That may not seem like much, but trust me, it's pure muscle! if you give them 2 metres running space they're pretty much gaurenteed to take you to the ground. So its kind of the same routine for all the cats, you walk over to their cage (about 20 minutes walk from camp) and see them at the fence. We spend about half ah hour stroking and petting them through the fence and they pur really loudly! Then when they're good and ready they let you know they want out and you walk into the cage to stap on the rope to their collar. Then you walk them out and keep a keen eye on them while they walk around their designated trails. Depending on their mood, which varys on loads of things, they will either walk, stalk, run, sleep, sulk, complain or jump you. When it rains, leeshu can't be arsed to walk so he just chills in his cage. However Luna loves the rain and she goes ape shit at the gringos walking her and jumps them even more than usual! 

When they jump, they go soft as they're only playing. They keep their claws in and only bite softly. That being said, they often forget that we're not toys so we have to try and stop them from jumping as much as possible as it encourages bad behavour. Also, sometimes they accidently hurt the gringos, so for example my first day walking leeshu he jumped me. Now Lesshu doesn't jump people that often so he's not used to doing it in a way that doesn't hurt the gringos. So when he jumped me his non retractble claw (the forth claw) accidently got stuck into my hand and natural instinct took over so he got frustrated and started scratching at my arm. I only got minor cuts and hopefully I'll end up with some cool scars to show :-)

We get every tuesday off so we usually head to town on a monday night (by hitch) and get drunk on the cheap. We drink this stuff called potable (translates to drinkable) which is 96% alcohol, usually mixed with coke (I should say at this point that we mix it with cola - I am in bolivia after all!). And on that subject it's legal over here to chew on coca leaves so all the bolivians (and a couple of people at the camp) are always stuffing wads of leaves into their mouth so everyone has green teeth! At the camp we currently have 5 gringos, me, Dave (my portarican cat partner) molly, gareth and Nat. there was an isreally guy but he had to leave as he was really ill and a handfull of europeans who left after their schedueled time. There's also a familly who lives here and runs the camp, Carabea, dimetreo and their two daughters. Carabea is a lovely woman who is a devote christian and has a great heart. Dimetreo is about 20 years younger, loves getting drunk and whenever he gets pissed off with his daughters he shouts "PUTA!!!" (Spanish equivelant of cunt) at top volume. It's hillarius to hear from the other side of the camp! 

Errrr, not too sure what to write about other than that. The camp, although basic and over run with mosquitos, is amazing fun and has a great crowd of people staying there. Working with the pumas is cool, but if I'mbeing really honest with myself I'm not really here 'to make a difference' I'm here because I'm sick the travel part of travelling and to save money. Don't get me wrong, I support the cause and respect the animals but there are some proper die hard volunteers here who are lifers and really passionate about the cause. Fair balls to them. 

Patable has kicked in and I'm pissed. Off to get some meat (it's veg only at camp) at this cracking resteraunt. 4 pounds for a delicious suculant steak with all the trimmings. Can't be bad!


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Working with Pumas

Fuck me, for the first time since my first week of travelling my blog is up to date! Granted I've cheated and just put in the main points but I'm wary that its reaching the end of my trip so people are probably bored of reading this!

So when I bought the ticket from La Paz tp Rurunbaque they told me it would take 12 hours. It took 31. Seriously. Land slide and a crashed truck carrying livestock both blocking the road. The curse of bolivia continued!

Headed to the camp and on my first day of working with the pumas I've got a meaty scar on my hand from where the big bastard accidently got his non retractable claw stuck in my palm. Pretty scary at the time but he was only playing and didn't mean to hurt me... I hope!

Went out last night with the guys from the camp and got pretty drunk. Great crowd here, I'm loving it. And its so nice to do something other than sitting on a bus or site seeing!

Right, gotta hang over to nurse.

Peace out.

La Paz

Checked into the wild rover in La Paz and did what every brit there does, got pissed all day! Stopped into Loki for a bit to catch up with these Aussie girls from Florianopolis. They were working there so got me some cheap drinks :-)

Got stiched up with my bus journey to the Puma Camp I'm at and ended up having to spend an extra day there. Worked out OK as it meant I did the Death Road bike tour. Shite weather though so the views were't too spectacular but still had an awsome day. Nearly came off my bike when I was booking it down a gravil section but managed to keep it shiny side up.... just!


Kicked back in salta for a few days and mainly just walked around the city. Nice place but only if you're there with your girlfriend/wife/family. Looked into doing voluteer work there but decided I didn't want to work in an orphanage so opted to head to this place I'm at instead.....

Sammi Patta

By this stage my spanih was getting ok, I could hold up a conversation with the locals in Gringlish (gringo english) by piecing together the few words I knew and I was starting to enjoy speaking the lingo. Still wasn't enjoying Bolivia though as the burger continued to haunt me.

Then took the most horrific over night bus journey ever to get to Salta. Bad times!

Santa Cruz (Bolivia)

Off the back of the most horrific bus journey arrived in Santa Cruz and checked into the hotel. Went out for a night on the raz with a finish guy called Antti who writes sexy storys for pornos for a living (really interestng guy) and a french couple and got hammered. Ate a dodgey burger from a street vender and spent the next 4 days with food poisining! 


Bought a Samsung Galaxy for a pretty cheap price at the border town then headed to the capital, asuncion. Highlight was wathing the world cup final and at half time getting interviewed for paraguay national TV on what I thought of the game. Managed to use a couple of spanish words so that I didn't look like a total gringo!


There's nothing really I can say to do Iguazu justice, check out my pics on Facebook as I took some really great ones. Amazing place and the best thing I've seen in South America. Standing on the walkway over the devils throat was like being on another planet!


I managed to get into Brazil without getting my passport stamped so I was worried about the flight from Floro to Rio. Worked out fine in the end, they didn't even check my passport.

Went to see Promethuis in 3D the first night which was pretty good. Second night I went out to a bar which had 20 pound entry then unlimited bottles of bud and sex on the beach coctails. Met an awsome girl called Flavia who was studying tourism and spoke really good english. Spent the next 3 days hanging out with her at the beach, visiting christ the redeemer and going to a few markets. 


I spent like 2 weeks in Floro and loved it. I was staying at this sweet ass hostel that had a sister hostel just down the road. Most days I spent either hungover watching football or getting smashed. I went sand boarding a couple of times too but pretty much that's all I did.

The most epic night was when we took the Party bus, which was a converted bus out of the simpsons which as pimped with disco lights and bloody load music, to Pasha. Seriously good night, kind of got a little too hammered and ended up having a weird conversation with the bouncers and this dutch guy about the fact that I'd broken his wine bottle, which I'm pretty sure I didn't, then someho made it back to the hostel. I was woken up at 3pm the next day by the hostel staff asking if I was going to stay another night! It was the best party night of South america and I had a 2 day hangover to offset all that fun!

There was an Aussie guy there who was the king of BBQ´s who showed us how to make the best damn BBQ`d steak and BBQ´d chicken I've ever had. I can't really convey in words how nice it was! He then made a couple more BBQ's and I spent most nights getting pissed on Caprahinas.

Good times.

The final final nail in the coffin

On the journey back to Tacerembo from the Gaucho ranch there was already a wee bit of tension between me and Kate. The plan was to hitch hike to this town in the north west of uruaguay (can't remember what it was called) and from there hitch to Argentina then go our seperate ways. We loosely planned to meet in Bolivia once I´d been to Iguazu and Paraguay but nothing was set in stone. So anyway, we got a lift from the ranch owner back to town to take money out to pay him but on the way there saw about 4 cars going the direction we needed to go so we figured hitching was going to be nion impossible. We checked into the same hostel run by that nice old man again and had a rather awkward conversation about wether we were going to get married and live in Canada or England with the guy. I guesse it was easier to just lie to him and tell him canada as we were sleeping in the same room and it was a pretty christian house (there was a copy of the bible next to our bed!). Now I needed to skype my mum to wish her a happy birthday so I borrowed Kates Ipod touch while she went back to the hostel. After a quick chat with the mother unit I spent about an hour checking out options of wether or not to go to brazil or to go to Iguazu but in the end I decided to stick with the plan Kate and I had made and I headed back to the hostel. And that's when the shit hit the fan. I walked in and I could see she was in a foul mood. I didn't realise at first, but she'd been on the wine so was a little fiesty and very moody. conversation pretty much went like this:

Kate: Can you put my ipod on charge please?
Pete: Ok, where's the charger?
Kate: Dunno
Pete: I can't find it in your bag
Kate: Well look harder
Pete: Ok, you find it then
Kate: Why do you have to be such a fucking dick all the time?!?!

And so it went on. It got more and more heated and dispite my best efforts to de escalate it she was determined to turn it into a full scale arguement. So I took a walk back to the bus station to ask about tickets to Brazil and there were busses running to the border town pretty regularly all evening. I then went for some food and a beer before going back to grab my stuff. I figured I'd make one more effort to resolve things with kate when I got into the room but she continued to hurl abuse at me so I said fuck this, I'm going and off I went to the bus station. And that was the end of that. Since then we've sent a couple of messages to each other but pretty much agreed that we weren't suited to travel together. A shame really, when I think of all the great times we shared but ultimately we were both had too big a personalitys for each other.


Spent 5 days on a gaucho rnch in Northern Uruguay. Best thing I did in South america. Really great owners, great food and great fun riding a horse around all day chasing sheep and cows.

Fell off the horse at one point and the first thing I said to Kate when she asked if I was ok was "yeah, superman´s a pussy!" (Christoper Reeve)

Monday, 25 June 2012

Montevideo - FAIL!

Ok so the trip obviously started terribly with the loss of probably the 3rd most important thing to me (after Tigger and my Passport) and oly really got worse. We headed to a hostel that Kate had checked out online was the cheapest option and on arrival there was told that it was full with an Argentinan uni trip. By this point I was getting really stressed. The hostel told us we could either sleep in the comunial aria for free or go to a nearby hostel. So we decided to dump our stuff at the hostel as we´d been offered a place near by that was owned by the same place and took a walk into town to try and find a cash machine. I tried about 3 different banks and 8 cash machines but non of them were accepting my bank card as the magnetic strip was too faded. So I sat on a park bench whilst kate went off to find us some booze to drink. 20 minutes later she came back with a bottle of beer that had `sin Alcoholol´written on it, so I said to Kate ´what does sin mean?´and her head dropped and she said ´without´! This should have been an omen I sould have taken heed of. So she went back to the shop and returned with a cheap bottle of whiskey to spice up the non alcoholic beer and we sat having a chat. After a few drinks we were both a bit pissed and we startd talking about some of the people we´d met on our travells. I then made the error of slipping ito the conversation that I´d hooked up with a lap dancer from England in chang mai, and this was when I discovered that Kate´s ´cool, easy going´outlook on life was a bit of a facade and she went ape shit. She was discusted by this (which if you ask me is pretty damn narrow minded as this lap dancer had been in a 2 year relationship before she went travelling, had only been with me whilst travelling, and worked as a care worker with children from abusive families, so clearly wasn´t some dumb slapper) and went mental saying that she thought she was going to get all sorts of STD´s from me. She wouldn´t drop it after this and continued to make snide comments on the walk back to the hostel. I couldn´t believe she was acting like this, I thought she was pretty open minded and non judgemental but clearly not. So I went off to get cash out with my other bank card, paid her the money I owed her from the previous couple of days and we looked as though we were going to part company.

Then we went outside to talk it over and she appologized for blowing off the handle at me. I figured we were both in need of some R&R so I enquired about a sauna and massage place we could go to to get pampered and we grabbed a bus to where the hostel told us to go. On arrival at the place we were told they were closing in half an hour and they only had a fixed rate for the day so we would have paid for a full day and only spent half an hour there. So then we went off and grabbed a meal which was going ok until we got into a silly debate about wether Bon Jovi was a good artist or not! It was becoming more and more clear to me that my competative personality was clashing with hers. We headed back to the hostel and we planned to chill out and watch a movie. The only problem was that the Argentinian uni girls were all in the communial area so we had to wait for them to go out before we could have the place to ourselves. We´re both pretty sociable people so we got chatting to the girls who were all studying law. I was chatting to a girl sat on my left while Kate chatted to some girls on our right. Then Kate asked if we had any whiskey left and I said that it was in the bag in the storage room, I wasn´t bothered about drinking any more but if she wanted to she could go and grab it and drink the rest. This was to be part 2 of the argument as apperently I should have ran off to fetch her booze for her (if you ask me I think she was jealous I was chatting to another girl) so she pulled me to one side and started having a go at me saying I was selfish and never never did anything for her. This was the final nail in the coffin so I said fuck this I´m going to bed told her I didn´t want to travel with her any more. So the hostel guys took us (she wanted to go to bed too) to our ¨dorm room¨ which was actually a twin room and we went to bed in a horrifically awkward silence.

The next day I woke up to a letter from her saying she´d left early and detailing all my faults. I had no idea where she´d gone and no plan for where to go next. So I decided to send her a message on FB basically saying i thought it was a shame we´d fallen out over such trivial bollax so she told me she was staying in a hostel down the road so I went off to have a chat and try to patch things up. It was so frustating to me that when we were together it was fucking great, but we were arguing over really pathetic things more and more often. So we met at the hostel and decided that it was probably best that we didn´t get pissed together any more as that was what seemed to cause all our arguements. We ordered some mexican food for delivery and thanks to them totally fucking up the order we got 3x as much food for the price we were going to pay :-). This was probably the only good thing to come out of Montevideo. That night I slept at the first dorm while Kate slept at the new dorm. I was in a 32 bed dorm and was the only one in there - weird! Got a decent nights sleep and the next morning I checked into the same dorm as Kate. I´d love to tell you about all the other things I did in Montevideo other than argue with Kate, but we didn´t do anything else! We planed to go play golf at one point but Kate went out and got shitted the night before and over slept. We planned to go to Kareoki at one point but all the kareoki places were closed. It was all a bit rubish really and I was sick of Montevideo so we decided to head to Tacarembo to find a Gaucho ranch to stay at.....

Colonia De Sacramento - Uruguay

After frantically haring around BA to try and rescue Kate´s guitar from a hostel she left it at, no no avail, we just managed to get to the port in time for our ferry. It was a short journey over to Uruguay and on arrival at Colonia we set about looking for a hostel. As usual we were disgusted by how expensive everywhere was especially as it was low season so the hostels where all really empty anyway. We eventually settled on a pretty decent HI (hostel international) as they had a 4 bed dorm that was up some stairs to ourselves so it was like having our own little den :-). On our first mission out to grab supplies we met the most gorgeous ad cool dog I´ve ever seen who proceeded to follow us around for the remainder of our time in Colonia. We named him Rorge, pictured below (the one on the right ;-))

The first day was mainly spent chilling out, I bought and cooked a mean BBQ chicken with mash lunch and then we spent the rest of the day watching movies and sleeping (we were still a bit ill from man flu at this point). 

The next day we (me, Kate Rorge) wondered off to see if we could rent a moped for the day to explore the town. Not only was it stupidly over priced, we were also only allowed to go around the town and not further a field so we decided to just take a walk down to the old town instead. First stop was to the sea side which was nice and pretty. Then we walked over to the lighthouse in the old town and had a pretty decent view of the town from up there. We could also see Rorge down on the street terrorising the pigeons :-). After that we walked around the pretty cobbled streets and looked at all the old buildings. on the way home we stopped in at a butchers and bought a couple of big old steaks to cook up. Then after a siesta we stocked up on whiskey milk and chocolate and made submarines. Now in order to make a submarine one must add a bar of chocolate to boiled milk so that it dissolves in and tastes ace. we decided to spice up this recipe with the addition of whiskey and got nicely cooked whilst watching battle ship on Kate´s DVD player (pretty decent film for the record). 

The next day planned to hitch to Montevideo but the logistics weren´t really in our favour and the bus was pretty cheap. Unfortunately I lost/had stolen my 120gig ipod which was full of music, comedy and music. Epic fail. In fact this was to be the start of my worst day of travelling in the entire trip.....

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Buenos Aires

Thinking back I´m trying to sum up BA in one sentance. I really liked the place, it was clean cool and pretty and I never felt unsafe walking around. We were staying at Milhouse which is one of those hostels that everyone stays in:

La Paz (Bolivia) Wild Rover
Cusco (Peru) Loki
Buenos Aires (Argentina) Milhouse

Basically they´re all massive hostels where the party only ever stops for sex and/or being sick (and imagine sometimes at the same time!). So when Kate came back from the shower one morning to say that she heard a couple of people having uber loud sex and she thought that the girl was definately faking it I thought nothing of it. Then when I went to have a shower later that day I also heard a couple properly going at it. Then again the next time I went for a shower so I started getting a bit suspicious and asked the other peps in the dorm room.... turns out there is a porno theatre next door to the hostel that backs onto the window of the showers!

Anyway, first night we joined in at a tango class and once again Kate and I had a minor dispute over the dancing and I decided there and then that we were just too competative for each other. After that we went off to a steak resteraunt that we´d been recomended as they give you a free glass of champane with your meal. That, coupled with the bottle of whiskey we´d pre drank, plus a bottle of wine with the meal and I was KO´d!

The next day Kate and I were feeling a little under the weather, mainly because of a cold (that was due to stay with us for about a week!) and partly because we´d been drinking every night for the last few weeks.  I went off to a spanish lesson at the other hostel then came back to chill out for a while before heading off to play football with some of the other guys from the hostel. It was 7 a side and I was rocking my new trainers that I´d bought in Rosario on a cracking shoppping spree. I smashed in a pretty tidy goal and almost scored a couple more times. I was surprised how well I was playing considering I hadn´t played in 9 months. That night we had a quite one as neither of us could be arsed. We had a silly arguement about watching a DVD as well.

The next day was another fail day culminating in the evening when we first went to the other hostel for a few drinks, then after a few too many drinks Kate and I had another arguement then she went out to a club while I stayed in.

The next day Kate suggested we should move into seperate rooms and I realized that I´d been a bit tough on her recently. After spending a month living out of each others pockets we´d finally reached breaking point and I wasn´t quite ready for that. Don´t get me wrong Kate is a cracking girl, and we shared some amazing times together, but sometimes we just had big personality clashes. So we discussed how best to act around each other in future and I made a conscious effort to try a bit harder to avoid any more fall outs. And that worked for a pretty long time. Later that day we went off to a football game. So if you book the football game with the hostel they give you a transfer to and from the stadium, give you a tour guide and a bit of information on the ground etc. But it was about 90 quid! The hostel kept emphasising that this price was due to the tickets being expensive and that we couldt go seperately from the hostel. Lies. Kate and I grabbed a bus to the ground, bumped into a few people from the other hostel (there are two milhouse hostels within 3 blocks of each other), booked the tickets and saw the match without any issues. All for about 30 pounds! Not only that, when we asked someone else from our hostel, who had gone with the hostel, what the tour was like she said it was a mess: over half the group didn´t get in to the ground until about 2 minutes before KO as they´d fucked up with the tickets and they had a shit view of the ground. We had fucking awsome seats by the way! The only down side was that we were in the home fans section and the away team (Boca Juniours) smashed the home team (Racing) 3-0! But all the fans were still singing away to each other the whole game and the atmosphere was electric the entire time.

the next day we checked out of the hostel and decided to move to another place as we wanted to see some more of the city, plus we needed a break from the ´party hostel´ so that we could get over our colds. We moved across town and from what I can remember we didn´t do anything special. We wanted to go to a tango show but I think we agreed that it was too expensive for what we were going to get (athough I kind of regret that decision now). Then we booked the ferry to go to Uraguay....

9 months reflection....

Well, I´ve been on the road for 9 months now and I figured I´d do another reflection as the last one seemed to be a bit of a hit. Just to say again, I really like the comments you leave on the blog so please keep leaving them :-).

Hmmmm, so I´m sat in my hostel in Florianopolos (Brazil) and the weather´s been a bit shitty the last couple of days so this may not be the most up beat of entrys! A lot of people have been asking me recently (both here and at home) what my plans are for the rest of my time here and what I plan to do when I get back. So first of all the route:

  • From Floro to rio tomorrow where I´ll spend a few days. Particularly looking forward to seeing christ the redeemer, the favelas and the free U2 gig on sunday.
  • From rio to Uguazu falls
  • Through Paraguay to the salt flats of Bolivia
  • Spend a month in La Paz learning spanish, doing some volunteer work and the death road tour
  • Over to Peru to see Machu Pithcu
  • Up through Equador to columbia then over to venezuala

 So a lot to do still, but I´ve got 3 months so it should be OK. Then what to do after that? Well, it depends on a few factors but I´ve got a few plans to potentially keep me busy for the next decade:

  1. Work in the Mines in Australia for 9 months then travel round the rest of the country with the money I´ve saved
  2. Work in Newzealand for 6 months then travel with the money I´ve saved (both of these I have to do before 30 otherwise I can´t get a working visa)
  3. Teach English in South East Asia - probably ho chi min or south Korea but ideally Chang Mai
  4. Work in Canada for a few months (apperently bar tenders get paid a butt load in tips) then use the money to buy a motorbike and tour the US.
  5. Work in the middle east and save up enough money to go to the antarctic
  6. Work in Europe and save enough money to do the trans siberian from Russia to China then over to Japan.
  7. Work as a tour bus driver in South Africa 
These are pretty much in chronological order of when would make sense to do them. For the record I shan´t be missing Lillerz wedding as it was painfull enough missing Rob´s.

So what of travelling itself? I suppose it´s just become second nature now and that has had a couple of negative effects. First of all I was sat on a bus in Uruguay the other day talking about how I have a pretty good system for keeping my shit together and how I´ll probably need to be more carefull in Brazil but as it´s Urugauy I can be a little more relaxed. Then Sure enough I lost/had my ipod stolen that journey! 120gig of music and videos that had kept me sane for 9 months gone. Fortunately I have an 8 gig ipod as a backup but it still sucks. Then when I crossed the border and got the bus from Uruguay to Floro I didn´t check about the immigration process untill I was about 5 hours into Brazil and realized I didn´t have an entrance stamp. So I´m going to have to pay a 50 pound fine for not doing the immigtaion process correctly. It´s all a learning curve I guess.

At the moment I still prefer South East Asia to South America but I´ve got some really cool things still to look forward to. I´ve spent the last fortnight basically chilling out and doing nothing so I need to get my arse in gear and start ´travelling´again I suppose. Well, it´s 12:30 and England are playing in a few hours so I suppose I better crack open a beer...........


Sunday, 17 June 2012

Rosario to BA - the easiest hitch ever!

We grabbed a bus to the outskirts of town so that we could hitch on the main road out. So whilst hanging around a petrol garage there a guy came up to us to offer us a lift further down the road. We weren´t sure exactly what he was saying, but it turned out he was the manager of the service station just down the road. So he drops us off, takes us inside and gets us a couple of free coffees. Then whilst we´re sat there drinking the coffees and eating bread rolls we´d pre made he came back over and gave us a plate of croissants on the house! Then after we´d finished eating we wondered over to the exit ramp and started discussing what our ideal hitch would be, and as Kate was fed up of speaking broken Spanish she was hoping for someone who spoke English. Then 2 minutes later a guy comes over and offers us a lift in his corsa. This guy was perfect; he drove 120kph most of the way (all the trucks we´d been in were going like 80 so it took ages to get anywhere), he spoke shit loads of english, had air con and designed flight simulators for the Argentinian army so was really interesting to speak to. 

So we arrived in BA in record time and started looking for Milhouse, which is the hostel EVERYONE stays in…..

Thursday, 14 June 2012


Ok, so Cordoba is the second biggest city on Argentina so we figured it would have been nion impossible to hitch without first going to a near by town. So we grabbed a bus to nearby Rio Secundo and tried to hitch from there. It´s a fairly boring story, so I won´t bore you with too much detail, but there are two road that go from Cordoba to Rosario, one is a major dual carriageway, the other goes to all the little towns along the way. And as we´d gone to a nearby town there was hardly any traffic going through Rio Secundo as it was all on the dual carriage way! So after 2 hours of standing around waiting for a lift we gave up and flagged down a couch to the next town! From advice of the bus driver we walked up the main road to a near by petrol garage a set about asking people for a lift. After half an hour of waiting eventually someone pulled over and offered us a lift.... it was the bus driver that had taken us there! He was off duty and picked us up in his car and took us down the road to where all the trucks stop to get fuel. From there Kate explained how to ask for a lift in spanish and i went up and managed to get us a lift all the way to Rosario from a helpfull truck driver in his late thirties. Really nice guy. It took us a few places and a bit of bartering to get a reasonably prices place and evenually we secured a sweet private room for really cheap and had a quite night in.

The next morning we got chatting to an English group and went off to explore the sites of Rosario. First on my list was to find the restuarant that Lional Messy´s dad owned. That took a long as time to find but was worth it in the end. Now, if I´m being totally honest we didn´t actually meet papa messy but i didn take a photo next to the resturaunt with the chef and when I put it on face book I may have implied that in fact that was actually Lional Messy´s dad ;-). Next on the list was to head to the war memorial to the fallen soldier, which I soon realised was largely a token to all the soldiers lost in the faulklens war so as I was with a bunch of English people I felt prett embarressed to be there! Check out my pics on FB though, it was a buatifull memorial and a really pretty town.

I really can´t remember doing a lot else in Rosasrio. It was a nice place but fairly un eventfull.

The end.


Shit we spent a long time in Cordoba! The first half we spent at a hostel in one half of the city which was pretty chilled and cheap. It had a table football table which was pretty naff but still good fun. The first time I used it it took a while to get used to and I even managed to get beaten by an american. The next day I kicked his ass though so all was redeemed!

The second day in Cordoba we did precisely fuck all in the day time. We looked around for places to go sky diving as we´d been told that it was really cheap in Cordoba. That evening we played some drinking games before heading out for a night on the tiles. We headed out with some American guys and an couple of Canadian girls. One of the girls was flirting with me pretty heavily so I had to tell her that I was kind of seeing Kate as although we were´t exactly a couple, it would have caused a shit storm if I´d gone off with another girl. Shame though, she was pretty cute! After some shapes in the club Kate and I headed back to the hostel.
The following day i was a touch hung over so watched the final day of the premiem league and watched Man city beat QPR in extra time to win the entire league. Mental game. that evening, me Kate and the American guy headed to a salsa class which was a good laugh. this was first time Kate and I had a we bit of friction though as she was first of all giving me shit for being bad at dancing, then when I tried to do better she was giving me shit for being boring and taking it too seriously and making it ´not sexy´. So I decided that I would make it uber sexy... and turned into a french nympho! So whilst seductively speaking to her in a ridiculously over the top french accent I passionately threw her around to the dance steps. And she was pissing herself laughing the entire time!

The next day we decided to move hostels as we´d found another place across town for cheaper and as we wated to see some more of the town we took a walk. It had Duvuets! Awwww, they were lush. We also managed to find out that the skydiving company affiliated with the hostel was the same place that one of Kates mates worked at so we figured we´d get a discount if we dropped his name. Nope! But still, we went off sky diving and it was sick. I´ve been a few times before so I was pretty excited and not nervous about doing it. But Kate had heard loads of horror storries and managed to make herself really nervious! So when it came to just before the jump I though it best not to tell her that the plane we were using was the same that I´d used at uni and that had crashed through engine failuire! After the skydive, which was obviously kick ass we went for a steak and a siasta. In fact that day I´d had steak, sex, skydiving, salsa and a siasta. Good times!

The next day we headed to Rosario........

The road to Cordoba

Having enjoyed the previous hitching adventures so much we decided to continue the adventures and hitch from Mendoza to Cordoba. As mendoza wasn´t that big we walked to the main junction to stand by the road to Cordoba. We´d worked out that once we´d got to San Luis that it should be pretty easy to get the rest of the way up to Mendoza. However, as always we´d slept in later than planned and did´t hit the road till about 11am. So after standing around for a about half an hour we finally got a lift from a guy, who´s car was littererally falling apart. he was on his way to the garage to get his car fixed and wasn´t sure if his car was going to make it to the garage, and yet, he still felt he should pick up a couple of hitch hickers! What a hero! Anyway, he only took us a small way down the road and then we were stuck at a pretty desolate dual carrage way waiting for our next lift.

Eventually a truck pulled over and gave us a lift. He was a really friendly bloke but seemed a wee bit shadey so my defences were up innitially. Anyway, he was a nice bloke and was going to San Luis that day, unfortunately at a painfully slow pace. Plus he kept making stops at various places. Having said that, he kept buying us stuff! When we stopped at a inter county checkpoint he bought us both a sandwich (which was dry as santans balls!) and a bottle of coke. Then when Kate told him she didn´t drink fizzy drinks he offered to go back and change the drink! Everything was going fine until he pulled over into the back of a dodgey desolate petrol garage in the middle of bum fuck nowhere (One of Kate´s phrases there), then started speaking to one of guys there. I was convinced we were gunna get rolled so I was intently checking the mirrors to see what was going on. So then after a few minutes he got back in the cab and explained to Kate that he was buying dodgey petrol from another country to avoid the Argentinian taxes! He also said (and I understood this from the hand gestures he gave) that we had to keep it a secret or he´d get beaten up! So eventually we arrived in San Luis at around 9pm at night and it was obviously pitch black. We´d talked it over on the way and decided it was best to sleep there for the night. So after dropping off his cargo in a truckers parking lot (where I thought we were going to get rolled again!) he then drove us to a nearby hotel he said was cheap. It was´t! But after some impressive negotiations from kate we´d managed to barter a near by hotel down from 25 pounds each to 10 pounds each for a private room. So after some food we hit the hay.

The next morning we wondered to a near by petrol station to see if we could blag a lift from the truckers. By this stage we´d figured out that it was far quicker and easier to be cheeky and ask truckers at petrol stations where they were heading, that way they could tell we were gringos (and interesting to speak to) and they were more likely to feel sorry for us and give us a lift. it was all going a bit shit though as no-one was heading our way. so we decided to walk up the road to the next intersection where we were told we´d have more luck. So on the walk there we found a pack of stray puppies so we fed them the left over dry sandwhich from the day before but in the process I was massacured by the most furousios midgeys ever. They were fucking brutal, get this, onf of them managed to bit my knee through my jeans! And this was the middle of the day, the midgey bites were everywhere, mostly over my arms but a couple on my face and they were swelling up to about 2 inches in diametre. So I quickly put tuger balm on the bites and cursed the existance of every mosquitoe on the planet for about 20 minutes. Then we asked a truck driver who was by the side of the road where he was heading and as he wasing going our way he offered us a lift. But Kate´s spider sense was tingling as the guy seemed a bit weird and as he offered for us to put out bags in his trailer we politely declined the offer and kept on walking. It took ages before the next ride and eventually we´d gotten a lift about 30 clicks down the road to a service station. By this time it was lunch time so we figures we´d stop in and it was lush. Meatball maddness! I´d been craving meat balls for ages and did´t tink I´d find somewhere that would have it, especially not a service station in the middle of no-where!

Anyway, after a hearty meal I was feeling a lot happier and we managed to get a lift from a truck driver who took us a pretty fair distance. It was starting to get dark and he was stopping in at a town on the way to Cordoba so he dropped us off at a petrol garage. we were pretty worried that we were going to be stranded at this point so we got pretty damn cheeky with asking people where they were headed, plus niether of us had enough money for a bus anywhere!. As we were waiting outside an early thirties guy in a keved up hatch back pulled in and helped his elderly mother out of the passenger seat. I said ´Buenos Noches´ to them as they walked passed and they both blanked me! Then Kate went back into the petrol garage to ask a guy there for directions, delebrately loud so that everyone there coule hear where we were going and what we were after. Then the guy came out of the garage and asked if we wanted a lift with him and his mother and we were chuffed.

He was called maurice and was the best ride we´d got by a mile. 5 minutes down the road, whilst going about 120kph he cracks open a beer and starts handing it around. Then he cranks up the sterio and we have a little sing along to all the latino hits we´d been hearing in the clubs. then he tells us, from what i understood, that san Luis has a drug problem. What he was actually saying that he usued to have a drug problem! So Maurice, the legand, was a part time orthopeadist and part time semi pro rally driver (I´ve seen videos of him being interviewed on Argentinian TV so he was legit). Anyway, he took us into Cordoba and we managed to find a hostel that we´d been recomened and hit the hay....

Saturday, 26 May 2012


First hostel we stayed at we didn't really see the light of day! We were both so shattered that we spended the day sleeping. We dubbed this day "fail day" as everything we tried to do we failed at! When we finnally decided to venture out with a to do list, we failed to get a decent meal, failed to get a sim card for my phone as it isn't quad band, failed to get kate's phone fixed and failed to buy a jumper to replace the one I lost in Santiago so we headed back to the hostel with our heads hung low. Then we decided to head to the cinema to watch the new avendures film, which was a mission as we didn't have change for the bus, so had to go around all the news agents trying to get change. Then when we finally got to the cinema there wasn't a showing for an hour so we had to burn some time. The film itself was excellant though. One of the best action movies I've seen. Then we succesfully managed to get the bus back without dying even though we had to wait in the ghetto for a bus! By this point Kate had scared the shit out of me with travelling horror stories that she was annoyingly blazzay about so I was a bit worried.

The next day we decided to head to the more happening part of town to find a "party" hostel. We found it! I'd been speaking to my dad about the tension between england and the faulklands so decided to pretend to be canadian for the rest of the time while in Argentina. Kate found this painfully amuzing hearing me trying to speak like her! So we booked in for 4 nights at this HI (hostel international) place that seemed to have a good setup and if you bought 3 nights you get the 4th for free. The first day was a bit calm as we just cooked up a nice steak lunch. I maintained my canadian visage for the most part and I think I fooled most people. In the evening Kate and I headed out to the restaurant strip and found a great looking place called johnny be good. It was kind of like a planet hollywood, great music, american food and pretty pricey! The best bit was that they had a 2 for 1 happy hour offer on cocktails so we ordered this baileys/icecream/oreos thing that was like sex in a glass. This thing was good. I mean really good!

The next day was an epic, got up early and headed off to a package tour we'd booked through the hostel that included a hike, absailing, hot springs, then an all you can eat BBQ back at the hostel followed by all you can drink tequilla. The day time was great, the evening was messy! Nuff said about that!

The following day was spent hungover. Unfortuantely we still had to go to see the winerys before we left and as they were closed the following day we had no choice but to head there that day. But the massively silver silver lining was the fact that we'd met a couple of columbian guys who wanted to come along with us. Now at this stage I should say that most people book some gay package deal through the hostel, pay through the teeth and get to see 3 vinyards and get talked at the entire time. Boring! We went independently, grabbed a bus to the nearby area (thanks to the columbians who could speak fluent spanish) went to this place called hugos which was a bike rental company, that offers free wine and off we went. I was on a tandum bike with Kate and the other guys there where the two columbians, a newzealanialian and a canadiagon. (you may have noticed I'm getting a bit ADD having spent the last 3 hours in front of this PC). So off we went to visit these winaries and it was great. The wineries themself were ok, but it was riding around on the bikes that made it so much fun. It was just like something from a cheesey movie! We got back to Hugos around 6 and he stays open till 8 lashing out gallons of free wine and hugs. The guy was a hero! Then we headed back to town, had a crap meal at a resteraunt and headed to bed.

The next day was another "fail day". Didn't do a lot and everything we attempted to do ended in fail. and I was suffering from 2 days accumilated hangover!

Still to come on pete's adventures; more hitching, cordoba, rosario, Buenos Aires and Uruguay......