Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Just another day in Paradise..

Posted: April 28, 2009 by Fei An in South America
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From the one beautiful beach to the other one, and the next and the next… Right now I’m stranded about 5 hours away from Taganga, which I finally managed to leave after 1,5 week. Especially when Molly and I found ourselves a private room, right on the beach, air conditioned for € 4 per night, it was even harder to say goodbye. But I made it! I got of my lazy and terribly burnt ass and got on the bus with my two new Israeli friends and Wilson, the football. Up to Playa Blanca! 5 hours later we stood on Cartagena terminal and about 6 hours later we managed to have a good room deal again. What is it about the Israelis and bargaining? For some reason they always manage to get the possible from what to me seems impossible. Triple room, fan and again € 4, which even for Colombian habits is cheapo! So time for a party! Or not… After almost 2 lazy weeks on the beach it became quite obvious we weren’t prepared for the big city yet. I found out myself that the thing that makes you laziest is being lazy, so result, Friday night we all fell asleep at 22.00 and at Saturday we almost made it to a bar. After desperately trying to wake up Lahav from his afternoon ‘nap’ at 23.00, we all fell asleep again one hour later… Sad but true, the life of a traveler just isn’t always easy. The conclusion of this all was that we would try again the next week and probably needed some more relaxation first on the beach. Playa Blanca it is! So now we’re here. Lahav, Ronnie, Wilson (the ball which I’m not allowed to call a ball) and me on this little paradise still recovering from the shock the city left us…

I’m flying hiiiiiigh!!!

Posted: April 4, 2009 by Fei An in South America
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And then there was only one left… After an incredible journey to the end of all worlds the moment was finally there that I had to leave friends and family behind. Well, actually they left me behind, but point is, I’m alone. And now I’m waiting at Lima airpoirt untill the time, together with my airplane finally starts flying…

So how was Bolivia to travel?  Well, one thing I can tell you is at least that it is nothing like I expected! After having relaxed for a while in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, I finally got the chance to see the real Bolivia. That is, robberies and mockeries in the bus, but also extremely friendly, honest and helpful people. Extreme humidity and heath in the Amazon, to freezing cold and breathtaking views (literaly as we spend weeks on 4000-5000 m height, try to climb a stairs..) in Uyuni. And there we also found the real function of Coca, relief relief!!

But after 3 weeks Bolivian highland I’m ready for something new, and some more oxygen in my lungs.

Giant step to Colombia! From Coca, to Cocaine…

Invasion of ‘de Haas’

Posted: March 5, 2009 by Fei An in South America
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This blog is dedicated to Bram de Haas, do-gooder of the first order and our absolute hero in sickness and in health…

At Saturday 28-02-2009, 12 o’clock in the morning we invaded the place. Location: Calle Oro y Juntal, Buenos Aires. Poor poor Bram, who was only a friend of a friend, had to host 3 unknown chicken. For 5 days we spread our camping matts, girly underwear and other girlish trash in the little single boy apartment. We were home!

Buenos Aires itself was quite random, nice, beautiful, but yet another big city. The only time we truly had some cultural intentions (read: visit museum voluntarily) the place was closed! Well, in that case, coffee and cake seemed a perfect alternative and just as educative! After all, every coffee’s served differently in every country…

Unfortunately, the coffee didn’t serve us well. After 2 weeks of hardcore nature, getting up at 8, sleeping at 10 (the nordic walking old people spirit) we turned out to be absolute crap at partying and pooped the party at 2. Very embarrasing considering we were Bram’s little sister’s age… But practice makes perfect, and three is right ship, the third night clubbing we made it to 5 o’clock in the morning without falling asleep! One thing that definitely helped us though was the increasing amount of testosterone surrounding us (photos explain everything).

And now there’s only two more fishies left. Rian ditched us for Holland and we found some new stinky dogfriends in our first camping ‘resort’ with dirty baños and non-waterproof tent. Let’s hope the dogs won’t feel any territorial urge and pee our new house…

The show must go on!

Posted: February 28, 2009 by Fei An in South America, Uncategorized
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But I really wish it didn’t this time! Yes, it’s bustrouble time again! After all the trouble we’d had lately I really thought we would be lucky for once. Or actually, it has nothing to do with luck, I was more wishing we didn’t have bad luck! But apparently we must have done something really nasty in our former lives which gave us some bad karma in this one!

It went almost right: we checked out on time, didn’t forget anything and stood waiting for the bus already half an hour before departure time. But what do you do if the bus is late? Right, you ask the people from the bus station if the bus is already on its way. And what do you do when those people tell you this is not the right bus station? Right, first all the suntan disappears from your face and then you start hurrying the hell out of you to see if the bus is maybe, possibly, PLEASE still be waiting or delayed! How I wish I was in Bolivia now where busses run late standard half an hour! But que pena, que pena, the bus was gone. This asked for action again, that is, chasing the bus in a taxi and trying to reach the bus driver to stop the bloody vehicle! And after 10 minutes and 22 pesos lighter we caught it! With 3 angry bus drivers waiting for us outside and even more angry passengers inside we had the best busride in Argentina so far! Red wine and whisky included!

Ain’t no mountain high enough!

Posted: February 28, 2009 by Fei An in South America, Uncategorized
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After this sporty venture, it was time for a cool down. Destination: Bariloche, north Patagonia. An expensive, highly touristy little ski-town where the uptown Latinos come during winter. Right now it’s summer, that means temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees and a lot of sun. The city is surrounded by  mountains and lakes and offer great views after a heavy hike…
We started this very adventurous day by a hitch hike in the back of a jeep. Going with the flow, as they say, we had no idea where we were going and we didn’t really care either; we wanted excitement. They dropped us at a little village in the valley surrounded by high mountains.

We thought that getting to the top of the mountains by an elevator full of happy families and elderly people didn’t really fit our adventure image. So Ellen was suggesting to climb the mountain by ourselves. For that suggestion, she received two angry faces: Fei and Rian weren’t really into that since the road to the top seemed endless, but they did like the idea of hike. After all, we found out that there was a hike to the very top of the mountain, that would only take one hour and a half! Sweet, peace of cake we thought!

Full of energy we started walking, walking, taking some photos, and a bit more walking. Following the route of our map, it didn’t take very long before we arrived at point 2 of 14. We never got to point 3…

This is how the story goes: at point 2 we could chose two directions. We of course decided to continue being adventurous and chose the wrong direction. This all with protest of Rian, who turned out to be right soon enough, but two donkeys against one human always win… After 20 minutes climbing we found out that we couldn’t get any further and we had to go all the way back to point 2.

And as donkeys never bump their head twice, we thought it would be better to follow our map if we really wanted to arrive at our destination without having to spend the night in a bear’s belly.  Although they say that the Dutch found out the map and usually are very good at reading them, we made it to lose track again without noticing. When we still hadn’t arrived at point 3 after about an hour, we discovered that we were probably lost…again…

But we made it! Through bushes and sandy hills Charly’s Angels (as our hitch truck driver called us) got to the top and planted their flag. And even though the whole 4 hour walk went with a lot of whinying, it was all forgotten when we achieved our goal! The way back went a lot smoother in a cabin – after paying 35 Pesos and joined by those earlier mentioned happy families – and we slept like three little angels that night.

Bad luck bus

Posted: February 22, 2009 by Fei An in South America
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Leaving behind all the the bus trouble in Brazil – Fei sleeping trough her bus stop while Ellen was desperately running around the terminal, asking all the Chinese looking people if they had seen her; practicing our theater skills by pretending we really thought our departure time was at 16:30 instead of 15:30 when we arrived late at the bus station – we wanted to start fresh in Argentina.

That was a bit optimistic…

To take revenge on Fei, Ellens bus decided to arrive about 10 hours late to let Fei know how it feels to wait in desperation. While waiting, Fei and Rian thought it would be practical to buy bus tickets for the next day to Mendoza. Luckily, after finding out that most of the buses where already fully booked, a very young and helpful Gaucho arranged some tickets for us. Thank god, we could leave tomorrow!!

That was a bit optimistic…

Besides being young and helpful, unfortunately he was also very clumsy… While he was busy talking to his MSN-boyfriend, he put the wrong date on our bus ticket. When we arrived the next day, ready and steady for a 20 hour bus trip, we found out that we were ought to leave the day before. And of course the boy was gone.

We cried and begged – because that helps in Brazil – but they didn’t fall for our drama in Argentina. Or was it because this time there was a woman ‘helping’ us? Anyway, people here seem to be more interested in MSN Messenger service than customer service.

Even doing the whole show again in front of a guy didn’t help us this time. We had to buy new tickets to be on crappy seats at 22:00 o’clock that evening. Remembering the nice road stations in Brazil we forgot about all the stress and started to get excited for our first bus stop dinner.

That was way too optimistic!

The next day we couldn’t get off the bus anymore as we were all starved and dried out. The bus didn’t stop once. Luckily, Mendoza is famous for wine and good food, so we decided that we deserved a huge lunch. Dried out, we already ordered a bottle of good wine and Ellen was drunk in 10 minutes. It was the best lunch ever.

We learned our lesson and the next bus trip we were fully equipped with six bags full of groceries. While enjoying our own dinner at about 21:00, the conductor started to hand out complete meals. This time we left the bus with a filled stomach so we could handle the temperature shock in Patagonia.