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Tag Archives: Traveling

  • When we are in a cab and they hear us speak English, they automatically think they can screw us. I can’t tell you how many times we have gone to one place only to find out that when we come back its 10 pesos cheaper. This lets us know that the cab driver who drove us there earlier took the nice LONG way there. Wretched.
  • Although I love it when I catch them. They start to go one way and I ask “Where are you going? Shouldn’t you just take Avenida De Mayo?” Then the cab driver finds out we fully understand Spanish and now he knows that I know he was trying to screw us. Its extremely uncomfortable for him and its a moment I treasure. (This never happened in a cab in Peru since I would just close my eyes and hope that I would survive).
  • Music in cabs is always an adventure. When I am in a new city or town, and riding in a cab, they usually have some local music on. It’s awesome driving around in a new country listening to something that the locals themselves enjoy. What’s not awesome is when they find out you are a foreigner and completely change the music thinking you want to hear it. We spent an good two hours one day in Peru listening to Bob Marley. I never want to hear No Woman No Cry ever again.
  • We rode in a hired cab one day. The car was full and after about three hours we found out there was a teenage girl in the back of the car sitting in a tiny corner next to the luggage. We found out she was the cab drivers daughter and she was forced to sit back there for that long since he wanted his “shuttle” to get full with as many fares as he could get.
  • I think ever cab driver in South America has tried to kill us (or scare us to death) for funsies.
  • In a shuttle to Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica, our new friend Beth (a future medical student at Columbia) was so hungover and car sick from the death defying hairpin cliff turns in Costa Rica that she began to vomit in the shuttle into a trash can. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I hear and see someone vomiting, that also elicits a bad response from me. I was not the only one. When we pulled over almost everyone in the shuttle said that they couldn’t see her vomit or they themselves would vomit. She was forced to sit up front after that. Bad times.
  • Getting in a cab in Lima, Peru is SERIOUSLY a bad decision on your personal safety. I can’t stress this enough. I would gladly go into a Tuk Tuk with a drunk driver in Bangkok then ever take a cab in Lima again.
  • I love that Argentina has metered taxis, which doesn’t require 3 hours of me trying to haggle a fair price to go anywhere.

Anywho, I know this is random post, but It is our last day in Argentina and it is raining and freezing outside so I am bored to death. Cynthia is underneath the blankets in our room refusing to move.

Even if it does rain, I hope Rio is warmer.

Cynthia: It’s crazy to me that I am standing in front of a volcano that is erupting…..

I know Costa Rica has most people coming to enjoy the beautiful beaches, and they are really really beautiful. But, almost every backpacker I talked to has told me that La Fortuna and the surrounding area has been their favorite or at least the funnest spot.

I completely agree.

Hikes, Jungle Tours, Canopy tours, Hot Springs, White-Water Rafting and so many more activities that you can do in that town. I loved it.

Speaking of walking the Jungle, yesterday I was walking in a national park with my sister and this weird branch rubbed up against me. Well, it seems like this branch BURNED my skin. It kinda looked like I was handling something too hot and it fell on my arm. When I went into the ocean, it stung like 10 bees were fighting over one little area on my skin. Lots of cussing occurred.

Jungles are funny…..and scary.

Its hard to explain the craziness that was the two day Mekong river tour. After Chang Mai, we took a mini van filled to capacity to the small border town of Chiang Khong. The hotel was so dirty that we didn’t shower, figuring that we would probably get filthier instead of cleaner.  The next morning, our bodies filled a small boat for the short trip to the immigration stand on the other side of the river. After the chaos that was getting our visas stamped and changing our money, we loaded into the tuk-tuks to take us down to the bigger boat that was ready to take is to Laung Prabang.

Before the boat ride though, we got a nice little presentation on how long and tortuous the boat ride is. People got scared enough to actually pay a lot more money to take a van to Luang Prabang. Fools. It was all obviously a marketing ploy to get scared white people to pay more money. Now, I know in your mind you are picturing a lovely two day cruise down a river on a nice and comfortable boat. Well, let me tell you, it definitely wasn’t as romantic as that.

Green Is The Official Color

The boats are all wood, with small wooden seats, cramped space, and a hole in the back that dumps in the river as the bathroom. Before the boat ride, they sell you cushions for the wooden benches and let me tell you this was one of the smartest purchases I made on this trip. That cushion, which I named Lesley, saved my ass from certain death.

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The first half of the trip I sat in back with newly made BFF from Canada, Jordan, with each of us buying each other beer the whole way. This was a great idea, since it made that first day go by much quicker. It also made frequent trips the “bathroom” quite the adventure when you are trying to pee in a small hole on a long moving boat.  I also became close with Grieg and Fiona, from the U.K., and a great couple from Italy. I would actually end up traveling with these peepz for almost half my whole trip.

11 - Jordan

After what seems like a bajillion hours, you finally arrive at the small town of Pak Beng. While the boats pull up, the whole town literally descends the hill trying to help you get your stuff, use their taxi, and get a hotel room. We all ended up getting rooms in the same hotel and went out to a big group dinner where we drank lots of Lao Lao, which is their rice whiskey. To us, it tasted like Kerosene since it was so potent. The drunk laughs came by quickly during that dinner. What is amazing about Pak Beng is that all electricity for the entire town is shut down at 8 pm. ALL electricity. So when we got out of our candlelight drunk fest, we realized that there were no lights to help us find our way back to the hotel. It was insanely dark, but when we looked up, I don’t think I have ever seen the stars shine so bright. They sky literally drew gasps from the whole lot of us. Then I tripped and fell because I couldn’t see a thing.

The next morning we woke up to this:

The Mighty Mekong

It’s this when you realize you are in the middle of a fucking jungle. We saw so many villages by the river and it definitely hits you that these people just lead a life that you can’t remotely identify with. I would literally look up and see villagers using elephants for transport.

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The second day definitely seemed longer.

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It could have been the hangover.

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Still though, the scenery is indescribably breathtaking.

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Blue Umbrella

A Man Paddles Home

It was crazy how close you become to the people traveling with you on this two day journey. It could be the effects of the Lao Lao whiskey or because you are so uncomfortable that you will do anything not to think of the numbness that is your ass. But I made friends for a lifetime on this boat.

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12 - Gabe and Retro

I would do it again in a heartbeat.

If you are ever in Laos, the two day boat ride down the Mekong needs to be on your “must do” list.

Building
Cape Town is one of the most incredible cities I have ever been too. It is no wonder that people call it one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It definitely lives up to that reputation. If you were to get stabbed or robbed in Cape Town, at the very least, you would be surrounded by some beautiful scenery. The buildings? Gorgeous. The people? Gorgeous. The beaches? OMFG Cold & Gorgeous. The Alcohol prices? Gorgeous. I feel blessed to have spent so much time here. Yet those weeks seemed to pass by so quickly. From avoiding dangerous alleyways we called “Diagon Alley”, watching my friend complete a vicious cycle race, introducing Capetonians to Power Hour, to barely surviving a treacherous trek up Table Mountain, Cape Town was and will forever be memorable.

Drummers

More pictures after the jump.

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I realized that I stopped posting pictures from my round the world trip.
I should catch up on that.
But editing takes SO LONG.

But I DID re-edit the video of Southeast Asia that I made.
Brian calls it the remix.
Its just a better song.
Not some rock music in the background.

I suggest your rewatch it again so you can get re-jealous that I went to Southeast Asia.

Or rewatch it for the ending only.
The kids singing “You Are My Sunshine” to me will always hold a special place in this black heart.

Anyway, definitely anticipate more posts on places I didn’t blog about.

Have a good weekend peepz!