Last Days

by Sam on November 9, 2011

Bogota street corner

Bogotá, Colombia – The last days are here. The last bus rides. Last taxi’s (thank God!). Last hostel. Last weekend. Last museum. The last city – Bogotá. My final days of Latin America, for the near future, have arrived and I can’t say I’m sad to see them come. Things I normally wouldn’t think twice […]

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A Traveler’s Gem

by Sam on October 30, 2011

Santa Barbara church, Mompos, Colombia

Mompos, Colombia – Something felt different when I stepped of the boat onto solid ground in Mompos. The first thing was that I wasn’t hounded by taxi drivers. I wasn’t bothered by anyone because no was around. It was the first time that I can remember in which I arrived in a town and wasn’t […]

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Further East Into the Guajira Peninsula

by Sam on October 24, 2011

Sunset in Cabo de la Vela

Cabo de la Vela, Colombia – Since my watch broke a few days ago and I’ve been sleeping in hammocks near beaches without electricity and have been operating purely on a solar schedule I can’t tell you the time, day of the week or date without thinking really hard about it. Actually, I couldn’t tell […]

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To the East Beyond Tayrona

by Sam on October 22, 2011

Palomino, Colombia – At first glance I took the guy walking down the street to be Israeli and asked him where he was sleeping. If what I’ve observed holds true he’ll know the best place to sleep in town. Israeli’s bargain hard for the best price and once they set that price they tell all […]

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Tagarbage

by Sam on October 20, 2011

Taganga, Colombia – If I wasn’t in Taganga to go diving then I wouldn’t have been there at all. Most here are taking advantage of the cheap rate to get their PADI Open Water certification. The prices here compete with Utila, Honduras and Bocas del Toro, Panama as far as bargains go. All three places […]

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Colombian buses - no leg room

Taganga, Colombia – For the last three weeks my dislike of the buses in Colombia had been growing but I’m done with even trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. Every trip on a bus leaves me disappointed in some way. I have yet to have a bus ride that’s enjoyable and today […]

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Mediocre Medellin

by Sam on October 8, 2011

Medellin, Colombia – Below is a quick review and thoughts of Medellin. In short, this city is over hyped and I can’t say it’s everything that the backpackers of old or what Lonely Planet or other guide books make it out to be. On the plus side it’s no longer the murder capital that it […]

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Give Me Some Coffee and Nothing More

by Sam on October 6, 2011

Salento, Colombia – Salento is coffee. Colombians want coffee and they grow some decent stuff around here. The only thing that brought me here was not wanting to take a fourteen hour bus ride to Medellin from the Tatacoa desert and this being an enjoyable, easily reachable location to spend one day relaxing between two […]

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The Tatacoa Desert – Why Am I Here?

by Sam on October 4, 2011

The Tatacoa Desert, Colombia – Usage of the words Desert and Colombia together in the same sentenc seems like a combination of contradictory meanings; an oxymoron along with the likes of jumbo shrimp. It is here though. 330 sq km of dry earth in an otherwise green country known as the Tatacoa Desert. I came, […]

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Tierradentro – No One Goes Here

by Sam on October 1, 2011

Outisde of Tierradentro near San Andrés de Pisimbalá, Colombia – No internet. No tourists. A couple restaurants. Two or three stores and a gathering of (empty) hospedajes line the road to the entrance of Tierradentro. There isn’t much here and it’s perfect. I guess I shouldn’t say there isn’t much. There are more tropical flowers […]

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Final Countdown and into Colombia

September 29, 2011

Popayán, Colombia- I’m on my final countdown of days before I return to the States and I’ve saved the best country for last. At least I think Colombia has the possibility of being one of my favorite countries in Latin America. I have yet to hear a fellow traveler say anything bad about the country […]

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Latacunga’s Mama Negra Festival

September 24, 2011

Latacunga, Ecuador- I write this listening to the party continue outside. I should go out and join the party but I’m fiesta-ed out. It’s Sunday and the party began on Friday continuing on until Monday which once again proves that anything worth celebrating in Latin America is worth celebrating for multiple days. I know the […]

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My Local Guide to Lake Quilotoa

September 22, 2011

Latacunga, Ecuador- I was on my way to Quito from Baños when I turned and asked the woman sitting next to me how much longer it would be until we arrived. A pretty face beneath a short-brimmed, felt, fedora hat turned, smiled and thought for a second. She was Highland Quichua and her appearance and […]

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I Thought it Would be Hotter

September 17, 2011

Quito, Ecuador- When I was a kid someone told me the area surrounding the equator was the hottest place on Earth. Of course they meant this in general terms as far as the climate of center of the Earth is hotter than the poles. I didn’t perceive it this way and immediately thought of an […]

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Demystifying Colombian Exit Taxes and Fees on International Flights

September 15, 2011

Quito, Ecuador- As much as I don’t want this trip to end my bank account has begun to tell me that my desires and reality are not in agreement with another so it was time to buy my ticket back to the US. A one-way ticket through Delta Airlines from Bogota, Colombia to New York […]

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Why Haven’t I Been Taking More Photos?

September 14, 2011

Quito, Ecuador- Recently there has been a lack in the number of photos I’ve taken and posted. It’s not because I haven’t been anywhere of interest or there has been a lack of places that I’ve enjoyed. Quite the opposite actually. I have enjoyed Ecuador but not for the reasons that makes me want to […]

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Some Useful Info About Baños, Ecuador

September 13, 2011

Baños, Ecuador- I probably should have left Baños three days ago but I’ve settled in for a longer than expected stay and enjoyed the slow pace of the town during the week and a lively night life on the weekend. The touristic aspect of this town has not bothered me in the least. Touristy, yes. […]

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Micro Brews – A Small but Growing Beer Culture in South America

September 12, 2011

Baños, Ecuador- I have yet again gravitated to another Brewpub. This time in Baños, Ecuador. By this point I have been to quite a few South American brew pubs and tasted a fair number of micro brews in Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador and they have been a mixed bag of beer brewing success. As I […]

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The Art of the Panama Hat

September 1, 2011

Montecristi, Ecuador- “Buy me a hat.” Before I left those four words were thought and uttered by my father to be heard and stored in my mind to be acted upon now after thirteen months and several thousand miles of travel on planes, boats, motorcycles and, of course, buses. More specifically he asked for a […]

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A Beach Bust

August 30, 2011

Montañita, Ecuador- This is a town that gives hippies wet dreams. They all know it too. That’s why they’re all here. That’s why they’re selling their useless trinkets in the streets along with jewelry, home-made sandals and tie-dyed cotton clothing . That’s why they’re juggling and playing the bongo’s in the streets. They have arrived […]

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Half Alive

August 29, 2011

Cuenca, Ecuador- I should like this city. It’s right up my alley. Not too big. Not too small. Beautiful architecture. Markets. Clean. Friendly people. But I don’t. I don’t dislike it either but I just can’t seem to get ‘into it’. The city feels half alive. Half of it’s stores are open at any given […]

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Taking the Backdoor into Ecuador

August 23, 2011

Vilcabamba, Ecuador- Cumbia. Why does it have to be Cumbia and why does he have to be blasting it at 5:30 am? Why does he also have to sing along? My previous seed of dislike for the style of music has begun to bloom into full-blown hatred. Especially the synthesized, tinny sounding Peruvian version. Every […]

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Sorry Machu Picchu, #2 > #1

August 21, 2011

Chachapoya, Peru- When any person first sets their sights on Chachapoya they may not be blown away but their not too disappointed either. It’s the capital of Amazona but that also doesn’t mean a lot. When I first showed up I didn’t care what the town was like. I just wanted to sleep. I had […]

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Andean High

August 18, 2011

Huaraz, Peru- As soon as the bus pulled into the Lima city limits my decision was made. Originally I had planned to stay in Lima one night but wasn’t real excited about it. The whole bus ride I was debating if I should stay or go. When I approached the city limits and saw an […]

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Sandbox

August 12, 2011

Huacachina, Peru- How does this place exist? How come the town isn’t swallowed up? All it would take is one mound of sand to fall over and bury this pond of water. It’s mind boggling. I’ve never seen so much sand. I’m completely surrounded by sand and sky. Oasis. When I think oasis I think […]

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One Last Time in Cuzco

August 9, 2011

Cuzco, Peru- After Machu Picchu I was back in Cuzco for the weekend. After all, why not spend one last Friday and Saturday night fruitlessly searching for clubs without cover charges? Turns out Friday night was wasted after I fell asleep at 9:00 pm but I still had Saturday night. A few drinks with a […]

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Cheap Tales of Machu Picchu

August 4, 2011

Aguas Calientes, Peru-   It was 5:15 am and I was stripped down to my boxers holding my shoes and clothes in my left hand and a small bag strapped around my chest trying to cross the Urubamba River in the dark with a steady drizzle coming down hoping to stealthily make my entrance into […]

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Cuzco: A Tourist’s Heaven Is A Traveler’s Nightmare

August 2, 2011

Cuzco, Peru- This city is nothing but a money grubbing harlot. This was my first impression of Cuzco. It’s streets are paved with cobblestones and the only thing in more abundance than churches are money exchanges. Any person you meet downtown is nothing more than an annoyance trying to sell you a massage or a […]

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Final Taste of Lake Titicaca

July 29, 2011

Puno, Lake Titicaca, Peru- Puno is a town I’ll forget as soon as I leave it but serves it’s purpose – A juncture for those traveling between Peru and Bolivia and the gateway to the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca. While not an exciting place I’m here for one reason and one reason only, and […]

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One Year On the Road

July 28, 2011

Puno, Peru- It’s been a year since I last spent a single second of my time making any type of income or sleeping under the same roof for any considerable amount of time. I left Cleveland on July 26th and since then I’ve been wandering the northern and southern hemispheres at free will. It’s been […]

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