Monday, January 17, 2011

Java Outsourcing

If you are looking for Java Outsourcing go to Baroo Software

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

May I present...

Celtic Bart, my new blog!

Monday, April 24, 2006

To Blog or not to Blog...

Lately I've been thinking about whether it's worth continuing trip is basically finished, and lets face it, no one's life is as interesting when they're working 9-to-5. One thing that the blog has allowed me to do over the last year is too keep in touch with lots of people, which is great. This is probably the only reason I would continue. So my thoughts are to start a new blog: commenting on life in Ireland, working in Europe, the joys of project management, vacations, etc. Readers, how does this sound? Forward any suggestions about content, format, or maybe better blog engines.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


For those of you who sit in the movie theatre waiting for hidden scenes, for those of you who listen to CD's all the way to the end in hopes of a hidden track and for those of you who give standing ovations just to hear one more song...this post is for you.

It's been just under a month since I've come home after the long trip. I've had a chance to catch up with old friends, spend plenty of time with my family and eat that amazing home-cooked food. Toronto has been cold, but I've spent most of my time indoors so it hasn't bothered me. After an initial week of settling down, I spent my days reading books, job searching, and plain old relaxing....even caught up on a few movies. Other highlights included a weekend ski trip with my parents and sister to Blue Mountain, a trip to the theatre to see a Polish play and catching a concert by my favorite blues band who just happened to stop in Toronto for this first time ever - The Eric Tessmer Band.

Now onto the exciting news: Come this May, I'll be trading in the maple leaf for a shamrock when I move to Dublin, Ireland to start my new job as a TPM for a small software company. I'm very excited, not only for the new role but also to be moving to Ireland. The time gap between then and now will be filled with a month-long trip back to Poland. So what are your plans next St. Paddy's day?

Monday, February 27, 2006

That's all Folks!

Surprise, it's been just over 10 months and I've decided to pull the plug. That is, my trip is finished and this blog posting is coming to you from the comfort of my parents home in Toronto. Im a huge fan of Seinfeld, not just the show but also the guy. One thing ive always admired about Jerry was his decision to cancel the show after years of being the top comedy on TV. I guess he sensed it was starting to slip so he ended it. "It's better to go out on top then fade away". A few days ago i made the same decision with regards to my trip. The last couple of months have been absolutely amazing: the unreal beauties of the antarctic, my most amazing trekking experiences in patagonia, livin "the life" in my favorite city in the world and finally experiencing carnival with my long time buddy. And although central america would have it's own share of highlights, I realized that this was the moment to go out on top. What is interesting is that there were two events that were the tipping points in my thought process:
1) While on top of Volcan Baru, my camera decided to call it quits.
2) Stubbed my toes, loosing a couple toe nails. There is a great and lengthy story behind how this happened but ill save it for a good travel tale over beer.
Of course this meant no hiking for the next few weeks and of course no photography. In addition, I read through Lonely Planet Central america and there absolutely nothing i was dying to see or experience...everything i had dreamed about for so long, i had already achieved. Add to this the joy of returning to family after a long time apart made this one of the simplest decisions of my life (literaly was made in 2 minutes).

I hope you've enjoyed following me around for the last little while, reading my tales and soaking up the pics. Seems strange, but today is the happiest ive ever been. Maybe it's the feeling of accomplishing a dream, or the memories of experiences or the prospect of things to come. The feeling is similar to the day you graduate university...minus all the built up stress.

Finally, let me answer the question everyone keeps asking me "What was your favorite place?". It's very complex since ones enjoyment of a particular place heavily depends on many factors: your interests, weather, what languages you speak and most importantly the people you meet. That said, below is a list of my fav places broken up by the two legs of my trip:

Europe Leg
Amsterdam (it's amsterdam!)
Prague (best over-touristed town)
Sarajevo (best non-touristed town)
Granada (ultimate Andalusian experience)
Munich (feels like an amazing city to live in)
Poland (huge bias here)
Alps - French & Swiss (best hiking)
Morocco (most interesting culture)

South America Leg
Bolivia (undiscovered natural beauty, friendliest people)
Argentina (country that captured my heart)
Buenos Aires (in Argentina, but so amazing it's worthy of another note)
Cuzco (backpacker heaven)
Patagonia (best hiking)

Of course, if you got a bit of excess cash, then the antarctic is not to be missed!

Hasta la vista!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Carnival Vets

Well it´s Carnival time in the latin world, shawn and i are on an island off the panama mainland called Bocas del Toro. Last night was the first day of carnival and the entire island (along with plenty of tourists) was celebrating. We began early at a very cool hostel which had 50c happy hour beer specials. This was followed up by a street party and then a beach club. Shawn and i now consider ourselves carnival veterans.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Coffee & Strawberries

After leaving central america´s most modern city, shawn and i headed west to the mountain town of Boquete. A beautiful place, with panama´s best coffee. After spending the day organizing our trek we set off on a three day adventure. The first day, we climbed to the top of Panama´s highest peak, Volcan Barú (3750) where we camped a couple hundred meters below the summit. The volano has another interesting characteristic that sets it apart from all other peaks that line the pacific rim: at the peak, it´s the only place in the world, where on a clear day, one can see both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. After setting up camp the first night, we watched the sunset from the peak. The second day, we climbed over and down the backside of the volcano...witnessed one of the most breathtaking rainbows either one of us has ever seen and ended up in a small town on the other side. This small town (can´t remember the name at the moment) claims to have the worlds best strawberries. I enjoyed the best strawberry milkshake ive ever had that night. The final day, we trekked back to boquete around the volcano on a path this know to be the most beautiful in panama. Basically jungle, with tropical birds (that we could hear, not see) and a lone horse who followed us for half and hour. Tonight we rest in boquete and head for the coast tomorrow.

Last shot of me before my camera went kaput<

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Diablo Rojos

One last note about argentina...our final night, Igor and i saw a Tango show at a famous BA cafe. Although i have no desire to learn, i must admit that the argentinian tango is the most suductive "classic" dance that ive ever witnessed.

Now onto Central America! Im in Panama City with my buddy shawn. Yesterday was his 27th birthday, so we promply celebrated by drinking large amounts of alcohol, chillin on our hostel patio. Today we visited the famous canal where we saw some boats go through the locks. One of the most interesting things we´ve seen here are the buses. All the city buses are pimped up school buses. You know the yellow ones from back home, spray painted with various designs (jesus seems to be very popular), chrome rims, huge exhausts (18-wheeler style), tinted windows, and massive sound systems pumping the latest latin beats. The local name for this buses on steriods is Diable Rojo (red devils). More chillin this afternoon, it´s really really hot here and tonight we´re off to the western part of panama for some trekking!

Tight squeeze

Friday, February 17, 2006

Can´t believe it´s over...

Its my final day in South America and i must say ive gotten really attached to this place. So many experience and memories, i smile everytime i scroll down my blog. Ive spent 5 months here and without hesitation i could spend 5 more. Places that i didnt have a chance to visit but will be dreaming of include venesuela and columbia. By the way, if you havent seen my brazil blog (from last year) check it out! Tonight we´re throwing a little party and hitting our favorite nightclub until the wee hours of the morning. Tomorrow i start the final (boohoo) leg of my trip...central america.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Devil´s throat from both sides

Igor and I just got back from a trip to Iguazu Falls. The only waterfall that ive seen in my past that is comparable is Niagra. Definetly not as strong or powerful as niagra, but iguazu is set in a national park, surrounded by rainforest and stretches much longer than it´s canadian rival. The highlight of the day was when we reached the boardwalk that was at the rim of the biggest waterfall called Garganta del Diablo (devel´s throat). A storm was starting to come through bringing in cold winds, while the devel expelled warm mist from its base. We were soaked with both warm and cold air hitting us from various directions...heaps of fun. The following day, we crossed over the the Brazilian side to get a different perspect of the falls. Now back im back in BA enjoying my last few days of south america.

Bit of the falls

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Quick update from Buenos Aires. Not much has changed, just enjoying the everyday, doing a little sight seeing and lots of nightlife. We took a tour of Theatro Colon, which due to its excellent accoustics ranks up there with the best theaters in europe. Night life has encluded: 1) an "afterwork" disco modeled after the opera house in sydney where we partied with a few thousand people until 3am on a wednesday night 2) a normal disco that had a full-blow transvestite dance show half way through the night (ask igor for the videos) 3) a quinta (argentinian word for house party in the country) in a pimp suburb of BA. Today, we´re off on a trip to Iguazu.

Only decent photo i was allowed to take on the tour of theatro colon

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Return of the Croc

Im back in Buenos Aires! Igor, a friend of mine from seattle has joined me for two weeks here. We´ve rented a penthouse apartment in trendy palermo and i get to lead a little more of a "normal" life for a while.

Goofing around in La Boca

Sushi restaurant just outside our apt

Last night was very tripy. After eating at an all you can eating sushi restaurant (muy bien) we went out to a popular irish pub downtown (monday night, what else can you do?). We were sitting by the bar and at one point igor went to the bathroom. While he´s gone, a guy walks up to the bar stands right next to me and orders a beer. I recognize him right away but im completely shocked, so all i do is keep looking at him. Im thinking maybe i had too much to drink. He notices me looking straight at him, he looks at me and then looks away expression on his face. I keep staring, he looks back again at me (probably thinging "what´s this weirdo doing?")...and again doesnt recognize. Finally a third time he looks at me, then looks behind him thinking maybe im looking at something else. Finally i say "crocodile!"...and then it hits him as well "Bart you bastard!". Chris is a guy i hung out with for 4 days in of the english guys i beat in the cold water challenge. He´s the guy who quit his job after hearing about my future south america travel plans and booked an overland trip of the continent...and they´ve stopped in BA for a few days. Ive heard many "oh my god, you wont believe the coincidence" travel stories before, but this one takes the cake. If you remember my little blog about A Few Fun Interesting People chris and i are on there...look for us wearing red shirts.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Reading update

Couple more books that i have not been thrilled with:

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown. If you have knowledge of any of the following subjects: software programming, cryptography or chemistry then this book is worth a read for a good laugh.

If you like their ice cream and interested in business then Ben and Jerry´s Double Dip is worth a read. Got bored about half way into the just not in that frame of mind right now.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Doin´ the Dabooya

Wow, just back from Torres del Paine national park. Over the last 5 days, ive "done the W". The "W" is most likely south americas second most popular trek (behind the inca trail). I did a slighly extended version, roughly 80km. Everyday was filled with highlights...sunrise at the famous towers (after which the park is named), watching distant avalanches in the Valle Frances and sunset at Grey Glacier. Its not all flowers and butterfies though, patagonia makes you work for it...a couple days i had severe winds, the kind that will knock you over if you´re not careful. Very gusty (the day before i arrived, 150km/h gusts had been measured), changing directions every few seconds...sometimes i felt i was a boxer getting his fair share in the ring. But no rain and lots of sun made everything, even the wind a pleasant experience. That´s it for patagonia! So, so, sad...

Me hiking in Frances Valley

Glacier at sunset

Torres at sunrise

Resting me feet

Beautiful even on a grey day...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

A little "me" time

After being cooked up on a ship with 100 other passengers, i decided i needed a little "me" time. The glacier trek in El Calafate was a nice start, but i was craving more. So after arriving to El Chaltén (also in argentina) i rented some camping gear, strapped it all to my backpack and set out for a 4 day trek in the northern part of Los Glacieres national park. Starting the trek, i remember thinking...geeze my pack is worries were confirmed on the second day when my waist buckle snapped due to the weight. That was also the day that it rained the entire time...soaking half the things in my pack...i wasnt a happy camper :) But everything turned out for the best...beautiful weather, Mt Fitz Roy was out in all its glory, skinny dipping in glacial lakes...the usual stuff. My feet are sore, my belly is hungry, my beard is out but ive got a big smile on my face. Have a couple days of bus rides and ill be back in Torres del Paine national park for some more trekking.


Too close! Just enjoying the sunset...

Clouds in patagonia are the coolest things you´ve ever seen

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Back to old Perito

Yes im back in El Calafate, can´t seem to get enough of patagonia. This time instead of just looking at the glacier (Perito Moreno), i spent the day trekking on it. Went with a great company called Big Ice...we trekked for the whole day...and finished off the day drinking whiskey with glacier ice on the boat ride back from the glacier.

How did that get there?

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Was sad to leave south america behind but after my 10 day antarctic expedition im back to my favorite continent. Due to excellent weather the trip was brilliant. The 2.5 day voyage crossing the Drake Passage was very interesting, got sea sick on the second day but nothing major. In total we spent 4 action packed days in the Antarctic. Everyday, we made two landings with our zodiaks, did some hiking, photographed wildlife and just enjoyed our surroundings. What makes this place so special is it´s remoteness from human civilization. No towns, no cars, no people, nada...just water, iceburgs, massive glaciers and the freshest air i´d ever breathed. Penguins were the main colony we visited had roughly 150,000 penguins! Seals were very two favorite were the elephant seals for their shear size and leopard seals, vicious penguin eaters. Finally we saw at least a dozen humpback whales. I´d also like to mention that i swam off the boat in 0C water (salt water freezes at -1.8C)! Save the albatros!!

First one to blink loses

Embarkation day

Antartic Reflections


Mini iceburgs in still water


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

End of the World

It´s the middle of summer here in Ushuaia (no easy way to teach you how to pronounce this one), the southern most city in the world! That means it´s light outside until 11pm at night and we see temperatures peak at a sweaty 14C. Ive spent a day hiking in Tierra del Fuego national park and taken a morning boat cruise on the beagle straight. But the best thing about this place is the food! Meat lovers paradise. Patagonia has the country´s best lamb, plus you have the standard (but amazing) argentinian beef. Next comes the king crab! Fresh out of the water and cheep! Add to that a variety of fresh fish, mussles, oysters complemented with the contient´s finest wines and you get the general idea. Would have never thought the end of the world would be so tasty :) Ushuaia is also the starting point for my antarctic cruise! See you in a couple weeks...

Much busier before the boys up north built their stupid (panama) canal

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Patagonia...not the company...the place

Over the last three days ive been hiking, horseback riding and having a great time in Torres del Paine national park in Chile. This is¨"the" big attraction in patagonia and its easy to see why. One of the most beautiful places on earth that ive ever been to. The first day i did the famous Towers hike. The following day, i went horseback riding...this was my third time ever...and i must say it was for real this time. The horses were magnificent...strong, fast and very responsive to every command. On several occasions we were in a full gallop. For those unaware (as i was a few days ago) there are different names for the various ways a horse runs, each one getting progresivly faster...walk, trot, canter and gallop (think horses racing on a track). Luckly i had a great teacher. Tonight im in Puerto Arenas, still on the chilean side but will be crossing back into argentina tomorrow.

buźki do słońca

Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Years in Patagonia

Happy New Years everyone! Im spending it in patagonia in a town called El Calafate. Today i visited the magnificent Perito Moreno glacier. Its a piece of ice the size of Buenos Aires, need i say more?

Argentina Rocks!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The pulse of south america

Finally in the big city...Buenos Aires. Ive been hearing great things about this city for months from various travelers and finally im here to see if for myself. So far it has not disappointed...there´s a reason they call this city the paris of south america. Lots of really unique and interesting neibourhoods, great restaurants, cafés and nightlife. A danish guy i met a while back in cuzco hit it spot on..."Buenos Aires is a city with a pulse". I spend most of the day walking around this massive place, so far ive seen Recoleta a very high-end neighborhood with an interesting above ground cemetary and San Telmo, the Soho of BA.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Feliz Navidad!

Merry Christmas everyone! Have a relaxing holiday season, eat lots, be merry and instead of making a typical new years resolution...instead imagine something that will make you unbelievably happy and make sure you do it next year!

Tonight ill be spending christmas eve with follow students from my spanish school...we´re having a BBQ outside :) Later, around 1am tonight we´re hitting the nightlife as is customary in of the biggest party nights of the entire year. Tomorrow sleep and later i depart to the big city, Buenos Aires.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Do as the argentinians do

Yesterday i did something very risky...entrusted a south american to cut my hair. Actually it wasnt all that bad, the argentinians are by far the most stylish latios ive come across so far...i found the best salon in town, asked for a cut thats very popular in argentina right now (without cutting it too short into the mullet), 5USD later and i can say im very satisfied :) Weather is great, school is great, life is great.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A little rest

Ive decided to settle down for a week in Bariloche. This is "the" vacation town in Argentina. Im still in the lakes district, so there are plenty of them around, plus mountains in every direction. I went for a really nice hike yesterday to Ser Otto where i saw about 7 or 8 condors. Ive also enrolled in a spanish school for the week, i attend classes everyday from 9am till 1 and we usually do things together in the afternoons. We already have christmas dinner planned for later in the week. The group lessons are amazing...the four hours pass by really quickly. There are only 2 students in my class (including myself) and we usually spend at least half the time chatting about stuff in spanish. This costs 6USD per well spent. Mi escuela de Español.

Learning new languages is such a drag...
Left to right: Favia (teacher), me (on 3 hours sleep), Angelique (other student)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Done with Chile for now

Spent the weekend in Puerto Varas, another small town in the lakes district of chile. Cute town, lake,´ve heard the story before. Last night was a long drinking night, so today i only had time for a short but very pleasant hike near Volcano Osorno. Tomorrow i depart for the land famous for its beef, wine, chocolate, nightlife, hiking and tango...

Friday, December 16, 2005

Pucon and Area

Found a cool drawing of the area on the web. The big volcano that i climbed, Villarrica is in the center, the lake to the left and the Pucon is the tiny town on the top right of the lake.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Region IX

Lots to write about! For the last few days ive been in a town called Pucon in Region IX of Chile, also known as the lakes district. FYI, chile is nicely sliced up into 12 regions, the first one being at the north and the 12th in the south. This area of the world looks like Ontario cottage country (lots of lakes and big green trees), plus some magnificent volcanos and of course the Chilean people who come here on vacation. I must admit, the locals here have been the nicest, most welcoming people in SA thus far.

The town is situated on lake Villarrica and has a very german/swiss feel to it...actually there are many german/swiss immigrants here so at times it doest feel like chile at all. The big attraction is Volcano Vallarrica...a beautifully shaped volcano, much of it covered in snow which hovers in the horizon. The weather was perfect yesterday so i took the opportunity and rented a boat to get some nice pictures of the volcano with the lake in the foreground. Today was my adventure day. The plan was to hike the volcano...but when i woke up this morning the entire sky was clouded over. I still managed to get myself up and walked over to the tour company and to my surprise the trip was still on. Fine i thought...but we´re not going to see anything. But as the bus drove up to the base of the hike, we broke through the clouds to reveal the mountain lit up by the morning sun. The hike was simply amazing, when we reached the sumit (2850m) i had my first look at lava. A whole at the bottom of the crater would every few minutes makes some gurgles, then heat up red and finally blow lava over 100 feet into the air. Even the guides were impressed since it was more active than usual. But the best was saved to the end, sliding down the entire volcano lying on my back and using my ice-axe as a brake. Great fun.

The Goal

The Lava

The Hippie

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Touring the Island

So instead of going on a group tour, a couple other backpackers and i rented a car and toured the island oursleves. This gave us more time around the island yesterday (including a sunrise this morning), allowed us to find a secluded beach for our lunch stop and we didnt feel like cows being hearded from one Moai to the next. Plus i got to drive a 4x4 jeep for the day :) Yesterday was so action packed that we´ve all decided to take a day off to relax. Not too difficult in 30C weather. Other notes, ive been buying my food from the local farmers market here...fresh everything including amazing mini-bananas, pineapples and avocadoes. Yum.

Birdman competitions were held on this volcano

More Moai

Goofing around

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Rapa Nui

Quick update cause internet is f&%$´n expensive on Rapa Nui, that´s Easter Island. Before flying over here, i spent a few days in Santiago...i wasnt very impressed. Usually described as a north american slash european city, i would throw in the word "average" in there as well. Although i did see a cool Andy Warhol exibit.

Back to Easter Island. Its hot and humid, kinda reminds me of maui without the vegitation. The history of this place is what drew me here (and what draws all the tourists)...its long and controversial so read up on it yourself if youre interested. Last night i watched Rapa Nui the movie (produced by Kevin Costner) which was a good hollywood into. Ive walked around a bit, seen some Moai statues and visited the museum. In the next few days i plan to take a guided tour of the island, relax, relax, and relax.

Moais from my daily sunset spot

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It aint chilly in Chile

Spent my first few days in Chile but Bolivia is still on my mind. Prices are shockingly expensive (except for the wine) so im back on my tuna/tomato/bread diet with the addition of avocado (yum). San Pedro is really hot (about 30C) since its located at the edge of the Atacama desert (driest place on earth). Ive spent some time relaxing, visited places like The Valley of the Moon and The Valley of Death where i invented a new sport...sand dune jumping. Hard to explain, but ill attach a picture later.

Monday, November 28, 2005


My two weeks in this amazing country has come to a close. It seems like my south america trip is following a similar pattern to Europe. That is, once again, a place i had no prior knowledge of has surpased my wildest imaginations and engrained a strong positive impression into my mind. Yo amo Bolivia. Over the last three days, i have crossed Salar de Uyuni (the largest salt flat in the world), passed countless volanoes, visited a train cemetary, touched 1200 year old cacti, and photographed beautiful alpine lakes inhabited by flamingos. After spending 3 days driving in a 4x4 truck, i found it kind of amusing when we crossed into Chile and hit pavement. Our driver remarked "Bienvenidos a Chile" with a smile on his face. Ill let pictures tell the rest of the story...

Typical bolivian bus

Salt as far as the eye can see...french fries anyone?

...translate for yourself

Llama at sunset

Older than your grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand-grand.........parents.

Nice reflection in mud

Giant snot

Rock tree

Rule 1: Never photograph into the sun

Hotspring i bathed in for a couple hours at the end of the trip...water was 26C while the surrounding lake was frozen.

Green lake

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Silver anyone?

What do crackers, coca leaves and dynamite have in common? These are the gifts i purchased to give to miners on my way to the worlds most mineral-rich mine, San Miguel. The mine, is located in a volcano next to the town of Potosi. BTW, Potosi is the worlds highest city at 4010m. My guide and i ascended into the depths of one of south americas busiest mines, we got to level 6/12. It´s dark, cold at times and stuffy at times, cramped, dusty and the smell of dynamite fills the air. This is no tourist destination, this is the real deal. Currently about 6000 people work here, and as we passed various miners, we made some chit-chat and gave them a small gift. The stick of dynamite was first to go...followed by the coca and crackers. These men work hard, and i mean hard. I met a few miners as young as 12 years old running down shafts with wheelbarrows filled with rocks. Silver is the key mineral, and as you can probably guess, the spanish had a hay-day here. The mine, about 500 years old, took the lives of (an estimated) 8,000,000 indigenous people. At an early age, men were lowered into the mine destined to worked their days away, never to see the light again. Of course there were many protests and revolts... the solution? Religion of course! The clever spanish created a Devil idol within the mine and convinced the indigenous people that he would kill them unless they continued to work. Today, local people still respect the idol, lighting him a cigarette and drinking some 96% alcohol before starting to work. A really eye-opening experience.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What a World

Yesterday, Andrea, a Romanian-born Australian and I, a Polish-born Canadian shared fondue at a Swiss restaurant in Sucre, Bolivia. Thought that was kinda cool. Other than that, ive enjoyed the last 4 days chilling out in this beautiful colonial city.

Friday, November 18, 2005

11hr Hike

Yesterday was a long day...but very rewarding. There is plenty of hiking around La Paz, ranging from day hikes to multiple week expeditions. We covered around 20km, went as high as 5350m, stood on a glacier and took pictures of multiple alpine lakes. Of course as with the Inca trail, i ate Coca leaves the entire way to help deal with the elevation. Got to love Bolivia. I should have left the city this morning, but the roads are blocked due to protests so we´re flying out tomorrow.

Condor Glacier


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Got to love Bolivia

Only a few days in Bolivia so far and i must say im enjoying every minute. On the way from Puno we crossed the border and stopped for lunch on the Bolivian side at a town called Copacabana. Beautiful little place on lake Titicaca, feels almost mediteranian. Although i dont write about food most of the time, i figure id let you know what you get for 1USD at a restaurant here: big soup, fresh lake trout, rice, salad, fries, and fresh banana juice. The town also had a magnificent white church that looked very mosquish...on one side, there was a separate room with hundreds of candles and graphitied walls.

Now im in La Paz, the highest capital in the world. Spent the entire day at various markets looking for some warm clothing to buy. Bought a nice hand-knit sweater for 5 bucks...and then i found an unique store where i spotted the coolest scarf and tuque (beenie) that ive ever seen...all hand made in a small village outside La Paz...cost was about 10 times the amount youd pay for the similar stuff on the street but the quality was just so good i had to buy. Still only cost me the equivalent of $25 for the two. (will post the web address of the store later...they export).

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Lake Titicaca is the worlds highest navigable lake (at 3800m). I took a boat trip around the lake and visited a few islands. Two of the islands were inhabited by the Uru people, who actually make their floating islands out of dried totora (bamboo-like plants that grow in the lake). These people fled to the lake during Inca times and have lived there ever since.

Very strange to look at the peruvian flag and not see a maple leaf in the middle.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Just thought Cuzco deserved one last post since it has been such a great city. The final night we partied until the early ours of the morning...all free. In the main square, there are people whos job it is to lure gringos into various bars. If you pressure them enough, they give you free drink tickets. Spend about 10 minutes doing this (really easy, they come to you) and you end up with more tickets than you can drink. All the bars/clubs have no cover, so you end up bar hopping all night...great mix of backpackers and locals...really a unique place. Today spent the day on a long bus ride to Puno.

Oh, i also ate Cuy (Guinea Pig) and Alpaka (small llama) in Cuzco.