Category Archives: Travel


Day 31 of South America holiday

From Notes notebook:

  • 8am went across road to join our tour to the airport/flyover. Had to wait an hour at airport. Videos about the lines.
  • Approx. 9.45am Finally got our flight. FAB!! British woman as sick as a perra – had to turn back. Picked up new passengers/up again – we now got to start again!
  • Our bus out to Lima delayed till 2.30pm
  • 2.35pm Now on bus heading 4 Lima.
  • Murderous long traffic jam taxi to Hotel Espana. But then… my first glimpse of The Best Hotel in the World!


Day 28 of South American holiday

Transcribed from Notes:

  • I’m having a quiet Internet-and-coffee day in Machu Picchu Pueblo/Aguas Calientes; Steve has gone back up to Machu Picchu, this time with Rosebud (forgot to get a pic of her there yesterday!).
  • Fact: Hiram Bingham plundered up to 40,000 items from Machu Picchu!
  • 16.:13 Be at Train Station
  • 16:43 Depart for Cusco
  • Murderous four hour train trip back to Poroy. Then bus to Cusco main Square and even Jack’s is a disappointment – the tea is not scalding hot. Have had enough, now [of the holiday] – but a long arduous trip home looms…

Accommodation: Room 5, Samay Wasi, Cusco

Llama goes upstairs

Llama goes upstairs

Originally uploaded by squawkingalah



  • Horrible hamburger lunch. Unusually for me, couldn’t even finish it!
  • Bus up the switchbacks to magnificent MP!
  • On the bus back down, I had a whole conversation IN SPANISH with a Peruvian woman.
  • Pizza and avocado salad for dinner.
  • Accommodation: Hostel Quilla Machu Picchu Pueblo.

La Paz, the day before the national elections

Day 19 of South American holiday

I´m sitting in the Internet booth of the Hotel Fuentes in La Paz. Steve and I are suffering from altitude listlessness. The national elections are on tomorrow. No alcohol has been served in the country since last Friday. We listened to a Dutch woman aruging with staff about this yesterday. She felt she should be an exception to the national rule because she was not, herself, voting. Travel is a great study in national characteristics, as revealed through the world´s tourists. Today, I´m anti-tourism. There are dozens of arguments against wandering stupidly over other people´s countries. (Yesterday, I was all for it.)

From “Notes” notebook:

  • Tricia Fong’s birthday
  • Dangerous (traffic) walk after breakfast up to the museum area around Calle Jaén. Popped in to the precious metals museum and the one with all the dioramas.
  • Thank God for backpacker refuge, Sol y Luna! Nice clean baño and now for lunch – starving!
  • Both had long nap in the arvo – not feeling the best.
  • In the evening, a trek to the more expensive part of La Paz, found a reassuringly western supermercado & bought ham and cheese for tomorrow [national elections mean restaurants and hotels will be shut]. Bought rolls from a trad. Bolivian woman selling on the street.
  • Cheeseburger and chips from Danny’s Diner.
  • Long walk home.
  • Staying at the Hotel Fuentes.

The White Lagoon, Bolivia


Will the pen work here? Laguna Blanco, in the National Park. Oh, give me ex. book time! F**k!


A few minutes later.

Green lagoon.

Just a few minutes, only long enough to hear Get On Up, Sex Machine and to have a conversation about flamingos – why they are pink and why, in zoos, they require mirrors for their sex lives.

Tina has the best Spanish in the car. It’s windy and cold up here.


Mina Rosario – name of mountain. Ben and Steve took a photo.

carrajo (or carajo) = fuck

Taught to us by Figo, our driver, after the car momentarily failed to start.


las vicuñas


Bob Marley No Woman No Cry. Remembering Ashburton Street and John Ambrose (“vhd”, the part tree).


Now gone back one hour in time. We were given a special leaf to chew which apparently helps with altitude sickness. I’m sitting next to a chewed, dried piece of it now. At the border officialdom centre between Chile and Bolivia there were no baños but there was a big old bus rotting into the dry earth. I mean rusting. Not even rusting really. Fading and dessicating. Anyway, there were no baños so the idea was to “go” behind that bus. It was stinking and horrible with mounts of turd of various ages & dryness and flapping bits of toilet paper held down by rocks.


At the dinner table at hour hostel at the end of a magnificent day where, after a very short time, I was able to completely join the mainstream experience. Figo, our driver, has an attachment which pumps out the moozik.


Lights out in a few minutes.

Conversation at the moment is about War and Peace. Has anybody read it? No. I volunteered that I’d read Anna Karenina but no-one responded to this. Then someone said, What’s it all about? I said, Russia, Crimean War. I said it confidently but but maybe I’m wrong about the C. war. Need to Google it.*

Our hotel has been made out of adobe. Lights should be out by now. They are not controlled by us. There is a single globe hanging from the ceiling. I’m under piles of blankets and Rosemary’s sleeping bag. These beds are hunks of rocks or concrete with a mattress and a pile of blankets. Today on our tour I saw concrete bollards marking the side of the road with a rock on top of each one. I said, Oh look, art! To me it looked sculptural and repetitive. Tina said: “If that’s art, so are our beds.” Ha ha – rokcs with something on top of them. I haven’t written this up properly but this will do for now. The room light has flickered but has not yet gone out. We Australians were all put together. Hayden and Francis are a young couple from NZ; the rest of us are Australians. It has been good to talk.


*Yup, wrong. According to Wikipedia, the novel is set in an earlier period.