Medellin, Colombia – Life with Vikings

October 27, 2008 12:22 pm

After some time in the steamy pacific coast we set our sights north again to the cool mountains.  Johan had a friend in Medellin, Colombia’s second largest city, that said we could stay with him, and we were  both looking forward to a few lazy days and nights out.  Johan and Alfie had met in Buenos Aires at the start of Johan’s trip 8 months prior, and he was sure that we all had the same sick sense of humor to get along great. 

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Pacific Coast, Colombia – Off the beaten path

12:16 pm

Most travelers I’d met on the way north didn’t have very good things to say about Cali.  The city of plastic and glitz was known for its nightlife, but not much else.  Others had quickly passed through on their way from Bogota or Medellin on their way to Ecuador, but I wanted to give the city its fair chance. Still traveling with Johan, we decided to try CouchSurfing in the city, hoping that whomever we stayed with would be able to give us some tips on the city and maybe show us around a bit.  Sadly we got Felipe and his Father instead…   

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Southern Colombia – As Fresh as it Gets

September 14, 2008 2:51 pm

Talking with other backpackers I’d met in Ecuador I got similar responses regarding Colombia. Everyone agreed that the people there are some of the friendliest they have met in South America, its safer than they would have believed, and its sure to soon be a popular travel destination. I’ve been in this country not even two weeks yet, but I can emphatically agree. It’s amazing how quickly people here are to open up to you (even with limited Spanish ability), and everyone is willing to share tips and recommendations on local sights and safety. Several of the places I’ve ended up now are not from recommendation by other travelers or guidebooks (which cover very little here), but from locals.

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Baños, Tena, and Quilotoa, Ecuador – Staying Active

August 26, 2008 4:36 pm

So far since leaving Quito my legs have been surprisingly active.  Mountain climbing, trekking, biking, and rafting all in the past week.  The trips have taken me around the villages of the Quilotoa loop, through the towns of Banos, Puyo, and Tena, and down the mighty Jondachi and Napo rivers.  Don’t worry, this bit of energy wont last and I’ll soon be heading for the beach, but its amazing to see what can actually be accomplished when you set some goals and follow through instead of finding excuses to turn around and take it easy.

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Cotopaxi, Ecuador – Addicted to Altitude

August 9, 2008 3:02 pm

Mountaineering has got to be one of the dumbest sports to get into, and one of the hardest to pull yourself away from once you’ve started.  It’s expensive and not particularly fun; most of your time is spent in horribly cold and windy conditions, walking for miles uphill, on ice, and usually in the dark.  The environment tries to stop you with avalanches, crevasses, windburn, snow blindness, and piles of loose rock called skree just waiting for your foot-step to start a landslide.  On top of this your body and high altitude don’t particularly get along.  At these heights the air is thinner, digestion slows, pulse increases, sleep evades you, and AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness, a serious and potentially deadly reaction to altitude) starts to show itself.  Really there are only two small moments that are rewarding:  the 10 seconds or so that you can stand the cold on the summit, and of course bragging to your friends about it once you’re done. 

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Quito, Ecuador – Getting my learn on

July 29, 2008 7:13 pm

So another week has passed, and life is going pretty well in Quito.  Most of my day is taken up with some new pursuits, and my accommodations are the best I’ve had in a while.  I’ve got myself set up in Quito’s Old Town in a place called Casa Bambu, and for 7$ I’ve got my own room with a shared bath and kitchen.  The rooftop patio has a amazing view over the city and goes great with a beer and a bit of homework in the evenings.  There are a few other long-term people staying here and we all get along pretty well.  Evenings have us dodging each other in the kitchen and sharing movies in the common room.  Nights and weekends are spent with beers and wine one the roof before heading out to bars and clubs in town. 

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Quito, Ecuador – Back to work

July 20, 2008 1:12 pm

As most of you know I’ve been taking a little break from traveling the last few weeks.  After visiting Nepal for a couple months I made a marathon push through India (30hrs on busses, 30hrs on a train, followed by a 20hr flight) to make it home in time for a family reunion.  I arrived smelly, black-eyed, and 20lbs lighter, and definitely ready for a few days off.  While I love traveling (obviously), after 7 months on the road I was looking forward to spending a little down  time with friends and family. 

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Atlanta, USA – You’re Saving Grace

July 13, 2008 11:02 pm

When taking a trip to any destination, one of the most difficult questions is always, “What to pack?”  It rates right up there with “Where am I going?” and “How in the hell am i going to pay for all this?”  On a long-term backpacking trip the question becomes even more difficult.  Each item that makes the list is going to be strapped to your back for months, hauled onto buses, hiked through town, and even checked on a plane once in a while.   The items that you once threw in your roll-aboard for the trip to the Bahamas start to look a lot more heavy when you realize they will be sitting on your lap during 15 hour bus rides.   

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Atlanta, USA – How Commited are You?

June 30, 2008 11:50 am

So, even though I haven’t actually gotten around to getting a new post up for over 4 months now, you’re still around right?  You haven’t quite given up on me and are willing to give me a second chance?  I’ve got good reasons.  Trust me, I always have plenty of excuses.  This time though it is truely no more than 50% to blame on my laziness, and the rest to blame on the rest of the world.

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Photos – Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia

March 14, 2008 1:06 am

So even though I havent been doing to well on the entries front (talking a laptop to South America to fix that), I’ve gotten plenty of pictures up.  Take a look at me in front of cool stuff in the following places:

Singapore – Singapore

Indonesia – Bukit Luwang, Medan, Paulu Weh, Lake Toba

Malaysia – Malaka, Kuala Lumpur, Penang

Oh, and Sri Lanka was back there too if anyone missed those.