a Wednesday in June Jim wrote:

6 days at sea

Kuna Yala

After days of searching for a worthy captain to take us from South America to Central America, we finally found the dirty sexual attitude we were looking for, Captain Fredrico.

His ship Sacanagem (lit. filthy behaviour, dirtiness, unfairness, lewdness, licentiousness), was ready to take us from Cartagena in Colombia to San Blas in Panama along with 9 other filthy mochileros.

200 nautical miles with no harbour in sight, only seawater to wash with, is all forgotten as night time comes and hundreds of tiny bioluminescent plankton scintillating like the starlit sky above, and yet again it slips our minds as a large family of dolphins jumps and plays next by the boat for miles.

In San Blas (Kuna Yala) we frolic like dolphins ourselves as we snorkel the long coral reefs for days, fishing and eating fresh caught sushi, showering by the bonfire in the evening rain. Later in the evenings our Captain would tell stories of sunken ships, treasures and murder mysteries.

a Sunday in May Jim wrote:

South American Food

If your looking for a culinary experience, South America is not the place to go, I know most people will say: “what about the steaks in Argentina!”

Yeah, yeah I like a chunk of beef as much as any other man, but really, it’s not food magic is it? But if you like a lot of salty grilled meat, an Argentinian parilla or Brasilian churrasqeria is the place for you as long as you don’t mind being constipated for a few days. (Although I might have to say that I am quite partial to Chicharrón)

In Brazil the only thing that was readily available was beans, rice and something deep-fried, in Argentina pizzas with 1cm of melted cheese on top, Bolivia & Chile offered Chicken and Chips (Chavtastic).

Thank god for Peru, on this culinary deprived continent this little country offered really good fish dishes, the best Ceviche I’ve ever had was in Lima. In Puno I had a most scrumptious honey glacéed Guinea pig, and suburban Cusco offered fantastic Chicharróns with giant white corn.

Although in Sao Paulo in Brazil one can eat very well, the Paulistas make some of the best sushi in the world. Actually sushi became a recurring theme across South America, this they can do well, we found new fusion restaurant crossing Thai, Japanese and South American food in Brazil, Bolivia and Colombia. Tabetai in Cartagena was by far the best.

a Tuesday in May Jim wrote:

Lost in the Jungle

The humidity is at 90%, the heat around 37, and we’re lost in the middle of a jungle, but the spirit is high, we have torches, but no mosquito spray. Just a few hours ago, we where sleeping in a hammock facing the Caribbean sea on tree sides. Eating chocolate filled bread and chasing miniature frogs with a camera. But now we’ve gone and got ourselves lost, and boy it is hot. As we stumble across two other gringos lost in the jungle we get our bearings right and make it to a village just in time for sundown.

a Saturday in April Sarah wrote:

The city of a million bakeries and policemen

Delicious cakes can be found everywhere in the changeable city of Bogotá. On the top of a beautiful forest covered hill a church bright in sunlight looks over the city. The museums are filled with wonderful painting including the enormous works of Botero. Narrow attractive streets a contrast to the disruptive and loud traffic. We stumbled into the after mass of a demonstration, banks and shop windows broken, graffiti everywhere and riot police covered in paint. In the evening thunder drummed over musical parades.

a Wednesday in April Sarah wrote:

The dreaded Lima

The first night in Lima we celebrated escaping the Hare Krishna village by going out drinking with fellow volunteers. The tasty pisco sours helped the conversation flow well into the night.

The area we stayed in Lima was a lovely surprise. The horror stories we heard about the city were not evident. We were next to the beach surrounded by appealingly crumbly mansions. However, our first time back in a dorm since Brasil was a shock for the system. Giggling drunk Australians and an inconsiderate American resulted in lack of sleep.

The markets were full of beautiful handicrafts of much better quality than we found elsewhere in Peru. We spent our time shopping and relaxing. We also went out for tasty food and drinks with friends we had met in La Paz.

a Thursday in April Sarah wrote:

Eco Truly Park

On day one at our second eco-village we knew it was not for us. We both felt Eco-Truly was a facade of sustainability. Unused eco-technologies were kept in glass cabinets to show to visitors. The organic vegetables produced were sold and cheap ones bought in for the villages to eat. Those staying there seemed to care little for the environment but a lot about Hare Krishna. We both felt cheated as it was described in a deceiving way. We concluded that the volunteers were there to provide and income to allow devotees time with God.

The positive aspect of the time spend there was meeting the wonderful other volunteers. We had a great time with people who had boundary pushing ideas. Workshops were given in Yoga, African Dancing and the most wonderful dancing through the five element. The five element dance lasted over two hours and started with us all blind folded. Dancing without seeing what anyone else is an initially uncomfortable and then extremely freeing experience.

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