Fun times in the Altiplano

3 03 2010

Well it has been just a lovely week for us out here in the Bolivian altiplano.  From washboards to mud to many rivers without bridges, we have truly experienced bike touring as a way to get places where even heavy trucks can´t make it.  To whit:

Now if only my camera was waterproof, you could also see the glory of the two of us huddled beneath a tarp strung between our bikes for an afternoon as Pachamama dumped a freezing rain upon us.  Cheers!  🙂

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Comida Tipica, part II

25 12 2009

We will be leaving the last tortillas behind us in just a few short days.  After we leave Ecuador, we will be starting on a phase of our trip with longer distances between towns and much greater climbs in the mountains.  We can no longer expect to find a $2 plate of beans rice and chicken whenever we need.  We will have to return to cooking many more of our own meals.  Yet as long as I can connive my way into an Ecuadorian family and have llapingachos for lunch, I will be happy.  I admit, however, that I don’t hold out much hope for the culinary breadth of the salt deserts of Bolivia.





Comida Tipica

25 12 2009

Over the past two and a half months, we’ve eaten more beans and rice than we’d care to remember.  Of course, as the rest of the crew could tell you, I’ve been far more excited about that prospect than a normal human really should be.  Thus, in the spirit of gallo pinto and the ever-present casados and fritangas of Central America, I present you the comida tipica of our trip.





“¿habla englés?

4 12 2009

Welcome to Costa Rica.  The gringos are here, and their costs have followed. But where did it all begin?

Cristopher Colombus named Costa Rica, after seeing gifts of gold and silver  unparalleled.  No one since saw anything of the sort, and “The Rich Coast” seemed destined to be a backwater for all time.  (then again, he never was very good at navigating, anyway…)  A Central American Greenland, if you will.   It was mostly overlooked by the United Fruit Company’s dominion over practically every other Central American country in the 20th century.   Without the lobbying power of the banana corporations, there was less of a need for US Marines to assassinate the president on a regular basis.  (see Nicaragua, et al)  I certainly don’t mean to disparage the marines, of course.  They were very good at what they did.

Fast forward a bit, and Costa Rica’s lack of plantation agriculture has left the most remnant wilderness of any Central American nation.  The green gold begot tourism and a building boom which still continues, unabated.  Tourism has allowed Costa Rica to be far and away the most expensive country we’ve visited so far.

The most untouched, the most Western, the most expensive, the most touristy, the most developed.  There are so many extremes on this trip.  Costa Rica is just one more to add to the list.

The ‘pura vida’ attitude of the Ticos seems directly opposite their current place as leaders in tourism and computer chip production.  It is a beautiful way of thinking and living which charms completely.  Yet you have to wonder, how long can that attitude survive the relentless swarms of foreign tourists?





Currents

17 11 2009

So many things can happen between internet access on this trip that it is useless to attempt to describe all of them.  It would not help my tendency to ramble, and more importantly,  it´d be terribly boring.  So, without further ado, I present this that was our last two weeks.  (I do this mostly because the internet cafe is closing soon.)  While reading, try to imagine me performing an interpretive dance along with it. 

Big mountains.  Tired legs.  Days off.  Little bit of rain.  Soaked everything.  Pupusas are the only truly El Salvadorian food?  They are fantabulous.   Gear still wet.  Queue mold.  leave San Salvador, lots of downhill.  Much more rain.  Worse storm that night.  Yay hurricanes.  Hitchhiking.  Massive landslides, state of emergency.  Try to go help.  Meet governor of San Miguel, takes us to an American-style mall.   ¿Que?  Go sort clothes in Verapaz, move around  some bottles of water, more useless than not. Very sobering scene.  Meet awesome Brazilian, Valdo.  Hike volcano.   Leave El Salvador.  Pespire doc drives us to eat seafood.  Leaves for a call.   Stuck all afternoon. oops.  Long ride to border.  Think we can get farther than practical.  stuck at sketchy border town.  Girls splurge on love hotel. Doug and I camp w/ border police.  reggaeton blares at 2am.  street urchins wandering around our bikes.  no sleep.  Leave Honduras.  too soon.  lots of volcanoes in nicaragua.  even more cows.  few cars.  camp with fire fighters.  across street from fair.  eat amazing chicken.  even better smoothies.  quit ignoring wordpress.

if there´s anything that strikes your fancy, please give a holler.  I´ll try to explain a bit more when we´re on a more stable connection. 

Cheers,

Stefan

PS: www.valdonabike.com





Guatemala en video

13 11 2009

our summary of Guatemala!





Our Time in Mexico

5 11 2009

Camping in Valladolid

Mayan kiddies

Mayan kiddies

Tihosuco Cathedral

Tihosuco Cathedral

Breakfast Empanadas!

Breakfast Empanadas!

Doug.  Enjoying the scenery.

Doug. Enjoying the scenery.

Always remember to stop and smell the roses

Always remember to stop and smell the roses

Soooooooy!

Soooooooy!

Resalinization break

Resalinization break

Laguna Bacalar

Laguna Bacalar