LOS LISTS - EXPERIENCES (2 of 5)

In the name of Travis’ departure, we’ve compiled a series on our misadventures. It’s an exhaustive, self-indulgent, overly simplified analysis of practically everything we ever did, with no explanation or justification for our choices. 

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Top Three Ailments

1. Pink eye

2. Broken finger

3. Slashed wrist (after tripping on volcanic rock while peeing)

Bonus ailment: Perpetual diarrhea

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Travis’ Top Three Bowel Movements

1. The Tony Romas Poo (notes: so mighty, took seven flushes, expected a slow clap upon emerging from the stall)

2. The Muchu Poo-chu on Macchu Pichu (note: travis wanted to make sure he got credit for that term)

3. The Salt Flats Jumping Shart (note: everything in the world at that moment was pure white, except Travis’ pants)

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Top Tours

1. Salt Flats Tour

2. Star Tour in Chile

3.Chapada Diamentina tour in Lencios

4. Machupicchu

5. Foz de Iguazu

6. Colca Canyon (Erin)

7. Wine tour in Huacachina

8. Nazca lines

9. Lima city tour

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Top Activities (15 Way Tie, We Probably Forgot Something But Whatever)

Paragliding in Medellin - Samba lesson in Salvador - Bolivia’s Got Talent talent show - Mud Volcano in Cartagena - Holy parade in Chile - VW Beetle tour of Sacred Valley in Cuzco - Volunteering with kids in Cuzco - Paddle boats in Copacabana - Surfing in Canoa - Gallery hopping in Sau Paulo - Horseback riding in Morro de Sau Paulo - Salt Cathedral in Zipaquera - Dune buggies in Ica - Snorkeling in Cartagena - Samba/Condoble/Capoera performance in Salvador

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Notable Markets

1. That one Sunday market in Brazil where we ate tapioca

2. The Flea market in Sau Paulo

3. Mercado Central in Quito

4. Witches market in La Paz

5. Hipster market in Bogota

6. San Pedro market in Cuzco

7. Mercado Central in Sau Paulo

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Top Five Dirtiest Moments

1. Day 2 of Salkantay Trek 

2. July

3. Day 3 of Salt Flat Tour

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Top Hammock Naps

1. Villa Madalena in Sau Paulo

2. Playa Blanca (Travis)

3. San Pedro hostel


See also:  South America. Yeah

On Backpackers

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Today Caroline and I discussed how I can spend my first few months back in New York reminding everyone that I went BACKPACKING IN SOUTH AMERICA. 

Caroline: like, “oh, you lost your job? I remember when I used to care about the rat race…. back before I went BACKPACKING IN SOUTH AMERICA”

me: and starting every sentence with ¨WELL IN B.A. —-THATS BUENOS AIRES GUYS—-”

Caroline: “yeah, this place is cool. I guess, if you haven’t expanded your horizons like I did when I went BACKPACKING IN SOUTH AMERICA”

Caroline: “cute shoes. I remember when I used to care about shoes” but, you know, you can only fit so many pairs into YOUR BACKPACK, which I lived out of

me: understand? everything i owned, I CARRIED ON MY BACK

Caroline: I didn’t change clothes, I just CHANGED COUNTRIES!

Caroline: oh and you can’t say “argentina” you have to say “arHENtinAH”

Caroline: and are you good at pronouncing spanish-derived words commonly used in the US…. like an asshole?

me: like teLEfono?

  y el rrrrrradio

Caroline: burrrrrrito

new Erin is going to be so much fun

me: new Erin (pronounced ay-REEN) 

Caroline: you should roll the r

(By the way, the little asshole in the photo above would not stop going into my bag and messing with everything. He was the most ill-behaved, sugared up, sunburnt child I’ve ever encountered.)  

La Paz. Taken by Travis, who takes nice photos. You can view more of them here. 
By the way, I have made it very clear how terrified I am of The Packmule Ladies Wearing Tiny Little Bowler Hats. Looking at the mug on this lady (who probably threatened to tear Travis’s fingers off after he snapped this photo), can you really blame me?

La Paz. Taken by Travis, who takes nice photos. You can view more of them here

By the way, I have made it very clear how terrified I am of The Packmule Ladies Wearing Tiny Little Bowler Hats. Looking at the mug on this lady (who probably threatened to tear Travis’s fingers off after he snapped this photo), can you really blame me?

Do I have room in my already-ripping backpack for a dried baby llama fetus or two?
Besides, who needs alpaca sweaters when you have a warm, cuddly dehydrated fetus to snuggle up to?
VERY IMPORTANT QUESTIONS. 
[At the Witch’s Market in La Paz]

Do I have room in my already-ripping backpack for a dried baby llama fetus or two?

Besides, who needs alpaca sweaters when you have a warm, cuddly dehydrated fetus to snuggle up to?

VERY IMPORTANT QUESTIONS. 

[At the Witch’s Market in La Paz]

Hello there, Collectivo Bus of La Paz.
I know you don’t believe in esoteric highbrow concepts like “caution” or “health and safety” or “capacity” or “personal space” or “traffic rules” or even “pedestrians,” but I want you to know I was really sad when I dropped my delicious 50 cent saltena while diving to save my life when you careened onto the sidewalk. 
Love, Erin

Hello there, Collectivo Bus of La Paz.

I know you don’t believe in esoteric highbrow concepts like “caution” or “health and safety” or “capacity” or “personal space” or “traffic rules” or even “pedestrians,” but I want you to know I was really sad when I dropped my delicious 50 cent saltena while diving to save my life when you careened onto the sidewalk. 

Love, Erin

Trekking Isla del Sol with Maya and our new friend. Her name was something like Getman or Packman or Hitman but we never quite figured it out? She was positively insane and one of our favorite personalities on the trip. She wore a Bolivian blanket like a cape (adding to her superhero status), laughed like a raging lunatic, ate food off our plates, and told us ridiculous stories about “romantic encounters” while couch surfing across the continent. 

Trekking Isla del Sol with Maya and our new friend. Her name was something like Getman or Packman or Hitman but we never quite figured it out? She was positively insane and one of our favorite personalities on the trip. She wore a Bolivian blanket like a cape (adding to her superhero status), laughed like a raging lunatic, ate food off our plates, and told us ridiculous stories about “romantic encounters” while couch surfing across the continent. 

Maya and I rocking head to toe alpaca and petting some mules before almost missing our ferry from Isla del Sol to Copacobana in Bolivia.
I freaking love their faces. Resigned to a shitty long day of work ahead of them, yet not totally unhappy about it. They may as well be shrugging and sighing, “It’s a mule’s life, whaddayagonnado?”

Maya and I rocking head to toe alpaca and petting some mules before almost missing our ferry from Isla del Sol to Copacobana in Bolivia.

I freaking love their faces. Resigned to a shitty long day of work ahead of them, yet not totally unhappy about it. They may as well be shrugging and sighing, “It’s a mule’s life, whaddayagonnado?”


Since Travis takes more, and better, photos than me, we have a little catching up to do. Get ready for a string of Bolivia and Machu Picchu photos…
 Here’s the main snack we ate in Bolivia, sweet puffed maize. It basically tasted like kid’s cereal only chewy and I kept a bag of it in my purse on the regular. 

Since Travis takes more, and better, photos than me, we have a little catching up to do. Get ready for a string of Bolivia and Machu Picchu photos…

 Here’s the main snack we ate in Bolivia, sweet puffed maize. It basically tasted like kid’s cereal only chewy and I kept a bag of it in my purse on the regular. 

I decided to warm up to video editing with a montage of favorite/most ridiculous clips from Travis and I`s summer in South America. I promise to make some more, uhm, informative videos in the coming weeks… For now, enjoy the ridiculousness!

South America. YEAH!

From the salt flat tour we took an overnight bus to La Paz for more altitude-related fun. I enjoyed the city; it felt safe even though it’s supposedly not, it was cheap AS HELL and there were tons of wonderful markets and we ate and drank well. Our hostel (Artie’s Guest House) had a ridiculous midnight curfew, which simply meant we stayed out until 6.
We left with our friends Mike and Maya for Copacobana, on Lake Titicaca, which was very different from the other Copacabana. 
From there we went took a ferry (no vom!) to Isla del Sol, where we hiked, took in some ruins, ate trout and star gazed on the very precarious tin roof of our $2 a night hostel.
Also Travis had to pay 40 Bolovianos (enough to buy them a new jacuzzi) for breaking an already broken window.
The we somehow got suckered into paying too much to ride the local shithole overnight bus to Cuzco; crossing the border I got into a bit of a spat with one of those crazy Bolivian packmule ladies. These ladies are not to be messed with, they have gold teeth, wear tiny little bowler hats and big shiny skirts and shawls, are built like brickhouses, and at any given time are carrying 4-8 children, several chickens, and a pile of bread and apples on their backs. Anyhow, she started aggressively yelling at me and I nearly peed my pants.

We made it to Cuzco in one piece after what I observed to be several drug deals, a bribe, and three different police searches. One of our friends saw a live llama strapped to the top of a car. Don’t worry, the llama was blindfolded.

From the salt flat tour we took an overnight bus to La Paz for more altitude-related fun. I enjoyed the city; it felt safe even though it’s supposedly not, it was cheap AS HELL and there were tons of wonderful markets and we ate and drank well. Our hostel (Artie’s Guest House) had a ridiculous midnight curfew, which simply meant we stayed out until 6.

We left with our friends Mike and Maya for Copacobana, on Lake Titicaca, which was very different from the other Copacabana

From there we went took a ferry (no vom!) to Isla del Sol, where we hiked, took in some ruins, ate trout and star gazed on the very precarious tin roof of our $2 a night hostel.

Also Travis had to pay 40 Bolovianos (enough to buy them a new jacuzzi) for breaking an already broken window.

The we somehow got suckered into paying too much to ride the local shithole overnight bus to Cuzco; crossing the border I got into a bit of a spat with one of those crazy Bolivian packmule ladies. These ladies are not to be messed with, they have gold teeth, wear tiny little bowler hats and big shiny skirts and shawls, are built like brickhouses, and at any given time are carrying 4-8 children, several chickens, and a pile of bread and apples on their backs. Anyhow, she started aggressively yelling at me and I nearly peed my pants.

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We made it to Cuzco in one piece after what I observed to be several drug deals, a bribe, and three different police searches. One of our friends saw a live llama strapped to the top of a car. Don’t worry, the llama was blindfolded.

Llamas shit. A LLLOT. Somewhat related note: The entire country of Bolivia is BYOTP, and we didn’t BYO. Lesson learned. (Even less related: Some of our fellow travelers noted that in dire emergencies, they’ve used a local currency to wipe, apparently using a low denomination of a Vietnamese bill is actually cheaper than buying TP.)

Llamas shit. A LLLOT. Somewhat related note: The entire country of Bolivia is BYOTP, and we didn’t BYO. Lesson learned. (Even less related: Some of our fellow travelers noted that in dire emergencies, they’ve used a local currency to wipe, apparently using a low denomination of a Vietnamese bill is actually cheaper than buying TP.)

Evvverybody took a series of mildly ridiculous photos to demonstrate the lack of perspective on the vast salt flats. Here’s one example.

Evvverybody took a series of mildly ridiculous photos to demonstrate the lack of perspective on the vast salt flats. Here’s one example.

Travis, Phil, me, and, of course, Natalie, at the Salt Flats.

Travis, Phil, me, and, of course, Natalie, at the Salt Flats.

Tags: bolivia