Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I havnt been up dating this because I have been way way too busy! Those who do. do those who dont. write diaries!
I am now in Ecuador staying at a gorgeous eco lodge in the mountains surrounded by rainforest and fireplaces and great food. Today is being spent in the city of Quito.
I left Bolivia May 26 where I have been staying with friends in Lima. Lima is a huge full on city..the best and worst..but fantastic seafood.

Every day of this trip has been filled with surprises and challenges. Travel is definately not a Getaway Package Tour but actually on-the-ground experiences and if you are as lucky as me to make such a great bunch of South America mates, then you have it made.

I will have my stories and film edited when I get back to Oz but here are a few teasers...
I met the Minister of Education of Bolivia and the richest scariest Aymara women at a party that was one of my lifes most surreal experiences. These ladies wear so much gold they have personal bodyguards.
I have interviewed street people of Bolivia about their lives and hopes. I have experienced the South America version of partying which would put an Aussie football team to shame..these people can go for DAYS!

I traveled to Salor De Uyuni and it was a MASSIVE trip. These are the salt plains of Bolivia and are the wildest coldest most spectacular of wildernests ..Flamingos flying over sulpher lakes on a background of blue black wind whipped mountains, frozen streams and llamas. A hard trip but well worth the travel suffering.

My next push is to Iran...stay tuned!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Lake Titikaka is a wonder. The hiighest navagatable lake in the world, it looks like a deep blue ocean. I travelled from La Paz to Copacabana and then by boat to the Island of the Sun. Just like living in a story book! The legend has it that the sun and moon were born from the island and as I watched the sun rise over the Lake I can well believe it. I shared the moment with a llama who wasnt as impressed as me but he hung out withme all the same. Copacabana is definately the place to hang out in the sun...very colourful and laidback . This is where you bring your car to be blessed at the local church! I can imagine plenty of 4x4 drivers in Oz that would love to have this done and chuck a car party afterwards! I haev loads of pics to put up as soon as I get them sorted.

The stories are coming thick and fast. I am putting together a series of filmed stories on the local Hop Hop singers whose lirics are in Atmara the ancient Incan language. They live in the roughest poorest part of town, El Alto. I went there last night to do a radio interview for the local youth radio and was then introduced to one of the young toughs who create the music. He did an excellent piece to camera..they are real performers! This would be a great piece for JJJ TV.
I am also doing a story on the cultural changes in La Paz..the modern trendy art scene and the campas from the villages who dress and live in the old ways. There is also a great story about the local shoe shine boys..but more about that later! Having the priviledge of working and being taken in as an amigo of local people has given me an opportunity to see a side to La Paz that I would never see as a tourist.

La Paz is the highest city in the world at 6330 metres above sea level..ok..Potasi just pips it at a little higher but this is the biggest! From a height it looks like a giant crater filled with broken red bricks. The city fills the centre and climbs to the edges spilling over into the Plato. Teh whole city pullsates with energy. The streets are full of people day and night..and th enight people you leave alone. I am staying in a tiny friendly hostel filled with spanish antiques. I recommend it to any of you looking to get away from the usual dorm backpackers and tatty charmless hotels. Arcabucero ( 2313473) $10 US a night , basic but nice. As anyone who travels alot you know a place to call your own means a lot!
As a guest of the Encuentro International Festival of Art at the Tambo Quinchuincho, I have been involved in many events. I took two caricature classes all in English with my very patient translator Wada. Dispite the translation the class of fifty each day were attentive and involved. In fact, they had to be pushed out of the door after the class! I was really pleased with how the classes went as I had no idea how it would be recieved here.