Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Welcome to the jungle

25/09/2012 – La Merced, PeruWelcome to the Jungle – G’n’f’R

When your best mate travels halfway around the world for a week you get a feeling that things are pretty good and balanced on this planet. In my case Damo was heading over for my birthday and a quick look at Peru.


We didn’t have a long time so we decided to head into jump a bus over the andes and into the Jungle from Lima. It is a relatively short journey of 8hrs, and we took an overnighter. The pass at the andes is 5,000m, we didn’t even notice it and woke up in a beautiful warm land of greenery and insects.

We arrived in La Merced early at about 8am, and came across a restaurant and tour agency. Straight away we were in a van heading into the jungle on a day tour.
Our first stop was to a one of the villiages of a local tribe, the Ashaninka. They look wicked in there native dress and retain their indian lifestyle on the edge of the jungle.
We were welcomed with a song and dance,
and then were introduced to their per snake
and cheeky monkey
and they let us play with there toys. A very friendly folk.
Next stop was a swim at some local waterfalls
and more animals, this one a boa constrictor
some kind of jungle kitten, pretty cute now, but not sure in a few years.
and to finish up we took a very short ride down the amazon in the titanic, before the drive back to La Merced playing drinking games all the way.
For the night we headed to the old German colony of Oxampampa. Famous for it’s pork and beer.
It is a strange place. Apparently the guys who lived at Oxampampa were not Nazi’s fleeing from there crimes.
We got bored in Oxampampa and so headed back to La Merced. We had a number of hours to kill before our bus so went to see the sites.
We came across various witch doctors. One of whom was offering a treatment of black guinea pigs.
And man it really can rain! No wonder Lima is so dry, all the water is here.
We held out until bus leaving with beer and cards.

A very nice few days just kicking about and not doing much. After this we headed to Huacachina for some crazee sandboard action, and were witness to a riot/protest on the highway back to Lima.


A common way for the locals to protest is to block the road with bricks. The police come out very heavy headedly and we had to close the windows to keep the tear gas out of the bus. Fun fun fun and games.


reporting from Duncans Flat, Lima

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Two years on the road

18/09/2012 – London to Lima – 2 More Years, Bloc Party

Two years ago today, I was finally leaving. All the last minute mish mash of things to sort out, banking to tidy up, things given away and the rest all boxed to send to the opposite side of the world. It wasn’t a happy time. It was that London September drizzle, not cold, but it manages to make all the sidewalks that sludgy slippery. And that was me. London 8 years, and all I had was on my back.

As I went to leave my sisters flat in Maida Vale for the last time, the approaching loneliness hit me, I was scared. I turned to give a brave smile and hug her goodbye, and she came out with some parting advice. Quite simply she said “All good adventures begin with a bloody mary”. Hahaha! Nice! Good! Great! I hold that to my heart, what advice, and funnily enough it was true.

And now, today, 2 years later, here I am. Sitting in Duncans modern apartment writing this 2 year anniversary blog. And to what happened in between?, well, who knows, I can’t really remember, a few years older?…

I set out on my adventure to find a future. A tough task indeed. There are so many options open today, countries, jobs, volunteer work, and through all my methodical filtering, planning and working of ideas I find myself settling here in Lima, Perú. Why oh why in this absolutely dull, boring dirty and dangerous hell hole?…Well to be honest…I like it here.

So future found? I guess so, I have a beautiful, intelligent girlfriend, a nice place to stay and most recently a new company. As I am a complete information nerd with a love of heavy metal, I have taken on the task of creating Lima Events and Gig Guide. La Cucaracha is a project of love, and learning. And as with starting any new company I best get back to work.

Hasta Pronto. x.b.rad

reporting from: Grimaldo del Solar, Lima Perú

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

End of days in Brazil

12 - 28 Feb - Salvador de Bahia, BrazilShpongle, Levatation Nation

My time in Brazil was awesome, I finished with memories of stunning beaches, friendly people and great food. After the beautiful wedding, the smashing carnival and wild nature of the Chapada Diamantina, I was quite in love with Brazil.


Here are some photos that round off my month there.

Tour of the city with stunning views over the harbour.
Berridge… warning…..
Mmmm, giant beer!!
The main beach in Salvador
Daz in training for the big day
A cup of coffee as reward for digging a hole.
The lovely helpers and family of Patchies.
A haul from just beyond the reef…
Henrique and Andre,..another lazy day swimming
Sunshine and sand one way
sand and beers the other
Bopa having a quiet kip.
A giant broken cross overlooking the harbour
The old slave quarters in downtown Bahia
Boat tour around the local islands
with friends from across the road..
The newlyweds off to the beach again..
A photo with Petrobras Chief Gabrielli dressed as Ghandi

It was a very nice time indeed, we all promised to meet up again for the next carnival. I can’t wait!



Reporting from: Grimaldo del Solar, Lima, Peru

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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hunting for Diamonds in Diamantina

25 Feb 2012 – Chapada Diamantina, BrazilJudgement Night soundtrack

Brazilian diamonds, oooooh hot diggy. One place that is a must visit if you get the chance is the Chapada Diamantina. A Place in Brazil like no other. It has some of the oldest soil in the world, and it was even once connected to Namibia at the bottom of South Africa. This place has been brewing diamonds for millennia.


As the years have passed, it has seen a number of boom and bust cycles.
Miners coming in, raping the land in the hunt for precious stones, and eventually destroying it. Nowadays the park is protected from industrial mining. The rock formations are strange indeed, massive boulders that are made of a lightweight sand. Pink, blue, purple and orange river beds and some of the tastiest drinking water flowing through underground caverns.

Lençóis, base to Chapada is a sweet little town with some nice hostels.
Our little posse stayed at Pousada Daime Sono. It was a little comfy home away from home.
Here’s our little gang. We went about discovering the local environment. Our first way we headed out to find a local watering holes.
And what splendour we discovered!! It was beautiful. A fresh water stream with local daredevils leaping from the boulders.
The stream had formed this natural slide. The local heroes invented a nice game to show of there skills, sliding down standing up.
I donned the tighties and had a crack myself. Graceful is definitely the word for it, unfortunately for the tighties… they gained a hole….poor poor tighties

After the nights sleep, we were booked onto a local tour of the sites. It was going to be a full day, for about 80 reais if I remember correctly, quite expensive.

First stop the devils waterfall for an early morning dip. The brown colour comes from the tannins of the dying vegetation, apparently it washes your hair as you swim.
Next stop the smoke caves. Not sure why this name, but there were some very nice stalagmites and stalactites
Off next swim in some of the clearest water in the world. This lake is on a bed of blue limestone,
and it flows into the side of this hill. Here you can hire a snorkel and head into the cave with a flashlight.
At the other end, there is the opportunity to don some scuba gear and hit the underwater caves.
Some say that Jesus lives deep in the cave, here I am basking in his glow.
Our last stop was a climb to the top of the mountian Inácio. It’s views…well…fantastic.
Our friendly guide for the day, Jack, was well educated. He explained to us how the mountain got it’s name, you can read the sad love story of Inácio here.

Land as old as time, unfortunately we didn’t find any dinosaur prints, or diamonds for that matter. But all was not lost, the place was fantastic.P1070617

And my short time in Chapada was going to get even better with the arrival of my old amigo from Alemania, Frank. We’ve had numerous adventures in Central America together, namely our adventure with Pirates in Panama.

Cervejás for the reunion. It was great to see Frank again, it had been nearly a year. We decided to hang out for a few days, see what trouble we could find.
These swimming pools are freaken sweet. Only 5 minutes walk from town. Best time to go is during the week before the locals arrive.
We came across these odd caverns. Made up of giant boulders of coloured sands. This place was strange.
The local streams were super refreshing. The water, maybe the cleanest in the world filtered through ancient limestone caves.

Chapada Diamantina and Lencois, a very special places indeed. I recommend a few days diamond hunting to anyone, especially if you are a fan of warm weather, lovely clean water and swimming.



Reporting from: Miraflores, Lima Peru

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