Posted by Cool Your Jets IV on September 21, 2011
Andrea, whom we met whilst aboard the Grande Francia continues his journey around the World (do look for two intrepid travellers in the video…)
It seems like a long time since we were aboard the ship, though we’re still talking about it – people we meet are always amazed when they hear about our leaving London aboard a cargo ship and our voyage to South America, following the coasts of France, Spain, Africa and Brazil – an awesome experience that still lives long in our memories. But alas, all good things come to an end and we’ve had a truly awesome time, met some wonderful people and experienced many highs and great times.
The whole adventure had been really special and we both feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to see the World – pretty much on our own terms, having no plan whatsoever, only to arrive in Buenos Aires and go with the flow. Argentina was superb, we wish we’d met our tango instructor sooner though know we’ll take it up when we eventually settle back in the UK. The friends we met whilst learning Spanish will remain good friends – some of whom are already planning to visit London later this year.
Machu Picchu was everything and more than we expected – at one stage we had no plans to see it, so very glad we decided to get to Lima and onto Cuzco – it was mind-blowing. Having no plan saw us leave South America to meet up with friends in SE Asia, Jamie and Lisa in Vietnam, our little holiday within our trip – Vietnam was such a beautiful country and travelling by train, north to south we pretty much saw all of it and so want to go back.
Whilst Phnom Phen wasn’t for us, the rest of Cambodia was – seeing the small river town of Kampot was a highlight with many drunken nights spent in the Rusty Keyhole, drinking cold beers and enjoying great food to meeting up with our friends Dave and Katie, en route to London having been to a wedding in Australia. Seeing Angkor Wat with them both – we couldn’t have hoped for two better intrepid explorers!
Thailand was everything we though it wasn’t – we were both expecting Bangkok to be a little bit like Old Delhi, ramshackle and broken, dirty and not really for us so imagine our surprise to see multiple high-rise office blocks on a par with New York – an incredible metropolis though it the places outside of Bangkok we truly enjoyed – visiting the Islands and being able to climb in Krabi, a longish term ambition of mine. To visiting the north, making friends in Chiang Mai and our nights inside Pinkys – a fine watering hole with some great characters though none more than Fon and Graeme – unfortunately the photo I have of Graeme is long deleted though the image has been burned into my memory!
Then there was India and our being spoilt rotten by Ram Mama and Madhu Mami, both of whom gave up their bed and fed us plenty of home cooked food, which after being on the road for so long was very welcome. Rather than visit the same places we opted to see more of the north and the foothills of the Himalayas. Having now been to Leh I can categorically say that this is my favourite place in India – riding our Enfield in the mountains, riding over the first and third highest motorable passes was a real highlight. Seeing Goa in a monsoon (and meeting our friend Tony from Chiang Mai, randomly paying for something in a supermarket) and for me bathing in Ganga Mata in Varanasi, for no other reason than, why not!
We’re now in Greece, have been for about two or so weeks – relaxing before we head back to London and finding somewhere to live, rebuilding our careers and planning the next stage of our lives with memories of this year shaping our future. It’s been a wonderful adventure and I couldn’t have had a better person to travel with, be with and to share all these wonderful times with than my wife and co-pilot Shelley, none of this would have been possible nor as much fun with out her – it’s been a blast babes x
Posted in Brazil, Buenos Aires, Cambodia, Delhi, Greece, India, London, Peru, South East Asia, Tango, Thailand, Vietnam | Tagged: angkor wat, Argentina, cambodia, Cargo Ship, chaing mai, goa, Grande Francia, greece, india, kampot, ladakh, leh, machu picchu, moto guzzi, peru, pinkys, rusty keyhole, shelleytravel, stelvio2stelvio, thailand, vietnam | 16 Comments »
Posted by Cool Your Jets IV on March 26, 2011
This morning we took a taxi from the Eco Yoga Park to the Airport, after four months in Argentina we’re finally on our way again – ten hours from now we’ll be in the capital of Peru, Lima. Buenos Aires has been quite cool though we’re happy to be moving on – it’s a great city though too European, we always commented that we could easily be in any major European city!
Our stay at the Eco Yoga Park was very enjoyable, we met some great people and really chilled out. Our work in the garden/allotment was very therapeutic, even though there were much easier jobs to be had, we both felt that the garden was the best place to be – chatting amongst our friends whilst beavering about, digging, weeding and shoveling stuff!
Here are some final photos from the last day or two:
Posted in Buenos Aires, Leaving Buenos Aires, Peru | Tagged: Buenos Aires, eco yoga park, hare krishna, lima, peru | 3 Comments »
Posted by Cool Your Jets IV on March 23, 2011
The Eco Yoga Park is a Hare Krishna run, organic farm and yoga retreat two hours from the centre of Buenos Aires. There’s approximately 10 full time Hare Krishnas and at any one time, twenty or so volunteers – I use the ‘volunteer’ term loosely as they charge $15US per day. For this you get accommodation, three pure vegetarian meals a day, two classes of yoga and four and half hours work in the garden, kitchen or house building, each day – being pretty much the only guy there for the last several days I’ve been toiling in the garden and to be fair thoroughly enjoying myself.
Having been here for 10 days now, we’re fully immersed in the whole set-up. Our day starting at 6.20am, which is when we begin our days’ work; the temperature during the afternoon is much too hot to do anything so we crack on before the sun rises. The garden at this time of the morning is a fantastic place to be – the fields are covered in a low lying mist and what with the sounds of the various farm animals and birds singing is a great way to begin the day – apparently the Krishna’s start the day with a couple of hours chanting in the truly, this is from 5am – we’re yet to make that gig!
Maria the Head Gardener / Slave Driver (!) is Bolivian and she’s been working the garden for several years. She tends the garden, well, she gives us ‘volunteers’ our orders each morning – this mostly means either digging, weeding, sowing – in fact anything with an ‘ing on the end, bar loafing!
We crack on for a good hour before breaking for breakfast, generally fresh fruit with bread – the neighbouring farm is a dairy and they sell a litre of fresh yoghurt for $7Peso, it’s the nicest tasting yoghurt I’ve had and more so since we see the cows each day. Following breakfast, we work through till 11:30am at which time the day is yours.
Lunch is at 13:30 though just prior is our first yoga lesson of the day with our next yoga session is 16:30 – the yoga is either carried out by one of the Krishna women or one of the volunteers, and is either hectic or medative.
All in all, it’s quite cool and you quickly settle in to the swing of things, you do tend to read a lot and given the early mornings, lots of sleeping. Generally though, after the fourth or fifth day there’s an exodus from the farm as the town General Rodriguez is approximately half an hour away. The town itself is quite small, it has a couple of banks, two ice-cream shops which have very good internet connection and nearly every afternoon you’ll find half a dozen of us there, catching up with the outside world! There’s a decent pizzeria and having been working hard in the garden, an ice-cold beer!
We leave this Saturday, heading north-west to the capital of Peru, Lima. We’re there for three weeks before leaving for Asia – Vietnam here we come…
Posted in Buenos Aires, Leaving Buenos Aires, Peru | Tagged: Buenos Aires, chanting, eco yoga park, hare krishna, temple, truly, veggie food, volunteer, yoga | 3 Comments »