Thursday, August 07, 2008

Bolivia-The Altiplano

"The Altiplano (Spanish for high plain), where the Andes are at their widest, is the most extensive area of high plateau on earth outside of Tibet." (Source-Wikipedia). The variety and beauty of the landscapes in this region of the world is astonishing. I was fortunate to get to experience the Altiplano in Bolivia with my friends; Vjen from Belgium, and Zoe and Giddeon from London. The four of us spent time in Sucre, Potosi, Tupisa and traveled on an organized 4 day/3 night trip through the Altiplano including the Salar De Uyuni. It was an outstanding adventure with a wonderful group of fellow travelers.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

North American Homecoming

Date-Time: 6/25/08-About 5:30 in the morning (La Paz time).
Location: La Paz International aiport
Event: Flying back to the United States today after 6 months in South America.

I sit here at the call/Internet center at the airport composing this blog entry. The pace of my travel accelerated significantly upon leaving Banos in Ecuador on May 13th. It has been a bit of a "Whirlwind" pace the last 6 weeks moving through Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. Made a great group of new friends that I shared much of this last 6 weeks with. When I get back to the states I will put up many new photo galleries of Peru and Bolivia.

Looking forward to being back in the states and being with family and friends. Have an idea for a way to make some money while realizing a long held dream. Will mostly not say more about this until the end of the year. If my plan to make money works out, my return to South America will be much sooner. If it does not work out, the plan is to go to the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East to teach English. Regardless of whether or not my plan for making money from July to December works out, I will be pursuing my dream and that is what matters.

Big Love,


Sunday, June 08, 2008

Bolivia-Where the Rich People Live

Strange, finding myself here in Bolivia, in a city called Santa Cruz that is so wealthy it is leading an autonomy movement against Eva Morales who seeeks to keep power centralized. Today I went with my two traveling companions of the moment, Vjen from Belgium and Jill from Australia to an outstanding "Butterfly-Aviary-Swimming-Brunch" park in the jungle on the oustskirts of town. This city has oil, gas, cattle and massive agricultural enterprises that make it very prosperous. It reminds me a bit of Caracas, Venezueula where you have incredible wealth and many folks driving around in brand new SUV´s enjoying the "Good Life". There is also a beauty pageant culture here also and physical enhancement looks to be quite popular.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Kids' Chalk Art Project-Guiness Book of World Records

Late Notice-My friend Mark Wagner, along with thousands of kids and adults, is culminating a record breaking chalk art drawing at the Alemeda Naval Air Station. This is happening tomorrow, June 7. Everybody is welcome. Follow the links below for more information. Big Love-Don

Kids Chalk Art Project

Blog on the Project

The Kids' Chalk Art Project is an event to celebrate and invest in the creative spirit of our kids.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Machu Picchu

The Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu is seared into my memory. Wow, the last 3 nights and 4 days, culminating in hiking up to, and all around Machu Piccu has been truly remarkable. I now have three new friends from Belgium and one from Spain that also shared this adventure. Here is a picture of the 6 of us with the driver of the van in the red outfit. When time permits, I will upload a gallery of shots from this four day adventure. Below is a brief description of the journey:

INKA JUNGLE-Mountain Bike and a Jungle Trek to Machupicchu
Day 01: Cusco to Santa Maria:
Tour Company Van with 3 Belgians (Valentin, Pierre, Mathias) Spaniard (Victor), My good Mexican friend whom I met in Banos (Victor), myself and the our Peruvian guide, Edgar. We started at 8 am and passed through the Sacred Valley, stopping in Ollantaytambo. Then climbing until the Malaga High Pass at 4,500 meters (1,4850 Ft). We then Rode mountain bikes down to Santa Maria, a Jungle Village(1,500m or 4,950 Ft.)
Day 02: Santa Maria to Santa Teresa:
Walk in the jungle on segments of the original Inca Road to thermal baths in Santa Teresa. Take a cable car across the Vilcanota River (River sacred to the Incas) . Thermal baths at Santa Teresa are 5 Star and very relaxing.
Day 03: Santa Teresa to Machupicchu:
Santa Teresa is at 1,900m (6,270 ft). We modify the planned all day hike to Aguas Calientes and take a Minivan to an area near a spectacular display of raw power with water coming out of the rocks. There is hydro electric generation going on here without a dam and it is also near a train station. We hike along railroad tracks to Aguas Calientes Village in the Afternoon and hike up a massive mountain that sits directly in front of Machu Picchu.

Day 04: Machupicchu - Cusco
At 4:30 in the morning, we begin to walk to Machupicchu. It takes us less than a hour to reach the site from our hotel and only about half an hour from the the river. All of us hike to the top of Wanna Picchu and I kike to the Sun Gate (Incapunktu). Hike back down the mountain and enjoy two massive dinners, some drinks and the combination train and bus ride back to Cuzco.
So much more to say about this adventure, but gotta run.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Machu Picchu

Headed off on a four day excursion that culminates at Machu Picchu. Will ride bikes for day one of the journey, hike parts of the Inca Trail through the jungle on day 2, more hiking on day three and finally on day 4 get to Machu Picchu at 6am and come back to Cuzco on a combination of train and bus. Very excited to see one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. My friend Oscar and I spent the evening of Corpus Cristi closing down various musical venues, dancing and generally having a really good time. We talked last night about our dreams for community and making the world a better place. We are doing the Machu Picchu trip together. Its great to have a traveling buddy who I can conspire with.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Arrived in Cuzco after a 20 hour ride on a luxury Cruz Del Sur bus. The ride took me through the Andes from Lima and it was very posh. They served us a very nice hot dinner and and even a breakfast. It was a double decker bus with a person assigned to each floor to serve food, drinks and give you blankets and pillows. We watched 5 movies; Harry Potter, Ghandi, Man of the House, Adrift (All in Spanish with English subtitles) and one Spanish only movie about a great teacher who, with the help of his kids, defeats the bad guys and gets the girl in a Mexican town. Had two seats to myself for most of the trip but at the very start, shared a seat with Fidel (pictured). On the second picture on the right hand side after going through the arch is the the Loki hostel where I am staying. The building is 450 years old. So many of the buildings go way back. Walked into one of the churches and it was built in 1523. There are no tall buildings here as they have a restriction that you can´t go over 3-4 floors. Walked up the hill to a community and am happy to say that the kids are curious and full of life. From first glance, Cuzco seems to be a pretty magical place.