Category Archives: Characters

“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

Salkantay Crew

Group Pic - Blog Sometimes less is more. And sometimes less is just plain less. So when our tour agency tossed 9 of us together with an unknown tour operator and a less than accommodating guide, we realized that the low price we paid for a 5 day trek was probably going to be reflected in our experience. But we were only half right. True, we were barely fed, were given basically zero information, our guide was grumpy and unhelpful, and our equipment was not what was promised. But it’s the rough times, the unpleasant times, the ‘holy crap this really sucks’ times that bring people together. The 9 gringos in our group came together with vim and vigor, and people who were initially strangers became the battle hardened Salkantay Crew. Despite rough weather, landslides, mud upon mud upon mud, lung crushing altitude, and having just about everything go wrong for us, we had a blast. So without further ado, I present to you, the Salkantay Crew. Continue reading

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Team Mongrel

It was the best of times, it was the… best of times.  In Tupiza, a small town 2 hours north of the Bolivian / Argentinian border, 8 travelers convened for what they thought to be a simple 4 day tour of the Bolivian Salt Flats.  Little did they know that the next 3 weeks would see them formed, shaped, and molded into a tight-knit band, a platoon of backpacker greatness, a crime fighting sect of superhuman greats… err… well, so what if I exaggerate?  These people are the real deal.  These people are Team Mongrel. Continue reading

Honeymoon With A Chef

“Augh! Only 7 more hours til BBQ!”

We rolled into Tilcara, a tiny Argentinian village 3 hours south of the Bolivian border, to find a happy trio sitting around the table, eating copious amounts of gourmet-looking pasta, and raving about how they couldn’t stop eating despite how full they were.  Yes, the trio was the honeymooning couple Mike and Laura, and their recent travelling buddy and chef extraordinaire (he literally studied food engineering) Eddy. Long story short, our one night stay in Tilcara turned into 3, and the blame rests firmly on the shoulders of these three. Continue reading

Bagels!

Oh yeah, I was there, it was super cool.  The people were super nice, and it was super fun!”

Super is pretty much the best word to describe our Spanish friend, Bagels. Even though she told people that her real name was Begonia, we made sure that everybody referred to her, affectionately, as Bagels.  We crossed paths in Colonia, Uruguay, had some excellent and not so excellent wine, and then met up again 4 days later in Montevideo. Do you know those people who wake up in the morning and have more energy than a 5-year-old on christmas morning? Yeah, they one day aspire to be Bagels.  Her energy and enthusiasm was contagious, as was her use of the word ‘super,’ and her making fun of Americans for overusing the word ‘awesome.’ Without her, we would have never made it up to Cabo Polonio, nor found out about the Tour de Pants. Her mission of seeing every country that began with a U is underway – though she may not make it to Uzbekistan.  As an employee of Proctor and Gamble in Madrid, she is able to take 10 months sabbatical to travel, with job security when she returns. We know jealousy doesn’t become us, but common, that’s pretty ‘awesome.’ Continue reading