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September 08, 2005

Back Home

Wow!!!!!!!!!! Its been a super long time since i updated this site.......The last posting i made was from Antofagasta, Chile!!!!!!!!!! Well Im home now...back in the good ole US of A. I am currently in Austin, Texas visiting old friends, searching for a job, and searching for a place to live. I interviewed for my old job with 360 Training, i would be doing the same thing they were training me for when i left the in a funny kind of way it would be that i quit my job and just slacked around South America for about 7 1/2 months, then return to my job right where i left off, but with a raise and a new job title....not bad eh?
Anyways couch surfing in Austin has been fun.....but then again when is couch surfing not fun. Probably manana I will head back to Irving to apply for more jobs in Austin via the Internet (the wave of the future ya know!) from my parents house. Additionally, I will be painting the house and making it look nice so Mom and Dad can sell it and get the hell out of Irving, but alas not the DfW metroplex. : (
So after Antofagasta, I hopped on a bus for Arica was an overnight bus (11hrs) then i got on a bus bound for Tacna, Peru right away. In Tacna i had some serious the bus terminal I used an ATM that deducted money from my bank account, but didnt give me any money. I found this out when someone told me the machine was bad, which was after i unsuccessfully tried to withdrawl money from my account. Well, after that i went to an internet cafe to check my account, and sure enough the dam ATM had deducted about $300 usd from my account, which was all the money i had left on my trip to make it back home to Irving. So i freaked out and missed my bus trying to sort out the problem with the bank that owned the ATM machine and the police at the bus terminal. Luckly, i had a spare reserve of american dollars to help me make it to Lima...when my flight home left from. I caught a bus after spending about 8hrs in the bus terminal in Tacna peru, i was finally on a bus for Lima. Sadly this bus ride turned out to be the wost bus ride of them all...(although the bus ride from Arequipa to Cusco is a tough contender for Worst Bus Ride in South America) An 18hr bus ride turned into a 23hr nighmare where god saw it fit to make sure i sat next to a screaming child on a bus the broke down in the middle of the desert on a very empty streach of the panamericana. Finally, i made it to lima and that first night i ate a huge meal, then crashed in the Friends house hostal, which was in Miraflores. Second day in Lima i sorted stuff out with the ATM scandal that took place in Tacna and went shopping, then out to dinner with a lady friend of mine who lives in Lima. The rest of the days up until i left on the 23rd of Aug. at 1am i went to more museos and did more shopping for last momentos of my south america trip, not to mention pirated DVD's, booze, clothes, crafts, and random suff that i bought cuz it was all dam cheap. The flight back home was uneventful, although the security to board the flight was rather offensive. After i cleared customs without a search, which was really good considering that i was way over my limit on bottles of alcohol. I was greeted by my parents...we then went to go have lunch together at a nearby chain tex-mex resturant. I loved it..i got a huge Dr. Pepper with Ice and a huge plate of your typical tex-mex fare.
The rest of the time with my family in dallas i spent getting myself plugged back into the matrix that is modern american society...get a new texas ID card (cuz i lost my origional in Brazil), get car insurance, take care of bank stuff, getting a cell phone, ect.....and i was visiting old friends that live in the DFW metro area.
Last Wed. i went to austin to party at the 21st Street coop welcome wagon party, then catch up with all of my austin friends. On friday i met up with my dad and Uncle on the highway and we went to NEw Bransfuels texas to go tubing down the guadalupe river, which is a pretty green river that you float down on in your tube and drink lots of cold beer for about 5 hrs. That was a blast..on friday, sat and sunday it was just me, my dad, and my uncle camping out in grandmas motorhome on the bank of the river partying it up and having a good time. ON sunday night i caught up with all of my oldschool dallas friends at a house they rented just for the weekend which was close to the river. On monday i returned to austin and recovered, on tuesday i had lunch with an old co-worker and lined up an interview in my old division at 350 training and i met up with friends and dearched for housing...which i believe i already mentioned above. So here i am in austin having a good time. IN south america i knew that going back to the states would be such a shock, but to my suprise ive fallen back into the swing of life in america with relative ease and little discomfort. Since i left in january gas has gone up about one dollar and twenty cents....which brings it to 2.89 for a gallon of gas...still better than what a lot of people pay for gas in this world (execpt for venezuela of course..where gas is around 10 cents a gallon. People here in the US just keep driving their cars everywhere like nothing has changed...they just pay more at the pump. The hurricane that ravaged new orleans is pretty there is an influx of refugees that are looking for jobs as well here in austin..but where else are those poor people going go....but already i find myself missing little things about south america and life on the road. If i dont keep my spanish up il will forget alot of i try to practice with people whenever i can.......oh well, Only time will tell. Im sure ill give yall an update on how im doing later, but until then take care and come back to this blog.

Posted by Mr D at 01:00 AM
View/Add Comments (0) | Category: Return to Texas

August 16, 2005

Chillin in Chile!

Well, after mendoza i decided to head over the andes to visit Santiago for the weekend, and then head up to Lima. And im glad i made that decision. Santiago was indeed kinda expensive, but it really wasnt that bad. I didnt eat out, opting instead to cook for myself at the hostel, which saved some serious $$$. Most expensive thing was my hostal...which only cost $9usd a night and was a fucking cool hostel called...Casa Roja. It was the most english speaking hostel ive ever been to....there were no signs in spanish, and everyone there spoke english. They even hired the people staying there (usually they would work a few hours a day in exchange for a free bed) Everynight everyone sits around drinking cheap chilean wine or beer. On thursday, when i arrived i was too tired to go out, hell i didnt even finish my Liter of beer. On Friday, i walked all over town, visiting 4 measumes and a park. National History measume, Pre-Colombian Art Measume (my fav.), Museo de Santiago (city history), y Museo de Bellas Artes (with nice art), and Parque Cerro Santo Lucio (cool little hill with a great view of town with the all the buildings, smog, and towering andes en the background.) Then i had dinner at the hostel and proceeded to get really drunk with my fellow backpackers, including one fellow Texan (Rob) who went to UT and studied history and is doing the exact same thing that i am, but he is only just starting his trip. Then after we all caught Taxis to this club which had a very expensive cover of 4.000 pesos chilleno (almost 8 bucks). While waiting in line there for a drink, i met these two beautiful chillean sisters who invited me to sit with them and drink. Then they invited me to come home with them for an "after party." On Saturday, I was too hungover to do much of anything so i hanged around the hostel most of the day. Then i stepped out a night to see some heavy metal bands that were performing at a nearby venue. Fuckin rockin bands, but i wasnt in the mood.
On Sunday, i visited 3 museos....Modern art (had a pop art display called Fluxus), Natural History (lots of animal bones and rocks), and a mueso of Banned art that didnt seem edgy enough to be banned, but then again im not sure how strict the dictatorship that my country put into power in chile really was. Then i downed a bottle of cheap chillean wine and hopped on an 18 hrs bus ride to Antofagasta. Fucking shitty bus ride, not much to see out the window as i was driving through mostly desert during the day, and at night,,, well i couldnt see shit. So, now im in Antofagasta killing time before i head to Arica, then to Tacna, then to Lima, then home. Antofagasta kinda sucks, not much going on here, but i had to break up my Santiago to Lima trip, cuz 50 hrs on a bus is not something im ready to do. Man my trip is almost over, what a fuckin trip man! In this final strech of my trip so many memories and thoughts flood my head. Happy times, bad times, mistakes, regrets, loves, lessons, and even thoughts of home. Id like to be able to sum my trip up into one neat little conclusion for the benifit for my readers and curious travelers but its fucking impossible. All i can really say is dont hesitate for a second to get out there and see the matter where you go, especially south america...its going to be FUCKING BADASS!!!!! Ill holler at yall in Lima and then from my home in Irving, TX to give yall more perspective, stories, and pics of course.

Posted by Mr D at 03:32 PM
View/Add Comments (0) | Category: Chile

August 10, 2005

Taking it EZ in Mendoza!

So, i think Mendoza will mark the furtherst south i will travel on my journey. In fact tomorrow i will travel to Santiago, Chile to chill for the weekend, then i will start heading back up to Peru. Here in Mendoza ive just been spoiling myself with steaks, pizzas, gelato, expressos, mate, superb wines, and good imported beer (stella fav!). I figure since my trip is about to be up and since Chile is expensive and Peru is ghetto..i might as well enjoy the cheap bounty of Mendoza, Argentina. So I went snowboarding just out side of Mendoza and it was great. I was blessed with fresh powder so it was certiantly a highlight of my trip. Aside from the snowboarding, not much to report since i left from Salta. Visited wineries and a zoo here in Mendoza...and have watched alot of movies at my hostal. Mendoza has been a great and very relaxing pit stop on a long and hard journey. Next stop santiago to see some measumes and check out how Chileans rock it.

Posted by Mr D at 06:08 PM
View/Add Comments (0) | Category: Argentina (2nd Time)
Aging the Wines in Oak Barrels

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Posted by Mr D at 06:01 PM
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Vinyards of Mendoza

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Posted by Mr D at 05:56 PM
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Snowboarding in the Andes!

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Posted by Mr D at 05:47 PM
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August 01, 2005

Salar tour group at the Border!

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Posted by Mr D at 03:06 PM
View/Add Comments (1) | Category: Chile
Behold the Salar


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Posted by Mr D at 03:00 PM
View/Add Comments (0) | Category: Bolivia
Tio! god of the miners!

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Posted by Mr D at 02:55 PM
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Death Road!!!!!!!!

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Posted by Mr D at 02:47 PM
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