The Easy Way to Tour South America Lazy dad, hyper mum, four kids (one in nappies) tour South America for 6 months

The Easy Way to Tour South America
For Travellers
Some things I’ve learned in this trip
Some things I've learned in this trip

These are some things that I have become more viscerally intimate with as we have gone through this trip. They are mine, and I write them here as a reference to come back to. Feel free if you read this to remind me if you see me blatantly disregarding them. I hope they may provoke […]

Falling Over Iguazu
Falling Over Iguazu

We book-ended our visit to the Iguazu falls with a 24 hour delayed flight due to ash clouds at the start, and a missed flight due to incompetence at the end. But between these two events lay one of the most spectacular natural sights we have seen this trip. Up there with the glaciers of […]

Big Ice
Big Ice

Landing in the tiny airport at Calafate from Buenos Aires, the most striking feature is the impossibly blue water that forms the lakes and rivers at the base of the various glaciers. A twenty minute drive sees us arriving at the Che Lagarto hostel in the town of Calafate. We check in with the obscenely […]

Inappropriate tools
Inappropriate tools

Doctors aspire to this level of illegibility Sometimes an iPad is plain inappropriate. Sitting in the dining room of our hostel in the Laguna Amarga in the Torre del Paine glacier park in Chile is one such time. In fact, anything with a microprocessor in it. Or indeed that connects to… Well, anything that connects. […]

La Bombonera – Buenos Aires Alive
La Bombonera - Buenos Aires Alive

With two weeks in Buenos Aires, nowhere did I see the locals more alive than in the Bombonera, the stadium of the Boca Juniors, by some measures the world’s most successful football team. And nowhere have I seen more impassioned and sustained support for 90 minutes than in the game we watched them play against […]

The Bolivian Diaries
The Bolivian Diaries

Bolivian Elvis the Salt Plains Guard Crosses and miniature shrines pepper the side of the road from La Paz to Uyuni here in Bolivia. Each was planted by the family of someone who died along this very straight road, usually killed by a lorry overtaking a car in the opposite direction and not bothering to […]

There’s about as much to do as we’ve done so far
There's about as much to do as we've done so far

Today we are on day 92 of our 184 day trip. Landing in Mexico seems like a lifetime ago now, as I’m sure landing in the Isla del Sol in lake Titicaca will seem when we arrive in Gatwick on 3rd Jan 2012. But as the halfway point, a quick opportunity to reflect on how […]

Paola walks Machu Picchu
Paola walks Machu Picchu

As though the Inca Trek were not challenging enough. Sallkantay is the walk for the hardcore. But even that wasn’t enough. Sallkantay only gets you as far as Machu Picchu itself. No, if you really want to join the nutters, you go ABOVE the lost city of the Incas and walk to Huayna Picchu, which […]

Cusco’s Magic Hostel
Cusco's Magic Hostel

Sitting in the hostel at night after a collective grilled chicken and chips run, and the guys here including my son Omar and the founder of the Aldea Yanapay school, Yuri, are playing a game with a set of round cards that I’ve not seen before. The intensity has closed their heads into a circle […]

“Otra Forma de Vivir” – Aldea Yanapay
"Otra Forma de Vivir" - Aldea Yanapay

An eager audience at the weekly show Walking back to my hostel in Cusco alone a couple of nights ago, I saw a schoolgirl of around 11 or 12 years, still in her school uniform, pushing and cajoling her blind drunk father to get him home. He was teetering all over the road and pavement, […]

Swims With Sea Lions
Swims With Sea Lions

  Sharks, be afraid… Yesterday I played with a sea lion in the ocean. He danced in front of me for a good few minutes, invited me to follow, then shot off faster than I could hope to swim. And it was definitely play. He swam around me, ducked in and out in a game […]

A day was too long in Guayaquil
A day was too long in Guayaquil

Flying in over Quito, we wondered whether we’d made a mistake not to stop here. The view of the city nestling in the Andes on multiple levels, and the sudden dramatic drop from one to the next made us wish we’d scheduled a few days here. There are places that are best viewed from the […]

Volunteering at the Children’ Eternal Rainforest
Volunteering at the Children' Eternal Rainforest

Tariq cleans up the rainforest We have had a near daily education as to the etymological makeup of the word ‘rainforest’, and the critical 4 letter difference from the word ‘forest’. Today was no different, but fortunately the downpour came after our work was done. We took the children to Monteverde’s Children’s Eternal Rainforest (Bosque […]

Us and the Nicaraguan contra affair
Us and the Nicaraguan contra affair

Costa Rica throws up some surprises every so often. This evening, we had dinner in a restaurant called ‘The Airplane’. Nothing odd about a restaurant called the airplane. Plenty odd, though, about a bar and nightclub which are housed inside a Fairchild C123 which looks to all intents and purposes like it crash landed into […]

Coffee farmers in Monteverde
Coffee farmers in Monteverde

I have a confession to make. I am sitting in The Common Cup cafe in one of the world’s coffee growing hotspots in Monteverde, Costa Rica, where the owners grow and process their own coffee, and I have ordered a Mocha. Thousands of coffee growers are turning in their graves at the lack of sophistication […]

Sad to be leaving Cuba
Sad to be leaving Cuba

Not sure what it was. The friendliness of her people? That there is a lot to do there and their aspirations were more fundemental than waiting for the next Apple release? The feeling that the revolution is never a distant memory? The endless banter in the street with people you’ve never met and would never […]

Travel experiences and our tips in Cuba
Travel experiences and our tips in Cuba

Accommodation While in Cuba, we stayed only in Casas Particulares, which as we mentioned before, are homes where the owners are able to rent out rooms to guests. These were far cheaper and more personal than hotels. The family there usually follows your lead as to whether to stay out of your way, or to […]

Observations in Cuba
Observations in Cuba

I’ve asked many of the Cubans we’ve met what the biggest Cuban sports are. Unlike pretty much all of the Spanish speaking world, football doesn’t get a look in. Number one is baseball. Second is boxing. Third, and I was told this by more than one person, so it was either a famous joke or […]

Quite proud really
Quite proud really

Alvaro, my second son seems to have developed an admiration for Che Guevara. As a part of this trip to Cuba, I have been sharing her history with the boys. A fascinating story, but given her proximity to Mexico, there are some marked differences. While in Mexico, the Maya are still alive and well, in Cuba […]

Week one and a half in Mexico
Week one and a half in Mexico

Casualties to date: 1 pair sunglasses (Paola) lost somewhere in transit; 1 suitcase left in airport – recovered; 1 wandering child in Gatwick – recovered; 1 bruised ego – Iyas walks into chest-high cactus. London to Cancun was a 10 1/2 hour flight on BA, during which Alvaro and Omar couldn’t contain their excitement at having […]

Families that have been down this path

As we looked into this adventure, it was great to see the stories of other families that have been down this road before. This road being the one where you take your child(ren) out with you and go for a mind-expanding trip around (bits of) the world. If you’re reading this blog thinking ‘what a […]