An Unnecessary Addition to the Christ the Redeemer Statue

The Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro is one of the more incredible things to see in this kerfuffle we call life. I’m a fit and able human being and I have no problem climbing some steps to see something so impressive. And besides, there’s a train most of the way up, use…

Olympic Rowing: A Flashback

Row, row, row your boat, quickly for the team. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, don’t run out of steam. I was lucky enough to spend 24 hours in Rio during the 2016 Olympics, so I went to see some rowing at the Lagoa Stadium. We bought tickets the night before from a booth outside the Copacabana beach…

Bogotá, Colombia: What You Need to Know

Bogotá, Colombia is 2640 meters (8300 feet) above sea level. This means you arrive and get headaches, sniffles, nosebleeds, and you suddenly can’t walk up ten stairs without wheezing like a fat kid with asthma forced to run the 100m at school sports day. It takes some getting used to. While you’re walking up a…

5 Peruvian Foods to Fall in Love With

Five years ago I spent three months volunteering with crees [website] in the Amazon Rainforest in Peru. I’ve written a bit about it before, here and here, but today I’m going to make myself hungry by writing about all the great stuff we ate (and drank) while I was there. I know this intro has…

Puno to Cusco (Peru) by any means necessary

If I get a ticket from place A to place B from a bus station, I expect the entirety of that journey to be made by bus. So when I bought a bus ticket in Peru from Puno to Cusco, I was expecting to heave my rucksack onto a bus, then curl up in my…

Building a Road in Bolivia

Bolivia generally isn’t known for its elegant, efficient highways and state of the art road traffic management systems. If you take a second out of your day to picture a Bolivian road you’ll probably picture something dusty, something half-finished, something unsafe, and you’re probably seeing some kind of wild animal – a sheep or alpaca…

Cycling the World’s Most Dangerous Road

Back in June 2009 I cycled down what is supposedly the world’s most dangerous road, outside of La Paz, Bolivia. Presumably it was given this unofficial title long before roads in the Middle East were given the added challenge of IEDs. The road is known as Death Road colloquially or alternatively Yungas Road or Coroico…

Cockroaches Crawling Over Toothbrushes in the Amazon Rainforest

Back in 2009 I left my old job as a lab technician pushing rabbit blood through a syringe to volunteer with a conservation company in the Amazon Rainforest in Peru. It was the first time I’d ever been away from home without being on a school trip. That’s where I lived for three months. No…

Commuting in the Amazon Rainforest

I bet you take roads for granted. You use them in your car, on your bike, hell, you might even skip down the middle of them at 4 a.m. after a particularly frivolous night out. You don’t think anything of them unless there are potholes and roadworks and traffic lights that are conspiring against you….

All You Can Eat Restaurants in Buenos Aires

There are a lot of all you can eat restaurants in Buenos Aires, Argentina. And I’m not talking about the same all you can eat restaurants that you find in America, with extra-sized bottles of ketchup on the table and a soda cup big enough to drown a cat in with your name, Bill, scrawled…

Waiting for a Jungle Bus at an Abandoned Petrol Station

I once spent an entire day waiting for a jungle bus. Most of the day was spent sitting in an abandoned petrol station in a small town called Salvaccion, in the Manu National Park, in Peru, in the Amazon Rainforest. Now that I’ve got your attention, here’s a picture of a lorry in a river:…

Leaving the Jungle and Rejoining Society

In 2009, I spent three months in the Amazon Rainforest in the Manu National Park in Peru. At the end of the three months volunteering, it was a 10-hour journey back to Cusco, the closest major city. The transition from leaving the jungle to rejoining civilized society is a stranger sensation than when you find…