Author Archive | James

Lake Titicaca

Travels without a Donkey: Bolivia (1)

FINALLY after a straight forward border crossing we made it to Bolivia, the country I most wanted to visit on the continent. Bolivia is South America´s poorest country and has the highest percentage of indigenous inhabitants. Looking at the history of Latin America the two statistics likely go hand in hand. The first couple of […]

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La Mesa

Travels without a Donkey: Peru (2)

CUZCO is nestled in a valley of red brown hills, which are dotted with camouflaged mud brick houses that are the colour of the surrounding dirt that they have been made with. As such, mud brick houses change colour with the geology. It is easily the most ´touristy´ place we have been in Latin America […]

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Poser, Cuzco

Travels without a Donkey: Peru (1)

IT HAS been a strange and difficult few weeks dealing with the loss of my oldest friend Leon from afar. We´ve lost a special one, to a river, to nature. Still fragile and pensive we made it to Peru, thankful for the warm welcome the country´s given us. A few days in to Peru another […]

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Travels without a Donkey: Ecuador (4)

QUITO is an artistic city. There are murals everywhere, hundreds of diverse sculptures in the parks and streets, and all areas of the city have quality graffiti. However, Quito´s artistic son is undoubtedly Oswaldo Guayasamin. Copies of his paintings are everywhere in Ecuador but his legacy to his Country extends much further than cheap reproductions. […]

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Travels without a Donkey: Ecuador (3)

ECUADOR´S Constitution states that the rights of Pachamama (Mother Nature) must be protected. Ecuadorians are very proud of their amazingly diverse environment and in many ways seem highly aware of environmental issues. On the other hand, as with elsewhere in Latin America they have not collectively got a grip on the problem of plastic rubbish. […]

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Travels without a Donkey: Ecuador (2)

THE RIGHT of indigenous communities to their own system of trials and punishment is protected in the Ecuadorian Constitution but is still controversial at times. Physical punishment in front of the community is common. Often the person is tied up or buried to their waist with stones and receive a nettle-type plant to the back, […]

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Travels without a Donkey: Ecuador (1)

AS THE old adage goes, ´it´s been a long time between donkeys.´ As was bound to occur eventually we had our first bit of bad luck in six months travelling. We were robbed of our laptop, camera and basically everything else we had that was worth anything. It happened on a seven hour bus trip […]

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New community of the landless, Puerto Ordaz

Travels without a Donkey: Venezuela (3)

NEXT we headed on an overnight bus to Puerto Ordaz in the east, which is basically the industrial heart of Venezuela. It is a huge, like Bell Bay multiplied by a hundred. Even though it didn’t drop under 30 degrees during our time in Venezuela the long distance buses keep an internal temperature of around […]

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Barrio 23, Che

Travels without a Donkey: Venezuela (2)

FOR decades before the failed Chavez-led coup in 1992 Venezuela had a false democracy. The false democracy was a two party system where the two parties were virtually identical and had an agreement to switch power each election (every five years). The agreement was known as the ‘Punto Fijo Pact’. This period followed one of […]

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Message of hope

Travels without a Donkey: Venezuela (1)

IT IS important to begin these impressions of Venezuela by explaining that our time in this country, in which we have been lucky enough to get beneath the surface, has confirmed suspicions that 90 per cent of what we hear about Venezuela in Australia is utter nonsense. It’s not in the paper it is on […]

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