Santa Claus calling a child on Christmas Eve

Travels without a Donkey: Goodbye

It is fitting that this being the 27th and final Donkey, it has a donkey tale. Marcelo, a local friend, who through his generosity, lack of lust for money and his community spirit, is like the unofficial mayor of his very poor village Bellavista, which is on the outskirts of Bahia. Bellavista is an area […]

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Bella Vista

Travels without a Donkey: Back to Bahia

After Santiago, which by the way translates to Saint James, the donkey bolted. We had left ourselves six days to get from Santiago to Bahia de Caraquez, a small town close to the equator on the Ecuadorian coast. This basically meant spending six days on a bus and submitting to the onslaught of mental and […]

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Valparaiso

Travels without a Donkey: Chile

Often art achieves more social progress than politics, and often artists are greater leaders than presidents or prime ministers. Art is not confined by the same stifling boundaries that incarcerate both the creators and the recipients of politics. In my opinion, there are three great artists, each very different and from very different countries, who […]

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Patagonia

Travels without a Donkey: Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego

Many place names in this part of the world help to tell the history, especially that of early interactions between the European world with the area´s indigenous. Patagonia, for example, basically means ´the land of people with big feet. ´ European explorers had seen very large human footprints on the shores of Patagonia, and in […]

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Maradona

Travels without a Donkey: Argentina (2)

I HAD thought the World Cup, and particularly Maradona, may have been a touchy subject here, after the national team (in my opinion with a group of players that was only rivaled in quality by Spain) was knocked out by a 4 – 0 thrashing by Germany. I knew that Maradona almost had the status of […]

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Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Travels without a Donkey: Uruguay

AN HOUR long ferry from the port of Buenos Aires took us to the little town of Colonia del Sacramento, in Uruguay. Until visiting the country, I associated it with steak, leather, the home land of Eduardo Galeano, and since the World Cup, Diego Forlan. Uruguay has South America´s most European descendent population as well […]

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Never Again

Travels without a Donkey: Argentina (1)

AFTER waiting four hours for a bus, then realizing, too late, we should have only waited for three, we discovered Argentina is an hour ahead of Bolivia. Crossing the border from Bolivia into Argentina was like crossing from the third world to the first, instantly. Waiting near the customs office were taxis, Fiats and Peugeots, […]

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Macaria, 68, rock breaker

Travels without a Donkey: Bolivia (4)

I WANTED to experience a day in the life of a Potosí miner to allow me to write about it. I made my way up Cerro Rico to La Mina Poderosa (The Powerful Mine). At eight in the morning when Jorge introduced me to miners I was to be working with, they stared at me, […]

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La Mina Poderosa

Travels without a Donkey: Bolivia (3)

IT´S DIFFICULT to describe the city of Potosí, and impossible for a little donkey to do it justice. It´s also impossible not to speak of Potosí´s story, once it´s touched you. As such, I will dabble with failure in an attempt offer a tiny impression of this incredible city. Potosí, located in the south-east corner […]

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Samaipata

Travels without a Donkey: Bolivia (2)

IN COCHABAMBA, a city of about half a million people, we had one of those ´´what a small world it is moments.´´ Crossing the street we bumped into Anne and Luis, a couple we had met and interviewed in Venezuela. We went for a coffee with the French pair who´ve had amazing lives. Luis is […]

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