A Travellerspoint blog

June 2008

leaving the americas

finally.

Firstly a big thankyou to Sasho. In the last (North American) months I managed to treat him like a brother and only get the same treatment back. Crazy Bulgarian though he is, he remains my favourite communist. Engaging, funny, political and mental all in one half hour session in the spa. Good work. I owe a debt of gratitude. Raise your eyes to the sky and be thankful for people like Alex.

sashoannoyed.jpg

Well, how was the continent? Continents in fact. In continents I was. hehehe. Sorry. Diverse beyond imagination. If you need culture shock after tremor after building wobbling ground shaking intensity then head this way. Civilisation as we would call it in the north, madness in the middle and general stripey coloured dancing the further south you hit. I am repeatedly and happily an admirer of the madness that takes place across these fair lands. I will probably never fully digest the experiences that I have been fortunate enough to enjoy on this extensive and rambling lump of earth that was formally a chunk of pangea.

Spanish lessons by the lake, the honduran club, the dive at night with friends, road trips for no reason, a night in panama with the craziest fucker you have never met, more animals than David Attenborough dreams about in the Galapagos, altitude sickness and trains up a mountain, the andes hungover, chilean boat trips with new friends, argentinian steak, jumping off mountains, paraguayan hospitality, Brasilian beaches that make you want to move there, drinks at dawn, che for breakfast, slums for desert. Mexican madness, buses that run for ever or never, nights that never ended, days that never began. Fat boy slim, tacos a gogo, jazz and crawfish, stupid amercians, crazy canadians, no need for punctuation or spelling. Friends that are more than a number on facebook. People that will always remain a mystery to me. Californians that will probably never have a significant thought in their lives. The neo-con twats that will always have too many. Good times that spread like ebola but taste like honey. I would not take a day and change it. Not one. Not sure if I managed to get the message across but it is outstanding. In all of the 11 available dimensions and potentially in a few yet to be imagined. Go, see, feel the warmth, get upset about it. No need to question too much.

If I missed some stuff then I apologise. If the trail was laid bare by low quality puns and stories from the worst seat in the bar then forgive me. It was as good as I could do and I could never do it justice anyway. I would tell you to check it out before it changes but it, like everything, changes every day so check it out when you can.

Many smiles. Good times. I feel some continental shift occurring. You may not feel it but there may be a whiff of it on the wind. Don't try too hard, you may strain your nostrils. The days not done til the cock crows for morning and I think I ate that particular cock in Honduras............ (unable to believe that I just wrote that down I now find myself unable to delete it - slip of the pen though not of the tongue if you get my literary shimmy - apologes to all for laughing at my own "joke".... to continue).

The days not done til the fat lady sings and although I am sure she belts out a fine tune I have already managed to outrun her in Brasil, twice, Chile once and in various guises in Portsmouth since I was a young man without fear of the consequences.

And yes, I am a lucky boy. Lucky in many ways. Got a t-shirt that says so, so it must be true.

So in memory of all those who travelled with for their company, their jokes and sharing some excellent times.

team_onbridge.jpgboysgaysalsa.jpghurricaneteam.jpgsashoandmari.jpgteam5boroughs.jpgBira_-_Ilh..nde_040.jpgballgametommy.jpgIMG_0169_1_.pjpegIMG_1542.jpgIMG_0922.jpgIMG_0294_1_.pjpegIMG_0498.jpgIMG_0709.jpgIMG_0117.jpgteamfest.jpgIMG_0873.jpgdestructionatsashos.jpgnelsonteam.jpgIMG_0488.jpgIMG_1601.jpgmagenandheather.jpgdallyandkaramakehay.jpgboysinchopper.jpgboysinarumbar.jpgliftshot.jpgIMG_0707.jpgmccain.jpgIMG_0871.jpgIMG_0404.jpgsteph.jpgboysmontreal.jpg

And something for you to copy, paste, watch, consider, forget, re-discover anew, assimilate patchily into your sub-conscious and then potentially be reminded of in old age as the laughter of generations new fades on the summer breeze, rhythmically replaced by the creaking rocking chair our aged forms follow, our laborious breathing catching at the back of our throats, dry, rasping and slow; slowing, slowly, as lost focus returns to long blurred eyes to see nothing more before us than the eternal darkness of the yawning abyss....

Or alternatively just a bit of fun from some dude called Clemens that means little but sounds cool. Unsure myself. Your call.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWWKBY7gx_0
Lid

Posted by lidster 03:10 Comments (2)

Van and Montreal

east to west.

sunny 25 °C

Stayed a few days in Vancouver and am impressed. Usual crackhead human detritus hanging around in certain areas but for the most part it is a friendly, beautiful and fun place. lots of water around and although too cold to swim in it does encourage some wildlife we don't get in Europe - unless of course some warship is using sonar and all the Whales get a bit confused about which way is up.

whales.jpg

Van itself is surrounded by beauty but looks quite nice itself.

vanskyline.jpgstanleyparkbeach.jpgstonesculpture.jpg

Last 2 in Stanley Park which is kind of how parks should work in big cities. The guy who did the stone balancing assured me that no glue is used, just brute force and patience. Always have to be thankful for the artistic nutter.

Steph came along whale watching with me and to correct my accent etc.

steph.jpg

She had never been before either and put on a good show of enjoying it. I suppose we rarely do the touristic stuff when close to home but it can be pretty cool. One of a bald eagle for you.

baldeagle.jpg

Which was pretty cool, the mountain in the background is Whistler or Blackcomb. One or the other.

Whales occasionally jump out of the water and splash around. The guide on the boat said that we would probably see some but that it was difficult to get decent pictures due to the unpredictability of where they would surface. That was until this one tried to jump into the boat.

orcajump.jpg

Actually got a few like that. The whales themselves are pretty stunning. Can never really understand why people see such beauty in nature and almost immediately decide to kill it. Not my immediate reaction, a chicken maybe but an Orca? Savages. Numbers seem to be doing well and their mysterious lifestyles and ability to disappear plus the fact that they are loyal, social and fairly smart all go to make them a top 5 mammal in my book. Trying to think of the other 4 but I have decided Humans are not present. Maybe top 10.

Swiftly onto Montreal. Few of the fellas from New York decided they would drive up to meet me and we went out and partied like it was 1999. Not that I mean we spent time worrying about whether our computers would work the day after or that the end of the world was coming but the party party thing. Team below:

boysmontreal.jpg

Liked Montreal although they did get a bit of the snobby frenchy thing going but that also means the coffee and croissants are of a better standard so its all swings and roundabouts. Bad news to break to some of you - seems like God went out of business.

godoutofbusiness.jpg

I had heard attendances had dropped off but didn't figure it was that bad. Probably had some sub-prime exposure stuffed under one of the pews.

4 blokes together could probably take a tourist bus and go to the theatre but it never really crossed our mind. Went for some beverages and watched some footy.

willisandtommy.jpgchris.jpgmeinbar.jpg

Service was of a consistently high quality.

montrealbarmaid.jpg

Not much more to say about that. Many thanks to Willis and Chris and of course Tommy G. Had fun. Am detoxing... soon.

Take care all. One more blog on the Americas to wrap it up and let you achieve some degree of closure before the madness gathers pace once again. The bridge may be out but if we can just get enough speed up.....

Lid

Posted by lidster 23:50 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Kelowna and Calgary.

Oily rags and riches.

all seasons in one day 12 °C

Hello. How you? Have you ever noticed that as a town grows larger the less friendly it becomes. I was wondering whether it is because of the new inflow of johnny come latelys with a chip on their shoulder or the fact that the people who have been there a while doing not much are suddenly property millionaires. Bit of both I am sure.

Kelowna. Cute, small, fun. Went primarily to see Dallace and Kara.

dallyandkaramakehay.jpg

Who took me winetasting, out on the town and also to a large and interesting big iron auction. First timer that I was I drank the free booze and tried to chat. Someone's Grandad took my hand and asked me if I was a nice guy. Didn't say anything smart as I was wondering why he would give a monkey's. Random. Bought a large yellow thing with lots of bells and whistles.

keystonewtruck.jpg

Was only scratching my ear at the time but auctions can be dangerous places for the itchy. All the stuff is being sold off dirt cheap though as the Pine Beetle has destroyed the quality of the timber in most of the trees. Needs winter cold spells of -40 for 48 hours to stop their spread and its been too warm. relative term I think you will agree.

karaandband.jpg

Country band were most excellent. No clue myself but they hummed and they hawwed and they twanged sufficiently to make a show of it.

jumphigh5.jpg

Jump high 5 and off on the road. Thanks for the kindness and entertainment D&K. Next time on another continent I imagine.

So Calgary. Oil boom and bust town for a while and now spreading daily. A few cowboy hats and a few flash cars but people are homely enough. Megan put me up for a few days, let me wash my clothes etc. Very kind. Megan and Heather told me the funniest story I heard during my travels and I have received a few free drinks as a result - as such Calgary - or bits of. If you want to hear the story then you'll be buying a round.

magenandheather.jpg

Went out to the Badlands as they are known. Quite scary all told.

badlands.jpg

A local site are the Hoodoos. Hard rocks laid upon softer sandstone and as the rain and wind wash away the softer stone they become, well, rather phallic piles of sediment.

hoodoos.jpg

Megan invited me along for her Birthday party with 6 girls. Sounded like a decent night out.

liftshot.jpg

And it was too. This fella was clearly looking long term.

bringingbackdisco.jpg

And he almost did. At least for the night.

Apologies for the brevity (not that I get a lot of feedback either way) but if I don't catch up fast I'll be back in a job before I get through with this damn infernal blogthing. Its becoming a monster - consider yourselves lucky you only have to look at the pictures.

Going to hold a .22 aloft in the street and see if I get arrested. One blog only from jail. Would call the folks but they are in the south of france apparently. Super.

Vancouver and Montreal to follow and wrap up. Not much further now. You may be tired but its always the last mile that is most rewarding. Not sure how I would be in a position to opine on such things but it sounded about right.

Oh, and start making sandbags. If the States is anything to go by the deluge has started already. May be worthwhile building a big boat and start collecting some local animals. You never know. Tough times may be ahead.
Lid

Posted by lidster 23:59 Archived in Canada Comments (2)

(Entries 1 - 3 of 5) Page [1] 2 » Next