Monday 1215 - San Paulo, Brazil (4 hour layover)
Last night I enjoyed my final meal,  a fantastic Italian dinner overlooking the downtown Buenos Aires marina.

I am now currently choosing my boat slip for when I sail back.  

Buenos Aires revisited; LOVE IT.   In addition to Paris and New York add London, England to the mix

Note: A nights sleep, ridiculous food prices and a new language to learn have dispelled the aforementioned idea

2014  Bogota, Colombia (3 hour layover)
Almost home!  Its been a long day, but feels great to be back in Colombia. 

Tuesday 2302
In my bed in Medellin typing away having just watched USA beat Costa Rica & Colombia defeat Paraguay.. good day!


To Follow Dreams
Nothing ever goes as planned, but I do feel I have done a pretty good job at this over the past  8 months.

An incredibly exciting, challenging,  hard, sad, fun, stressful, awesome and unbelievable experience on every level.

Living here has given me just a bit more confidence to follow instincts and just do what feels right.

Unforeseen events are the norm, not the anomaly. 

The more I accept this the more at peace I become with my fears and myself.

We are creatures of connection despite at times our best efforts to separate & distance ourselves.

Sharing struggles, sharing pleasures, sharing this blog.

We live for each other, we hopefully die next to one another.

Onwards to the next adventure and love to everybody reading this.. "my nest" as brother Joe Joe would say.

Note: Be sure to check out the item I found that we need to bring to Claybrook in "In America"!!
Standard Street Montevideo
Lotta Locks..still Monte
Baller Building!
Monte has a navy!
Don't get hit John!! Now we are in Aires de Buenos
Gift from the Brits.. they used to be friends until the Falklands
Standard Building
I LOVE THIS CITY
The Laguna.. Central Park on Steriods
Look this way then...
The Other Direction
The final meal preparing for next adventure, savoring the end of this one
The next adventure
Editors Note: That is John Herrigel, the author.  He is cold on the outside, but happy on the inside.

Friday June 3rd
Its sort of ironic and fitting that my breakfast today happens to be "Desayuno de Nueve York" contrasting quite nicely with yesterday's  "Breakfast of Paris"

Buenos Aires = (New York City + Paris) / 2 

Taking a chapter from Sverre "take a lot of photos" St John...see below for further explanation of the above.

Alas nothing to groundbreaking to report from down here south of the equator.

Standard JHH traveling...cross fit, expressos, exploration, blogging and trying to keep up with fixing Byronne's tirade of bugs found on the new www.mymaineproperty.com site!   CONQUER CONQUER as he would say! :)

Of Note However:
Buenos Aires will receive major ranking points in my final algorithmic review of cities visited.   I received my first true HOT SHOWER since arrival in South America many moons ago!

In a couple hours time I will take the boqueBUS aka the autoBUS for the ocean aka a ferry to Montevideo.

Friday 1955 
I am in Montevideo. I am wearing my hat and 3 layers of clothing as I sit here in my cozy apartment.  

Well, it doesn’t really matter because I am seriously fired up having just learned that tonight the Copa America futbol tournament kicks off!

The opening match: Colombia vs USA...now I feel homesick for 2 places!!

3 new poems, one includes cucumbers :),  plus the standard updates to  "In America" and "Cost Index"

Nos Vemos Pronto

What.. my parents and the Rotunda in Uruguay?!?
Breakfast Paris
Breakfast NYC
Which one? Buenos Aires, Paris, NYC???
Downtown Paris?
Central Park?
Paris bathroom (particularly helpful with stomach tapeworm)?
NYC Subway?
Baller Mohito in Palermo Soho, Buenos Aires.. they even copied "Soho"
BUQUEBUS.. I just really love this word!!
Buenos Aires lower left, Colonia directly above across the river, Montevideo to the extreme right!
Dude.. more identity issue! Is this Bermuda or Colonia, Uruguay?!?!
Identity Crisis Continued plus 2 dogs
Best Meal Part 1 - Uruguay
Best Meal Part 2 - keep it coming
Guiness record holder.. a lot of nails
I guess this is what I get for coming in the winter!
Wednesday June 1st
1024  What the Incan's built atop a mountain in the middle of a jungle is pretty amazing.

Hidden and found just over 100 years ago...its the equivalent of New York City getting lost and rediscovered 700 years later! 

So...every trip has to have a low point and I definitely hit mine last night! I guess thats what you get for $12 a night close to the airport in a gated industrial park.

The taxi driver on the way there was like "WHAT... your sure thats where you want me to go!"  (no joke)

Just the facts:
  • Missing window pane = 40 degree room
  • Lingering tape worm in my intestines (self diagnosed)
  • Altitude sickness for sure!
  • Dehydration following 1000+ meters of climbing
  • Note: Fernando, the host, was super gracious and the place was clean and felt moderately safe
A fun nights sleep to say the least! :)

Anyhow things are already improving and lets put some stuff into perspective!! 

Thursday June 2nd - Buenos Aires
1035 I am in BEUNOS AIRES...its freaking cold!   I may need buy a winter jacket in addition to my recently purchased Peruvian hat.   Overcast skies and "Maine like" spring temps are far from getting me down however as I wait for my "Desayuno de Paris" in Palermo.

More updates in "Cost Index" and "In America" for the diehard fans...sorry no new poetry :)  Lots of photos this time around!!  (Dog lovers will particularly enjoy "In America" this time around)
Only way in (or 4 day hike!)
My fellow passengers on train
Classic Machu Picchu demographics.. Baby boomer couple & just graduated college students!
Base Camp - Aqua Calientes
My Supplies: gatorade,Pervian power bars and chocolate
It begins.. game time
Only 1 way up.. forget the bus!
Incan Bridge...don't look down
Way up there!
Ruin 9
My Lama Buddy!
Ruin 8
Ruin 5
Ruin 3
Ruin 2
Ruin 1
Top of the world!!
132nd person in, 50th to the top! Thats right my +- was +82 on my way up!
View from the top of "la Montana"
View 7
View 5
View 4
View 3
View 2
View 1
Spanish Version: 
 “Saqasaywaman”  :)

Saturday May 30th 
Today I needed to buy a winter hat!  At 11,367 feet its no joke here!  

Cusco is a city that despite the best efforts of women hawking massages on every corner still gives off good juju.

Not a place I would want to live, but as the headquarters of the ancient Incan Empire you can just sense the positive vibes.

Highlights of my 40 hour stay:
  • Trout ceviche, quinoa soup & coca mate tea
  • Alpaca/Lama steak (still not sure which one) 
  • Club dancing (domination of the stage included. ...sorry no pics) 
  • Authentic parades & live music (hopefully video to follow)
  • Viewing of my first Incan ruins (elementary school version ) 

Sunday 1000
Preparing to go in search of a collectivo aka shuttle to transport me to Ollantaytambo, home of middle school version ruins.  1st person who can pronounce Olly correctly wins Incan gold. 

Monday 0857 - MEMORIAL DAY
Coffee and blog posting from the "Mama Simona" hostel in Olly preparing to take Peru Rail to Macchu. Not a lot of time to write, but most probably just prefer just the pictures anyway!

A fantastic hostel and another solid Peruvian town. Quite touristy still, but way more tranquilo!

A new poem, couple more "In America" shots, the Latin American cost index actually becoming somewhate useful and lots of photos.

xoxoxox

La Entrada
Fountain of Youth and Hair Regeneration
Meditation Chair!
Solid Construction
Hillside ruin en la distancia
My Olly
Worship center I believe
No joke.. they took some time to build this
More Ruins!
Lama in Ruins!
Pimp out my Tuk Tuk
Trip to Olly 2
Trip to Olly from Cusco
Standard Street of Cusco
The Double Backpack.. I love it!
Vista of ruins from afar
8:00 Sunday Morning Parade!
Statue of Dios
My Dinner :)
Ruins.. from afar
Quinoa Soup!
Trout Ceviche
Coca Mate Tea
Pretty sure a different Plaza!
Nighttime in Plaza
Plaza de Cusco
Buenos noches from Cusco!


Thursday May 26th 
1537 Todays been a pretty good day overall. Walking, chilling, breathing, drinking coffee, blogging.   The lingering Pisco sour effects were finally defeated with a 2nd 400 mg (big boy ibuprofen tablet) and a 21-18-15 thruster WOD courtesy of Cross Fit Altair, Lima! 

I am unfortunately failing in my goal to speak only Spanish however.  Its just too touristy here!!! The locals will only speak English with  me!  Conversations are sort of comical as I speak only in Spanish and they speak only in English. 

2115 I will be leaving Miraflores with mixed feelings tomorrow. Phenomenal walking, running and oceanfront parks, but the heavy handed hustling is just not that cool.  

Tonight I paid 20 sols for my trip to Baranca, a neighboring barrio, 10 for the same trip back and then upon further inspection discovered the fair cost to be 7 or 8!   Its not that the people are not good people.  They are, but it just seems to be the culture unfortunately

Friday May 27th 
1719 Cusco!  1st impression...solid lugar!  Quality coffee shops, cobble stone streets, European style plazas and architecture galore...BOOM!
Cuddling up with my chair blanket!
Pictures don't do this justice but was amazing!
Its at 11,300 feet altitude
That is Cusco!
Flying in.. pretty eplc
Peru vs USA.. aka Joeby's future competion
Surfs up mi amigo!
Baller!
Scooby Doo is here!
Pisco Sour.. not the evil one
Pastel Manzana!!!
Scenes of Miraflores
I really am in Maine!
Eggs Benedict overlooking ocean
Airbnb in Miraflores.. solid 3rd floor digs
El Hombre!
Wednesday 25th 
1800  I have arrived in Miraflores!

First off I am going to establish some ground rules & goals for this 12 day blitzkrieg.

1) Speak spanish whenever possible
2) Don’t spend any nights in jail 
3) Take photos & meditate daily
4) Disfruta los dos semanas / enjoy the 2 weeks

Renzo, my airbnb host, and Segundo, taxi driver, have already both done a fantastic job of making me feel at home.

Its amazing the extent of emotions one can go through in a day.  From the initial anxiety on leaving Medellin, to getting stressed over finances, to feeling on top of the world with an explosion of creativity/journal writing... to worries over lost hair....to genuine feelings of happiness,  thankfulness  & compassion...to this current moment wondering who will even read this!

So if a picture can tell a thousand words, what can a smell do? 

Lima, Peru sits on the Pacific ocean about half way down the South American continent.

Now assuming one has knowledge of the Maine coast....if said person was blindfolded and asked if they were standing in Lima, Peru or Phippsburg, Maine I would venture to say the correct answer would be given no more than the probability expected from a coin toss.

The smell of sea salt, the weight of the air... its LO MISMO aka the same freaking thing!

Pretty weird, but feels like home.

2202  
Just returned home....1 liter of beer (almost) and 1 pisco sour later (official drink of Peru)

Family will be happy to know however, despite being hustled by no less than  5 enterprising Peruvians aged 5 to 70 selling wares ranging from coca to mujeres, marajuana to free taxi rides to late night rumbas I willingly opted for ice cream and itunes in my bed in my apartment alone after a filling steak dinner and uneventful conversation with a med student from the University of Chicago.

Besos y abrazos,
Juan
This sort of gives away your not in Kansas anymore!
Peruvian size beer.. that is a regular sized glass!
Volando solo!!
Segundo.. yes thats his name.. "Who does #2 work for" :) First guy met in Peru, my taxi driver!
Pretty, but its got nothing on the Stone House!
Mira freaking Flores.. MADE IT
Comida muy bueno!
So today I started talking to myself.....it's actually kind of comforting and fun.

Alas it has been in English, but my Spanish skills have definitely improved as of late!!
  • I am now currently teaching my porteros (doorman), Milton and Felipe english on a daily basis! 
  • I can now read my  Roald Dahl book, "Volando Solo" in Spanish without needing its english counterpart.. pretty cool! 

In 2 days from today I am off to Lima, Cusco, Machu Pichu, Buenos Aires & Montevideo. I will be transported by plane, train, automobile and even a ferry!

Wed, May 25, arrive Lima 
Thu, May 26, day in Lima
Fri, May 27, fly to cusco
Sat, May 28, day in cusco
Sun, May 29, AM collective bus  to ollyombotu, explore ruins
Mon, May 30, AM train to mount pichu
Tue, May 31, AM mount Pichu, PM train to cusco
Wed, June 1, AM fly to buenos aires
Thu, June 2, day in Buenos Aires
Fri, June 3, mid AM ferry to Colonia, PM bus to Montevideo
Sat, June 4, Day in Montevideo
Sun, June 5, ferry to Buenos Aires
Mon, June 6, flight to Medellin

And then its back for team HK domination, summer fun (rumbas included) ,friends, family and possibly even a rover.

Passing thought:  With over 50,000 thoughts a day we should try and make at least 30,000 of them positive and awesome!

Life....live it.... love it... learn from it...enjoy it!

Juanito from south of the equator
Hombre de Fresas!!
Truffled Eggs.. INCREDIBLE
Getting ready to douse my hair in Oil..more on this later!
Final Famers Market
Final Mercado de Campensinos
I just love my Sunday's!!