Thursday, April 16, 2009

Earth Day -- April 22


Earth Day is April 22, 2009

Earth Day San Diego is a huge event in Balboa Park

Last year I went to Balboa park for the day with my dad and courtney. I highly recommend it, lots of fun, cool information, food and fun booths......

I recommend everybody do at least something little for Earth Day. Recycle, don´t take such a long shower, don´t water your lawn, turn your lights off early or don´t leave them on, turn off appliances and lights when you leave the room, use the microwave to cook small meals (It uses less power than an oven.), don't let the water run while shaving or brushing teeth, take short showers instead of tub baths, keep drinking water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cool, scrape, rather than rinse, dishes before loading into the dishwasher; wash only full loads, wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the washing machine. ..... just a few ideas.

Here is a recycle, reduse, reuse tip:

  • Reduce:
    Buy permanent items instead of disposables.
    Buy and use only what you need.
    Buy products with less packaging.
    Buy products that use less toxic chemicals.

  • Reuse:
    Repair items as much as possible.
    Use durable coffee mugs.
    Use cloth napkins or towels.
    Clean out juice bottles and use them for water.
    Use empty jars to hold leftover food.
    Reuse boxes.
    Purchase refillable pens and pencils.
    Participate in a paint collection and reuse program. For information on handling household solid waste, visit Wastes, What You Can Do (
    Donate extras to people you know or to charity instead of throwing them away.
    Reuse grocery bags as trash bags.

Just trying to get people aware. Try one of them.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid

Are we in the Wild West???

If you´ve ever heard of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, you would know they are dead....since 1908. Apparently, if you read the article, they died here in the South west of Bolivia.

After crossing the Argentina/Bolivia border with a little of a wait. We hoped on our bus, and man did it feel good to be back in Bolivian bus stations with stray dogs, women yelling destinations, and ¨aged¨ buses. We met a Kiwi couple (Kiwi is slang for from New Zealand) and we were all on the bus together to reach Tupiza, Bolivia.

While on the bus, and once arrived, you have a look around and I realized how much it looked ilke the southwest of the states, dry desert like. Beautiful in my opinion, but maybe not everybody´s cup o´tea. We spent the next day, Beth and I, on a walk. We didn´t exactly follow Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kíd´s route, but same general area and same pueblo they were trying to rob. We walked out following a path and a disneyland like map that was a substitute for our topographical map of the desert we walked alone into. We walked a couple of miles before reaching the land-fill for the town, quite a scenery. Although the rest of the scenery was quite impressive, multi-colored rock backdrop. We walked around the desert and found some really cool formations. We also stumbled upon a creek and laid in the clay colored mud and relaxed. We were accompanied by the shaggiest loking dog that walked the whole 9 miles with us inteh hot hot sun. We reached town exhausted and couldn´t wait to wash off the layers of dirt......ahhhh felt like camping at home, how I´d missed it. We were also quite confused because we thought that Sunday was Easter Sunday and were telling all the people we met the same, cometo find was Palm Sunday, a week off. I think i´ve been gone quite a long time, forgettin´the days???

The next day we spent with Rosie and Andrew, a couple from New Zealand (who got me even more excited to go to my number 1 country!) We all went together in a 4WD Jeep and drove around, seeing beautiful desert scenery. Once atop some of the mountains you could see the different colors that ran horizontally threw the desert. One strip of mountians red, next to a grey mountain range, that switches to orange right int he middle. Hard to describe if you´ve never seen the southwest. There were also tower looking canyons that looked like wax towers of teh sand, creating towers and canyons of massive sizes.

From Tupiza, I took the first train ride since i´ve been down here. The old train route was/is used to transport minerals mined from the desert areas like Tupiza and Uyuni. We took a freezing overnight train to Oruro (where we had been before for Carnaval) and from there made our way back to the infamous La Paz.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bolivian Salt Flats...who will it be???

Having recently been to the Bolivian Salt Flats, I thought this article a friend sent me was interesting. When I read this article, it reminds me of something a war would get started over, because history does tend to repeat itself.
Will Bolivian president Evo Morales crack to international pressure and monetary offers? Will foreign countries wait until another president is in power (or sway another president into power)? Will there be an environmentally conscious solution? Compromise?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Devil´s Point and Devil´s Throat

The Devil?????

Well after Buenos Aires, Beth and I headed to our next country. URUGUAY

Uruguay, yea where the heck is that??? Well in between Argentina and Brasil, you find this little drop of a country where things are priced like the states and the country as a whole has the bigest addiction I´ve ever seen, maté. If you don´t know what maté is, i will try and explain it to you, but you gotta see it. It is a hot tea drink that they make here and drink here. They also drink it out of a hollowed-out gourd and drink it with a decorated straw. People have it here at the park, at the beach, on the bus and EVERYWHERE in between. It is not just one of two people, it is literally everybody in the country. They drink it all day and night. This is also an addiciton of fellow countries, Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay, but Uruguay takes it to a NEW level.

Beth and I spent a couple of days in the developed, Miami-like, beach town of Punta del Este. A popular beach resort for wealthy Uruguayans and Argentinians. It was a little too developed for us, because things were priced in American dollars and you see Fendi and Dolce & Gabana stores. SO we decided to make our way to the anti- Punta del Este beach, Punta del Diable (Devil´s Point).

Devil´s Point is further east on the coast but has a much smaller town feeling and beautiful beaches.Said to be one of the better in South America (after Brasil and all...) but it is all personal preference. After being chased by the biggest lightning storm I´ve seen, we arrived at night and used the lightning to light our way to Casa blanca. There we rented our own room, two beds, kitchen, baño, T.v., and patio with beach view for 12.00/night each. We spent this week as a detoxication of the big city....spent it mostly anti-socially, with the exception of the Casa blanca owner, store-guy, and our Buenos Aires new found friend David.

The days we spent cooking and watching the 2 English channels that came in. I caught up on many of the movies that have come out, so i´m not TOO far behind the times (Including Blades of Glory and the Simpsons movie....really important historical deep movies) We also spent our days lounging on the beach and reading 100 years of Solitude and A long way gone (story of Sierra leone child soldier) The beach looked like something out of Martha´s Garden, rolling grassy dune hills, cottages, woods in the back, and little art places and stores. It was the most relaxing week, not to mention I hadn´t been out of the mountains since the beginning of the year. It was a breath of fresh air.

From Punta del Diablo, we made our way, by boat back to Argentina. Rosario, Argentina, the birthplace of the famed, Ché Guevara. Other sites included the Flag Monument, dedicated to the Argentina flag and the fact that it was the first flag in South America to be raised for an independent country. They are proud, it was a Washington monument look alike. In Rosario, which is up river from Buenos Aires is in the area where the Atlantic Ocean last reaches. More of a river, the ocean creates a series of islands. One day we traveled out to Deja vú and laid on the beach all day in the baking hot sun and continued reading. Now this is probably what everybody at home thinks I do ALL the time, but your quite wrong. This was like a vacation from my travels. (believe you me, it is sometimes needed)

From Rosario, accompanied by David, we made the 22 hour bus ride to Puerto Iguazú. In Argentina, 22 hours is nothing on a bus, it is more relaxing than troublesome. We arrived midday and realized we were in the Amazon, so were pleased when we found the ¨greatest deal¨ I´ve had on a hostal yet, which included a pool and ¨super¨ breakfast (when you get anything more than bread, butter, and jam, I consider it a super breakfast...can´t wait for pancakes and eggs benedict when i get home!). The next day we hoped on the minibus to head to the Argentina side of the famed IGUAZÚ FALLS. I will say right away that this is one of the most amazing things I´ve ever seen. Pictures, movies, even description doesn´t do justice to Iguazú Falls, a must-see-to-believe place. We spent the whole day, 6 hours, walking and exploring the jungle and falls of the Argentinian side, which provided an up close and personal look at Garganta del Diablo (Devil´s throat) and many other falls. This is the Grand Canyon of Waterfalls. There was plenty of wildlife and scenery to blow your mind, not to mention water falling from the sky or blowing up for the heated rocky part below, where the most water i´ve ever seen falling at once pounded rocks. We also watched boats attempt and prevail to go under some of the smaller falls and soak all the screaming excited tourists on board. Within a day, it was impossible not to find a scene that would stick in your head for the rest of your life.

I didn´t take this picture, but it captures a SMALL portion of Iguazú Falls.

The next day we spent the day exploring the more panoramic Brazilian side, where at one point you could see the whole set of falls. If you´ve never looked into it, you wouldn´t know that the visa for Americans to enter Brasil costs 135.00 flat. But Brazilian side was a must see according to other travelers, so we sneaked across the border for a day and axplored the constant views of the amazing falls. (pictures to be seen when i get home in May) Iguazú Falls was an incredible magical place that I would recommend not only to waterfalls, jungle lovers, but to ANYBODY.